The Flash (Series pilot, 2014, The CW)

I am still a comic book guy. A big part of me loves the mythologies that have come from comics and the lore that binds them.

While I have, admittedly,  always been more of a Marvel fan growing up…there are and have been a few characters from the other major comic house DC that I’ve always loved.

The Flash is one of them.

While I was not always able to follow along with the storylines within The Flash, the character has always been an amazing figure. I won’t lie, I watched the 90s series andwas saddened when it was canceled…just as it was getting good.

The new iteration premiered tonight. I just happened to already be off work and had seen an advertisement that it was supposed to be on, so I waited for it.

Before I give my impression,  let me first rant for a second about the current state of  comic book media blitz. It wasn’t so long ago that comic books were thought of as simply for immature and nerdy guys. The only respectable forms of the media were usually relegated to animated shows or movies. Most live action comic book fare was usually produced for the big screen, and there were more failures than hits making an already risky business (film making) into an even riskier venture.

Sure, there were only a few tried and true hits with certain characters that still resonate deeply today…but there are more flops from that early period than there are blockbusters. The jump from the silver screen to the living room screen was wrought with even more risk and even failures. Let’s not even discuss video games licensed to these IPs (especially in the 70s through the 90s).

I cannot tell you when the tides really turned for this culture. I don’t know that I can pick it apart fully to really explain when the masses began to truly accept anything live action based on Comic Book Characters or Storylines. That really is a discussion for another day. I’m just glad that we live in a world where it is now more accepted…where anyone can unabashedly be comic book geeky and be complimented for it. When I say anyone, yes, I do mean male and females.  It is ok to like this style of storytelling…now more than ever.

Ok, I don’t know what changed as far as retelling Barry Allen’s origin as The Flash. Some things have been retained, but most have been modified. The pilot episode I watched tonight owes much of its tone to a more sophisticated crowd as it does to the original source. It has Nolan-verse nuances and by that, I mean it is grittier and has some grounding in the real world while leaving little threads to pursue later. It doesn’t want to beat you over the head with too much comic mythos, but doesn’t want to be firmly grounded and stuck to the plane of “merely human”.

Barry is part of a CSI unit in his city. He is a little nerdy and ‘fringe’ for most of the police force he works with. When he was 11, as he recounts, he was awoken during the night to a sound. Following it downstairs he sees a red & yellow lightning ball whirling at inexplicable speeds around his mother. His father demands he atand back and eventually tells him to run for help. He returns only to find the police taking his father away. His father was tried for the murder of his wife and is in prison.

Barry has since lived with and worked with the Detective who was there that night. Barry was already friends with his daughter Iris, and they’ve remained friends ever since. They have a brother/sister friendship, but it is clear that Barry has feelings for her and just can’t explain it to her.

At the scene of a bank robbery, Barry uses some keen detection of clues to follow up on serial bank robbers that have threatened the city off and on. He goes back to work on the clues only to stumble on a lead and in return, gets to take Iris to S.T.A.R. Labs for the opening of a Particle Accelerator he has been dying to see on its opening night.

I don’t want to give you a blow by blow of every scene, but those even vaguely familiar with the comic book will find that the Speed Force chooses Barry and he wakes from a 9 month coma to find himself changed.

This is merely the pilot episode of what hopes to be a faily long run of a show. CW has done well with its previous DC comic book shows and will support this one with some very safe and occasionally writing.

I do have to give them some props from my end. Not only was it entertaining enough for a family show, but mature enough to keep my interest and prevent me from jotting down notes until the commercials. They even had the Barry Allen from the 90s CBS series (John Wesley Shipp) as this Barry’s father.

I don’t watch TV much, as anyone who has read this blog enough has noticed. You could do far worse than The Flash and I hope that it continues to do well. It should be on in Primetime on Tuesday Nights on whatever channel carries The CW in your area. One might even be able to watch it within a day or two of its airing online via Hulu (or like service).

Thank you for taking the time to read this.
The next game review will be out this Friday. I’ll be covering Car Mechanic Simulator 2014 Mobile for Android.

Hope to see you then, and as always…please be sure to like, comment, and share this with others!

– Harbinger Owl of Syn