Thursday, October 09, 2014

THE FLASH: I'm in!

Some rambling on the pilot of the new FLASH tv show. Beware of show and comic book continuity (pre-new-52) spoilers!

First off, I discovered the Flash kind of late in my comic book reading career. Most of the Flash books I collected as they were published were of Wally West, the once Kid Flash. I think the only "live" Barry Allen books I picked up were right in time to see him do his thing in CRISIS, which, of course, was amazing. I love/hate that I can be suckered into caring about a character that way. =)

I learned about the Flash's exploits in mostly flashbacks and through the eyes and shared history of other characters. His Rogue's Gallery was such a brilliant concept to me. A bunch of villains and this speedster hero who have that Ralph Wolf-Sam Sheepdog relationship with each other. It's not a league or legion or society, it's a club, and sure, they're criminals, bad guys, but, I dunno, they've got a code, right? At least, y'know, until the recent modern Villains United or whatever era.

Anyhow, with the CRISIS events as my intro, I've always had a special place in my fanboy heart for Barry Allen. Even more than Superman, I think of him as a Good Guy. Maybe it's because he starts out as a regular old Earthican, human, and a decent one. He's a scientist. He has a true love. He works for the police. And the perfect little character creating creative capper—he's always late. Heh.

So, I've basically been in this show's corner since I saw young Barry introduced in ARROW last year, and thought it was done quite well. He gets to tell the Arrow to wear a mask. Pairing these two together in the evolving DC TV universe is a pretty great idea. It's a Batman-Superman dynamic but without the weight-slash-baggage of those franchises, y'know?

Allright, enough pre-amble… Heh. Amble. Flash. No? Just me, then. Okay gonna go thru some remarks and reactions that hit me while watching the show…

Henry Allen (Barry's dad) is played by the "original" Flash! That is, from the 80s(90s?) TV show that I actually loved (altho, to be honest, I can't remember a single storyline or villain from it). John Wesley Shipp. I was actually really pleased just to see him back on television as Dawson's dad on the CREEK, so you can imagine how much more excited I was to see him back in the Flash's world. Love a good (and watchable) callback! =)

I *loved* the visual design of the earlier FLASH series. I felt like it was an attempt to plant the Flash in a Central City that Tim Burton's Bruce Wayne could visit, y'know? Dark, visually comic book stylized, but a different kind of urban. What IS Central City supposed to be? ARROW's Star City is Boston. Central could be… Frack, I really don't know—Hartford? Bleah. I forget, do the cities share a bridge in the comics? I'd love for DC, and maybe DC TV and DC film, if they're different, to give us maps of their universes' cities on the globe.

That storm of lightning surrounding Barry's mom. Yellow and red figures moving at super-speed and crackling with energy. Seems like we're looking at Zoom/Reverse Flash, maybe actually in combat with the Flash, both transported back in time to that moment from sometime in the future. Cool cool coolio.

Interrresting… They're going kinda "SHERLOCK" with Barry's CS-eyes. I wonder how that'll work at high speed. Would be interesting to see it at work in both Flash-perspective (everything slowed down) and bystander-perspective (everything a blur), if possible.

Iris: "Your sad little nerdy dream." Nice to push the nerd thing, in case watchers have trouble buying this actor as the nerdy type. He's not the cliche 98-pound weakling, he's the person who's really into the things he's into, and those things happen to include particle accelerators.

So Iris works at a coffee shop called Jitters. Heh.

Harrison Wells? Hrm… I don't match the name to a character in my memory, but I'm wondering if he's one of the sciencey types who works with Wally when they really try to break down the science of his abilities. If I remember correctly-ish, some of that study/research results in the (temporary? short-lived?) creation of some new speedsters.

Played by "Ed." Always liked him. So, he'll probably turn out to be Zoom. Or one *a* Zoom?

How far *is* Central City from Star(ling) City?

Hrm… Who's the white-haired guy Barry runs into? Will have to give this another viewing sometime.

Oh, HERE's our Zoom! Eddie Thawne, transfer from Keystone. How did no one actually refer to him as "Keystone Cop?" Or did I miss that? Perhaps he's not Zoom, but a Zoom ancestor?

Am I mixing up Zoom and Reverse-Flash from the comics? Frack. I need more RAM.

Callback to Wally West's FLASH—LINDA PARK reporting!

Barry's father Henry is a doctor. Mother's name is Nora. I'm assuming this is consistent w Barry's comic book incarnation. For a fan of the Flash, I'm pretty crap at remembering the details, eh?

Red and green lights on the Mardon brothers' escape plane seem conspicuously bright, no? Just some Flash/Arrow color motif. Mardon… Mardon… Which of the Rogue's Gallery is he? Were there brothers? Knocked out of the sky by a funky energy shockwave, eh? One or both of these guys is definitely gonna walk or fly or reflect his way back from the apparently dead as a super baddie.

I wonder how this version of the Flash's origin (lightning hit in the lab) differs from the one we saw in ARROW. I *loved* seeing that last year =)

Nice—a spark from his foot thru the sole of his shoe while on the gurney…

9 months later…? Interrresting… An incubation period of sorts. Reborn.

"Poker Face?" Really? Well, Lady Gaga *is* a nerdy girl…

Flash's Scoobies! Cisco Ramon and Caitlin Snow of STAR labs. I forget, how much screen time did they have in ARROW last season?

"Lightning gave me abs?" Heh. Nice. Cellular regeneration as part of his super speed metabolism. Interrresting… Looking forward to seeing him order everything on the menu at a diner to fuel all that. =)

GRODD! Wow! Hrm…

Anomaly. Who or what is the anomaly? Zoom? The Flash himself? Some blast of energy traveling back in time from the wake of a future Crisis?

Is that what we'll be calling the particle accelerator incident/malfunction/blast? The Anomaly?

Detective Joe West and daughter Iris.

Can't quite make it out, but is the Jitter logo the Flash's logo? I'm seeing red and gold.

Mardon—the Weather Wizard!

I thought it was clever when they did it in SMALLVILLE, but I'm not sure how I feel about it here in THE FLASH. Tying the hero's origin event to the origin of almost all of his villains. Yes, it works, and it's a smart, strategic storytelling and world-creating move, but, well, I hope we see some non-accelerator-babies sooner rather than later.

Actually, if we mix a little particle accelerator with some Vertigo from ARROW, we might get a legit Count Vertigo! That would be a good reason for a team-up.

Ick. In the 9 months that Barry's been out, has Iris started dating Thawne? Guess the incubation period was good for moving several plot threads along.

Detective Chyre… Shot and killed by the Mardons. On the night of the Anomaly. Hrm… Is Chyre from the comics? Maybe he comes back. Whose rogues gallery does Solomon Grundy belong to?

Hrm… Looks like Barry's got the original Barry's version of speed. Haven't seen him binge to refuel the way Wally did. Maybe he's processing some other energy? I wonder if the writers think that TV audiences can handle the Speed Force as a concept? Probably not necessary. Maybe they'll introduce a side effect to his power via conservation of energy. Every time he speeds, he draws energy from somewhere or somewhen else. I think that was a New52 plot, right? Could work, but would be a shame to limit his abilities like that. Maybe they can science-fix it, but replace it with binging. =)

"You're not a hero. You're just a young man who was struck by lightning."

The Arrow speechifies, and I am totally buying it. =)
I don't think that bolt of lightning struck you. I think it chose you.
You can be better. Because you can inspire people in a way that I never could… Watching over your city like a guardian angel, making a difference, saving people, in a flash…
Take your own advice. Wear a mask.
Brave and the Bold?

Interrresting… Flash is already unmasked before Detective West. AND he gets the guilt trip/order regarding keeping the secret from Iris to protect her. I missed any courtship ceremony between Barry and Iris in the comics, so this should be (appropriately painfully) fun. Will be cool to see what move or moment ends up casting Barry in a different, romantic light for Iris.

"You *did* see something the night your mom died… And you're dad *is* innocent."

I'm not sure that I follow Detective West's logic. I'd love for him to have had a previously inexplicable encounter with the weird in his past that helps him make the leap. Maybe something he saw during the investigation into Nora Allen's death? Or something in the nine months since the anomaly that connects? In either/any case, something he dismissed as impossible or a figment of his imagination.

Whoa… Time-traveling Flash phantasm, a la Crisis?

Speaking of… The future headlines that Harrison Wells reviews at the end of the episode…
April 25, 2024.
FLASH MISSING, VANISHES IN CRISIS! (Complete with what looks to me like a photo homage to the Flash cover of FINAL CRISIS =)
Yeah, I'm totally in. =)

Keep on keepin on~