Move over “Arrow;” “The Flash” is now TV’s number one superhero
By Colin Hickson
Twenty-three years after the cancellation of his first live action series, DC’s resident speedster supreme, the Flash, has quickly made his way back to TV in a spin-off from the CW’s other superhero hit “Arrow.” So far, “The Flash” has proven to be one of DC’s best shows. With its most recent fourth episode on Oct. 28, it is faithful to the source material, with some liberties taken and features well written material. Last year, audiences were introduced to Barry Allen, played by Grant Gustin and known as “Glee,” and Sebastian Smythe, a police criminologist from Central City who came to Starling City on an investigation.
When Barry was a child, a “lightning man” murdered his mother, but his father, John Weseley Shipp the star of the first “Flash” TV show, was framed for the crime. Since then, Barry has dedicated himself to researching the unknown and the bizarre murder in the hopes of clearing his father. While in Starling, Barry not only discovered Oliver Queen’s double life, but also helped him by defeating a Mirakuru infused criminal. He also suggests Oliver wear a mask to better conceal his identity, but his story was far from over.
Back in Central City, Barry was hit by a lightning bolt, caused by a malfunctioning particle accelerator, and thrown into a rack of chemicals, landing him in a coma. Nine months later, Barry awakens in S.T.A.R. Labs and later discovers that he now has the power of super speed.
It also becomes clear that Barry was not the only one affected by the particle accelerator accident. With the aid of the accelerator’s inventor, Dr. Harrison Wells, who was played by Tom Cavanaugh from “Snow,” and his assistants, Cisco Ramone and Caitlin Snow, played by Carlos Valdes and Danielle Panabaker from “Stuck in the Suburbs,” Barry uses his new powers to stop the less-altruistic metahumans (superhumans in DC Comics’ Universe) as the Flash.
He also stops non-metahuman threats like Captain Cold, played by Wentworth Miller from “Prison Break,” and Heat Wave, played by Dominic Purcell also from “Prison Break.” However, Dr. Wells may not be all that he appears to be and seems to have his own plans regarding Barry.
Gustin was a very good casting choice to play the titular hero, being a big contrast to Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen. It also contains references to the larger DC universe as a whole and is even set to crossover with its parent show for a two-parter.
If the show does have a flaw, it is that it uses villains from other heroes’ enemy ranks, similar to how “Arrow” uses Batman villains. For instance, the Mist is actually a Starman villain, while Plastique, Multiplex and the upcoming Killer Frost are Firestorm villains.
Other than that, the show is great, and like “Arrow” before it, could probably generate its own spin-off. “The Flash” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.