The newest DC Comics TV series The Flash opens with a bang.
While not entirely a spinoff, The Flash exists in the same television universe and even had a handful of it’s characters introduced in a few episodes of Arrow‘s last season. Coming from the same creative team, The Flash definitely takes some of the lessons learned from the occasional misfires in the first couple seasons of Arrow, and blasts off at full speed (pun intended) in it’s pilot episode.
For those unfamiliar with this popular DC Comics property, The Flash is a superhero who gains the ability to do everything with super speed. Not only can is the the fastest person alive when it comes to movement, his instincts are also sharpened, and his ability to heal is also greatly increased. There have been various iterations of The Flash over the year, but the show’s take uses the most famous version, Barry Allen. Barry, played by Grant Gustin, is a young forensics scientist, who has dedicated his life to investigating crime in hopes of finding the man who killed his mother. Having seen her killed in a mysterious lightning storm, and his father falsely accused of the murder and imprisoned for it, Barry longs for justice.
Given Barry’s love for science, he has an interest in a large particle collider that his city will be powering up. When it does turn on, it naturally explodes, creates some weird clouds, and Barry is struck by lightning. Despite all medical opinions that he should have died, he awakens from a coma and starts to discover he’s not the man he used to be.
The pilot episode does an excellent job of introducing Barry Allen to us all, and an even better job at giving us a taste of what the show will be like. Unlike Arrow, The Flash seems to be taking a more positive and light approach, and definitely embraces the superpower elements of Barry. A great use of special effects give us the illusion of Barry’s speed, and the opening episodes villain, while underdeveloped, features some incredible supernatural powers of their own. We also get an introduction to Barry’s “team” of sorts – essentially all the people on the show that will know his true identity. Unlike Arrow, which slowly had more and more people learn that Oliver Queen was the Green Arrow, The Flash establishes Barry’s team in it’s first hour. It’s very refreshing, as one of my biggest gripes with Arrow is the lazy way in which people discover the truth – in this show we understand who and why from the get go.
I’m excited for what the rest of this season holds for The Flash. The tease for next week looks great, and given the growth and success of Arrow, I can only hope the same for this show.