It was a big week for the Flash, with Barry Allen making his return to live-action TV on ARROW. Plus, reviews from last week’s comics including Flash and Teen Titans.
Major elements in the Flash mythos that have changed with the New 52 Flash #0, and in some cases with Flash: Rebirth, as compared to the original Silver Age history.
Friday Flashback: The Flash’s New 52 origin!
David Rappaport Casting tweeted a glimpse at some of the casting sheets for the Flash TV pilot yesterday, including Iris West and Detective West. The presence of Iris no doubt thrilled a number of long-time Flash fans, especially considering how quickly she was written out of the 1990 TV series, appearing only in the pilot episode. Detective West, however, was a mystery.
Potential spoilers below.
Detective West is a blue-collar cop who took Barry in after his mother’s death. Iris is his daughter, a grad student in psychology, and Barry’s “mile a minute, fast-talking, quick-witted best friend.” CW is looking for African-American actors for both roles. Head over to Bludhaven Banter to read the full descriptions.
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I should start by mentioning that I’ve never seen an episode of Arrow before, and thus many of the established characters and ongoing storylines were a bit of a mystery to me. That said, it wasn’t too difficult to figure out what was happening. Spoilers after the cut.
I thought Barry was handled well, even if I’m slightly exasperated to see the dead mother plot happening again (it’s a pet peeve). Poor Henry Allen always gets the short end of the stick in every type of continuity! It was definitely a surprise to hear about the obvious implication of Professor Zoom, something I figured would either not happen in the show(s), or at least not be revealed until after Barry gets his own super-speed. However, it does provide an excellent reason for Barry’s interest in metahuman cases, and explains why he’d risk his job to come to Starling City. And for all we know, the intervention of another speedster may be why Barry gets his powers.
I enjoyed the little nods to comics continuity in the episode, such as Barry handling the lab chemicals during a thunderstorm, and always being late. He does seem a bit unbelievably young to me, though, and at least the characters acknowledged it by asking about his parents. But I guess his age is appropriate if he’s to be a love interest for Felicity. Overall I enjoyed the episode, even if it was paced a bit slowly (deliberate irony?), and am looking forward to the second part. And my fingers are crossed for the Flash pilot; Grant Gustin definitely handles Barry well, and the role appears to be in good hands.
So as I am writing this Arrow has ended about 4 minutes ago and I’m extremely jazzed up from watching it. I’m just going to give my overall impressions and then after the break you can look forward to some details on the Barry bits. I will also add that I’m a huge fan of the show and it alone has made me care more about Green Arrow than I ever have before. With every episode I believe the show improves and I love keeping an eye out for all of the easter eggs and little nods. So many just in this night’s episode alone.
As far as this episode goes…while a lot of the Barry Allen stuff was extremely heavy-handed I can also understand why they chose to go that route. Overall they did a fairly good job introducing Barry Allen to new fans although does anyone else find themselves getting a Peter Parker vibe from Grant Gustin? I guess it doesn’t help that I rewatched Amazing Spider-Man last night. I do like how right in the first episode, we’ve established Barry’s general temperament, what he brings to the table as far as skills and resourcefulness, and his motivations. Bing, bam, boom. I can’t say that I am thrilled that certain aspects of his revised Brightest Day/New 52 origin were retained for that adaptation but I also can’t say I’m totally surprised as that was kind of the point of doing the New 52; streamlining origins and making characters easier to relate to. We also got some great hints of things to come, including a certain opposite who has yet to get his due in live-action.
Please do not read any further if you do not wish to read Spoilers. Spoilers are after the break.
The episode opens with a robbery at a Queen Consolidated factory/facility. The assailant is super strong and easily incapacitates the guards and makes off with an experimental device, called a Centrifuge. Obviously this is the first real appearance of Cyrus Gold (barring the teaser at the end of last episode) aka Solomon Grundy.
After some drama at the Queen Consolidated offices we next see Oliver Queen (aka the Vigilante, aka Green Arrow) and his team, John Diggle and Felicity Smoak discussing with former Detective Lance theories about the break-in at his facility. In the midst of this we see a young man get off the train in the pouring rain and promptly miss a taxi. Yep, Barry Allen is officially on the scene. He finally arrives in the middle of Lance expounding on his theory and after explaining his tardiness and who he is, promptly tears apart said theory using his great attention to detail and his forensic expertise. Felicity quickly takes a liking to him which does not go unnoticed by Ollie or Diggle.
When next we see Barry he is back at Queen Consolidated after being invited by Felicity to help with the investigation. She and Barry being tracking the thief, giving Ollie clues on where to find him and where he will strike. It is now when a bit of Barry’s true motives start to eek out, as he asks Felicity about the vigilante and confirms that his mom’s murder will be apart of his onscreen back story as well. I guess they needed some kind of hook I suppose. He then goes on to drop some hints that he might know a bit more about the Starling City vigilante than he originally let on. He also secretly hopes that the vigilante will be able to help him track down his mother’s killer. *groan* Just then Barry and Felicity get a hit on where Grundy might strike next and Oliver is off to try and stop him from escaping with blood from a blood bank.
After Oliver fails to stop Grundy from stealing the blood, Barry and Felicity are at it again attempting to track Grundy and we see some great little homages to Barry’s comic origin as he is standing over a lab rack organizing chemicals when thunder rumbles in the background. A bit more flirting occurs and Felicity ends up inviting Barry to Queen Consolidated’s Welcome Back Party for Ollie’s mother, Moira Queen. Barry accepts but of course has to add that he isn’t very good on his feet. *groan*
Just as the Central City Star Labs particle accelerator is mentioned yet again (a running subplot throughout the season so far that definitely looks to be heading towards one direction) Oliver and Dig confront Barry about the lies he has told. 1) Barry is only an assistant to a Forensic Scientist and 2) Barry originally claimed he was called in from Central City because of a similar case that occurred there and his bosses, in actuality, have no clue of his whereabouts. Barry then fesses up that he is a kind of super-natural storm chaser. Due to the nature of his mother’s death he travels to wherever strange cases of super-powered humans or events have taken place. He was also hoping to enlist the help of the vigilante in finding the real murderer. *sigh*. Oliver then kicks Barry out.
Later at the Queen Consolidated welcome back party for Moira Queen the turn out is not spectacular and the guests are all kind of down in the dumps, especially Felicity who was obviously hoping that Barry would be her date before his duplicity was uncovered. Ollie of course reveals that he actually invited Barry to the party after all and Barry and Felicity further their burgeoning romance.
When next we see Barry we are back at Queen Consolidated and he is being chewed out over the phone by Director Singh from back in Central City who demands that Barry return immediately before he doesn’t have a job to return to. After an awkward goodbye, Barry departs for the train station but not before giving the team one more key bit of information to help in their hunt for Grundy.
Later Oliver confronts Grundy again at an A.R.G.U.S. (!) Facility and is beaten brutally by Grundy and accidentally injected with two syringes: contents unknown! Seeing that Oliver needs medical help that they can’t possibly provide, Diggle attempts to dial 911 before Felicity comes up with the idea to contact a certain someone for help.
Barry is seen again missing the last train to Central City when he is kidnapped by Diggle and Felicity and brought to Oliver’s lair. The episode ends with Barry discovering that Oliver is the vigilante.
So what did you all think of the first live action version of Barry Allen that we’ve seen in years? Please let us know in the comments below.
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Tonight’s ARROW episode guest-starring Grant Gustin as Barry Allen hits in about 10 minutes on the east coast. This extended trailer for the mid-season finale two-parter, “The Scientist” and “Three Ghosts,” features what looks like a glimpse at the Flash’s origin, the lab accident gives Barry super-speed. (via FlashTVNews)
The big Flash release this week is, of course, Barry Allen’s first appearance on the TV show Arrow tonight. Not yet the Flash, Barry comes to Starling City to investigate a robbery. (Check out our round-up of Flash TV news.)
There aren’t any new Flash comic books this week, but there are two new digital re-releases at ComiXology on Wednesday:
Impulse #84: With Max Mercury still missing, Bart moves to Keystone City to live with Jay and Joan Garrick. The cover is a reference to the very first Flash cover ever: Flash Comics #1.
Green Lantern #67: Part 2 of “Fast Friends,” as Wally West and Kyle Rayner try to avoid sniping at each other long enough to stop Sonar.
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This” Gustin”: Flash fans have more than enough reading to keep them busy before Barry Allen’s hotly anticipated debut on The CW’s Arrow. Let’s not waste time – let’s hit the links!
- Variety: The Flash Making His Debut – Slowly – on CW’s ‘Arrow’
- Huffington Post: ‘Arrow’ (And The Flash) Hit The Target
- Hollywood Reporter: ‘Arrow’: Barry Allen’s Flashy Debut
- Collider: New ARROW Clip Introduces Barry Allen aka FLASH
- Newsarama: Actor, Producers Spill On This Week’s FLASH Debut On ARROW
- The Mary Sue: Arrow Debuts A “Funny” Flash This Week…
- KSiteTV: Grant Gustin & Arrow Producers Talk About Barry Allen’s Introduction
- Den of Geek: New Clips From The Scientist Showcase Grant Gustin as Barry Allen
- IGN: Emily Bett Rickards on Barry Allen’s Introduction
- CBR: Barry Allen Makes His “Arrow” Debut (with clip)
— Greg Elias.
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Just in time for Barry Allen to make his first appearance on “Arrow” (tomorrow), The Flash Podcast has launched to focus on the new TV version of the character as played by Grant Gustin (and other media). Head over to soundcloud for the first episode and listen to host Andy Behbakht talk about what you can expect from the show!
The New 52 Bart Allen has a dark secret, one that is finally coming to light as we prepare for the “Trial of Kid Flash” in Teen Titans #25. But, just what DID he do…and how did he end up in our present time? There’s a LOT more to this story, and that’s where we pick up with the latest issue of Teen Titans.
LIGHT SPOILERS ONLY
Kid Flash and Solstice have ended up where things began for Bart Allen, or rather, Bar Torr – in a place described as “a squalid corner of the universe known as the Backlands.” Bart and Kiran are in serious danger, and Bart’s reaction brings him to the breaking point. As the rest of the Titans finally catch up, the Echo Chronal authority arrive and place Bart under arrest. It seems that Bart has been in a chronal version of the witness protection system – but from what? The truth is just beginning to be revealed, and a lot of shockers are still ahead for us.
Scott Lobdell is setting up a terrific storyline as we begin to unfold the mysteries that have surrounded Kid Flash since the beginning of the New 52. There are a lot of layers left to be uncovered here, and I’m looking forward to how this arc will affect not only Bart but also the Titans as a group moving forward. The artwork from Scott McDaniel on breakdowns, Tyler Kirkham on pencils, Art Thibert with inks and Arif Prianto on colors is excellent throughout, with great page layouts, spot-on expressions and terrific action sequences. No, this isn’t your pre-Flashpoint Bart…but if you want to find out who THIS Bart is…and what he has done…this arc of Teen Titans is a must-read.
— Ed Garrett.
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