‘The Flash’: Authentic to the comic?

Posted: May 21, 2014 by Brie Young in DC Comics, General, Movies & Television
Tags: , , ,



Grant Gustin made a positive impression with his introduction of his character in the CW’s Arrow last fall and the CW is running with Grant into the new series The Flash. Character Barry Allen arrives in Stirling, the home of the Green Arrow, as a forensic investigator assistant looking to unravel the death of his parents.

Geeky guy with a tragic past is transformed into a masked marvel by some freaky science—always reminded me of a Peter Parker type hero. The new five minute extended trailer mostly excited comic fans but also left a few lingering questions about the “fastest man alive”.

As Barry finds his footing with his new found powers, the trailer compiles his companions, S.T.A.R Labs scientists, Iris West (Candice Patton) and Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) and infamous from the comics, Professor Zoom (Rick Cosnett).

The extended trailer includes the green vigilante Arrow giving words of wisdom to the apprehensive Allen, due to the show technically being a spin-off. Although the exchange intended to be inspirational, came off a little dry in my opinion. In DCU history, there are many alternative timelines where Professor Zoom, Flash and the Green Arrow are often combined. The Green Arrow’s guest appearance is said to star in the pilot episode, no doubt trying to hone in Arrow fans to the new show. Yet producers promise Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) is expected to pop in time to time in the world of Flash.

The forthcoming season is lighter than some other comic book adaptations to the TV screen, like Fox’s Gotham or NBC’s Constantine, as the first half is Barry bumbling around learning his speed and trying on super suits. (A suit which fans worry is not authentic enough to the comic). Nonetheless, so far the special effects in the trailer look pretty impressive. Flash running against the tornado in the trailer is a nod to the comic fans. However how will the be sustained throughout the entire season?

Furthermore, there are worries The Flash adheres too much to cliché formulas of the televised superhero franchises. In other words, the super hero is a variable but there has to be a civilian sidekick equipped with bad ass, non-super hero skills. Next, there are dead parents who either need to be avenged or creates the puzzle of the hero’s past, and finally don’t forget a mentor figure who usually takes the place of a father…. Thus, we have Caitlin Snow, the death of Barry’s parents, and arguably Harrison Wells; Check, check and check.

Although overall the trailer indicates the general authenticity to the comic book, there still a heavy pull at the Arrow audience to sensationalize The Flash and to adapt the comic into “mainstream TV”.  Yet The Flash producers managed to adapt Arrow into a fan hit while managing the stories from the comics. Hopefully, the CW handles the new super hero in the same way. The Flash pilot cannot come fast enough… so to speak.

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