Here is a fun fact about me. I am no Flash expert. I never read the comics as a kid.That said, I am also a huge fan of the DC icon. Ever since I was a Captain Crunch gobbling kid sitting indian style in front of the living room TV that one Saturday morning watching cartoons as I saw The Flash racing Superman around the globe to see who was the fastest.
From then on, from figures to his recent media iterations, be it the DC Original Animated Feature films, his cameos on Young Justice, or his appearance in the DC Universe video game. I just always loved the character. His red and yellow lightning bolt logo super hero suit, his sarcasm, and even his hometown, Central City, always had a Gotham like appeal to me.
However, If one was to ask me my thoughts on Reverse Flash, or the mystery surrounding the death of his mother for example, I would most likely just smile and nod like a 22-year-old Dallas Cowboys cheerleader chewing bubble gum who was asked a question about quantum physics at a S.T.A.R. Labs seminar. Like I said, I am no Flash expert.
Going into The Flash premiere, I was pretty excited due to the fact that I felt very confident with the CW network’s excellent track record of quality from the Arrow series. Friends, The CW did not disappoint. I mean like WHOA, it did not disappoint! Last night’s episode was the greatest TV origins story I have seen to date.
Grant Gustin’s take on Mr. Barry Allen and The Flash was fantastic. Gustin took that backdoor pilot on Arrow last year and ran with it like…well…The Flash himself. Gustin was very likeable. Almost had a Tobey Maguire “Peter Parker” presence to him. His chemistry with female childhood best friend, Iris West (also a very solid and likeable Candice Patton), was executed to perfection in the pilot. Not too much, but also not too little in the romance department. I generally am not easily interested when it comes to TV romance in action series, but with super heroes, (when done right), it really adds a lot of secret identity/super hero coolness for me. The “if she only knew it was me saving her” effect that has worked so well over the years with comic icons that we have seen going all the way back to the ’70s and ’80s Clark Kent/Lois Lane Superman films.
Dr. Caitlin Snow/Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker) was very subtle. So subtle I didn’t even catch it at first. Again, a character that I only know from the games DC Injustice, DC Universe, or the animated DC films and Young Justice. So I am very interested at the chance to catch a bit of origins tale on Killer Frost, even if it may or may not be taken right out the pages of the comics.
The overall cast was pretty damn good for a TV pilot. Sometimes for a TV series, the viewer walks away with a “this guy was great, that girl was cheesy” perspective. For me, every member of the cast was well acted and delivered a very solid performance. Detective Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) might just be my second favorite character on the show. SPOILER: I really was pleasantly surprised that writer/producers Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Geoff Johns had the balls to let the character learn of The Flash’s identity right off the bat in the pilot. So much for teasing the viewers and milking the mystery for a season or two. Should make for some very fresh and entertaining TV.
Casting the ’90s TV Flash as Barry’s father, Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp) was a nice nod to fans too. He played the role quite well I thought. Especially the prison visitation scene. Dr. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh), and just about every other character in the pilot was solid to say the least. From the extras in the background to the main hero himself, the overall production quality was quite polished.
Also worth mentioning were the geek goose bumps I got when we had The Flash and Arrow (Stephen Amell) shared a scene together. Very cool. I can only imagine how much fun The CW is going to have with its viewers as they share little cameos and connecting story line Easter eggs with each series.
I am not going to say that Grant Gustin’s take on The Flash is “summer blockbuster Justice League” star worthy, but he sure as hell has “TV Flash star” written all over him. This is a special era in TV for comic icons, from NBC’s Constantine, ABC’s Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., to FOX’s Gotham. Going to be a lot of TV viewing in my future. I think the CW’s The Flash has the potential to be one of, if not my favorite TV comic series that is right there with the Arrow series. Next Tuesday can’t get here fast enough. Bravo!