Speedy Spin-off

Name: The Flash
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Year: 2014 – 2019
Season: 1 – 6

With my inner nerd screaming out for another good superhero series The Flash delivers one that isn’t so dark and serious, but brings the fun back into a superhero story. CSI Investigator Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) is suddenly struck by lightning while working late in the lab. He falls into a coma and wakes up months later with super speed, becoming The Flash. The lightning was caused by particle accelerator explosion, but Barry wasn’t the only one affected. It created meta-humans, humans with super abilities, from controlling the weather to becoming a flying human torch. But as we learn, many of these people choose to use their abilities for evil and Barry gives himself the responsibility to take them down and to keep Central City safe.

The casting of The Flash is super strong, with Grant Gustin a lankier normal looking guy, compared to Stephan-Amell muscular physique, delivers a more charismatic funnier role model. Having the main character that is charming is something that isn’t really attempted in superhero TV shows. But this approach really works for The Flash. With all complicated science talk and approaches to taking down meta-humans, it would have been too much of a squeeze to add angst into the mixture too. What isn’t missed from the mixture is the amount of clichés and superhero melodrama – his mother being murdered when he was younger, Allen emotionally got on with his life, becoming a CSI agent to help solve the unsolvable cases. His father is in prison serving time for supposedly murdering his mother. So yeah, enough room for angst but the episodes gives us the light superhero adventure we’ve been waiting for.

What was interesting and a common storyline in superhero genres is that what gave the hero his powers also gave his enemies theirs. Very similar to Smallville. This explanation gives the Flash’s enemies countless variations of powers that team Flash have to overcome. This also sends a not so subtle message to the audience, a message in which has been repeated, “With great power comes great responsibility”. Which is true, many of the villains get the powers at the same time as The Flash. They chose to use their powers for evil. So it’s all about your choices and your actions.

From the first episode we meet a lot of characters who has a connection to Barry, from Iris to Harrison Wells, we find out Barry knows a lot of people. Initially it felt like too much too soon, but looking back I feel like it needed the supporting characters to allow Flash to hit the ground running. After the initial set up of characters, the show feels more natural and unfolds more storylines without getting confusing or lost.

Since season one, team Flash has grown to become a pretty powerful supernatural group of protectors which includes:

  • Caitlin Snow aka Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker)
  • Cisco Ramon aka Vibe (Carlos Valdes)
  • Ralph Dibny aka Elongated Man (Hartley Sawyer)
  • Wally West aka Kid Flash (Keiynan Lonsdale)
  • Nora West aka XS (Jessica Parker Kennedy)
  • Iris West Allen – The Leader of Team Flash (Candice Patton)

Moving into season two the adventures continue with countless visual effects and an awesome cast, delivering a strong comic book series on television. Season three takes a sharp emotional turn, The Flash must deal with the consequences of his decision to mess with the timeline. A lot has changed and Barry has a lot of difficult choices to make to fix what he has done. Season four leaves Team Flash without their main man, as he committed himself to captivity within the speed force. Team Flash must work on protecting the city while grieving the loss of The Flash. Season five’s story jumps back into time travel when we meet Nora West, Iris and Barry’s child from the future, trying to not disrupt the future. In the latest season Flash is told that he is going to die and there is no way out of it. The series is very emotional as he and his team come to grips with the crisis that will fall on the city.

As you can see The Flash tries to keep the story from feeling repeated or bland. Most of the time I feel like it works, giving unimaginable villains and twists with the ability to change the future, past and present. But the first couple of season I felt like the main villain was always a speedster, giving me the mind-set of ‘here we go again’. Saying that, I still enjoyed how the speeder villains were shown differently and still maintained their own evil plot and agenda.

I’m excited to see how The Flash gets out of its his latest doom in The Crisis on Infinite Earths.

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