For disclosure purposes, I should state up front that the Flash has always been one of my favorite DC super heroes, second only to Green Lantern when I was growing up. One of my favorite events of the last decade was Blackest Night simply because so much of it focused on Barry Allen and Hal Jordan. So there’s every reason to think I might be a bit biased here.
That aside, was the extended trailer for The Flash (which you can see below if you haven’t already) exciting or what? It was already the new comics-related show I was anticipating the most, but it just pushed my inner fanboy buttons to ramp things up another notch.
Picking one favorite moment was difficult, so I’m listing my top five — and in the interest of fairness, one thing that has me a little wary/disappointed.
Reverse-Flash shows up early
As my brother, also a big Flash fan, remarked, they really seem to be going for it. In the first 30 seconds, we hear Barry Allen describe that when he saw his mom murdered, it looked like there was man in yellow amid the lightning. Sure enough, it looks like Reverse-Flash, or Professor Zoom if you prefer that name for him.
Even though he was second on my list of Flash villains I’d like to see on the show, I wasn’t sure how soon they’d get to him. It appears he’ll be integral to the story of this version of Allen, though I’m guessing we may not see him suit up until the season finale. It’s very likely time travel is involved, so any worries about this series being too grounded in reality can probably be set aside.
This scene was also the cause for my gripe, which I’ll get to later. We’re focusing on positives for now!
Weather Wizard is in there too
He’s not in costume, but there’s no doubt that the villain in the trailer is Mark Mardon, a.k.a. Weather Wizard. My gut tells me he won’t refer to himself by code name and that’s a nickname that the media cooks up for him or something. It appears he’ll start out robbing banks before deciding he needs to “think bigger,” which sounds like a proper state of mind for one of the Rogues.
Could Mardon get his powers from the particle accelerator incident too? It certainly looks like that’ll be the explanation for the rise of meta-humans, and while I appreciate the effort at giving everyone a pseudo-scientific explanation, the writers will have to be careful about venturing into “monster of the week” territory like the first season or two of Smallville when everyone seemed to be powered by kryptonite.
The costume and effects look great
There was a lot of hand-wringing about the costume when the first shots were released, but when it’s actually in action, it doesn’t look too bad. It’s a lot closer to Barry’s New 52 suit than I imagined.
As for the effects, I was sold during the scene where Flash tries defeating Mardon’s tornado by running around it in the opposite direction. That’s classic Barry. This is bound to be a more expensive show to do right than Arrow, but that’s okay if the producers are willing to spend the money.
Speaking of the Emerald Archer …
Ties to Arrow are evident
This could be a negative if you don’t care for The CW’s first DC show, but I’m just fine with it. The scene where Barry is testing his speed and ends up on the outskirts of Starling City was fun, but the conversation with Arrow is even better.
The Oliver Queen on TV has already been established as a sappy amateur philosopher par excellence, so that speech giving Flash the idea for his code name fits him to a tee. Sure, the comics nerd in me would prefer he was inspired by reading the adventures of Jay Garrick, but let’s not be greedy.
The tone feels right
And by that, I mean, it isn’t too dark and gritty. The DC comics universe has lived down that road for a while now, but the Flash works best when he’s a brighter, more hopeful character. Let Arrow stick to the shadows while this show mostly exists in the light.
On top of that, it would be fun if you suddenly acquired the power to run really, really fast, and this trailer and the shorter teaser that preceded it show Barry feeling some of that joy. It gave me a bit of a Spider-Man vibe, and I mean that in a good way.
On the other hand, there was one thing I wasn’t crazy about:
Barry is motivated by the murder of his mother
This is the New 52 wrinkle in Barry’s backstory, and much as I love some of Geoff Johns’ work, I always thought this was a misstep. It makes Flash too similar to other super heroes (Spidey and Batman, just to name two) and was simply unnecessary.
I’m a firm believer that some people would simply have the internal moral conviction to do the right thing if gifted with super powers, and Barry Allen has always been one of those characters. Personal tragedy can be a powerful motivator, no doubt, but it doesn’t need to be the only driving force that would convince people to dress in costumes to fight crime.
We’ll have to see how this one plays out in the show. It wasn’t enough to dampen my enthusiasm, and if you’ll excuse the pun, the new fall season can’t get here fast enough.