Since the 1940, the Flash has been around, but the mantle has been carried out by four men over the course of its 75-year existence. Regardless of the mask, the Flash is well-meaning and lighthearted guy who just somehow has super powers. Gritty and apocalyptic, doom and gloom; that’s how we usually define the glut of television’s superhero fantasy. It is eerily similar to a comic-book, which opted for edgy and tedious copycatting despite there being a boom in brilliant innovation. Likewise, the response of TV to a Marvel era of adult-skewing and smartly rendered comic book movie adaptations with a comparable product of different degrees of quality and pop.
NBC’s Constantine doesn’t do much whereas Fox’s Gotham looks promising. Similarly, the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D by ABC doesn’t look as promising as it should. But, maybe, we can be saved from this mediocrity and moping by The Flash. The CW’s adaptation of the scarlet speedster of DC Comics, from the team behind Arrow of the same network, runs away from the nihilistic cool and antihero chic, which is simply a refreshing change of pace. Grant Gustin plays the nerd-turned-super-science do-gooder Barry Allen and he skillfully embodies and balances the combination of two superhero archetypes; the childhood-scarred and trauma-haunted Bruce Wayne and the geeky science whiz Peter Parker.
John Wesley Shipp, the former Flash, plays the role of Barry’s dad and is serving time in jail for allegedly murdering Barry’s mother. Therefore, it is kind of heroic to see Barry wanting to be a hero, especially an inspiring and moral one and watching him stumble to such a beautiful thing brings in all the fun. Gustin makes you feel, laugh and see the inner Barry Allen regardless of how ridiculous the circumstances may be. And no doubt they mostly are ridiculous, even familiar to some extent.
A scientist with the ability of creating a drone replica of himself, a crook with the ability of controlling the weather and a hitman with the power of transmuting into poison gas; The Flash has culled its antagonists from the comics, but so far, the articulations are quite generic. All this stuff, we have seen in The X-Files and Fringe. Dr. Wells, played by Tom Cavanagh, gives us a slow-burning and engrossing Big Bad with a sly knowingness and thinly veiled menace of the mythology secrets of the show, but The Flash needs to introduce a really big bad guy immediately.
Still, the series is able to inspire a lot more hope than fear. It has a smart and funny element and just vibrates with vision. For instance, The Flash’s weakness is what? Accelerated hypoglycemia, which means he needs 850 tacos for replenishing. How specific and delightful! The relationship Barry has with police ally and stand-in dad, Joe West, is even more delightful as Jesse L. Marin plays the role rather appealingly. The supporting cast is also doing well, even though some elements are a bit superfluous. Nonetheless, The Flash could go long run with slight modifications and sustained energy.