BW Pilot Review: The Flash 2014
A long time ago I reviewed the 1990s version of The Flash. It had Barry Allen at a time when Wally West had taken over for his late predecessor and took a tone similar to Tim Burton's Batman. For what it was I liked it. Now a new version has come out. This time Barry is the Flash again and Wally is kicked down the coal chute (he was probably better off in the New 52 jail). And this new version...looks more like Wally despite having all of Barry 52's backstory, right up to the dead mother. Again, here's the spoiler-free review. I liked it. A lot, actually. It's nice to see something come out of DC that feels like I'm watching a comic book come to life, even with the CW trappings. It was mostly well-acted, but it's the pilot and even the guy I wasn't thrilled with was still a good character. He just may need time to settle in. The effects are very good. It's nice to see Bullet Time used properly instead of just to be cool. If you want the spoiler stuff, read on. As I mentioned they kept the new, stupid origin were Barry's Dad is falsely accused of killing his mother because some lighting blur thing doing the job sounds silly. Although not so silly as we get closer to present day, when STAR Labs's new project goes haywire and sends a burst of multidimensional energy across Central City. A lightning bolt from that burst smashes into the lab of CCPD forensic scientist Barry Allen, giving him superhuman speed. And putting him in a coma for 9 months, so "metahumans" have time to spread across the city and Barry's love interest starts dating another man. (I'll get back to that.) Barry works with the team behind the experiment gone wrong who study his powers. But when Barry finds another metahuman has weather-controlling powers (although he's never called Weather Wizard by name and I don't recall him having superpowers) he gets some advice from (Green) Arrow and takes on a costumed identity, the Flash! I haven't watched Arrow because I was never a Green Arrow fan but I do know that this spins off of that show. And I do like new version of Barry. He's a nice guy a smart scientist. He's able to find the villain that would become Weather Wizard based on something left at the scene (and I like how we get visual representations of Barry trying to study the crime scene). He also doesn't need to have his brother murdered to become a hero. Despite his backstory, which what drove him to become a forensics man, he becomes a superhero because he has the power and he's the only one that can stop the guy. Meeting Arrow on his show may have had some influence but I haven't seen the episode. (I may track that down, though, out of curiosity.) Also now that he has proof that what he saw is possible he can find the guy who really murdered his mother. And he has something I wish more superheroes had...a support network. In addition to the three scientists at the lab his friend in the police (and Iris' dad) is also in on this. Joe seems like a nice guy but not willing to accept the growing crazy until he finally sees it for himself. He's a good cop but he seemed kind of set in his ways. I like him. He's a good man and a good character. I also like the new logo. It's what the New 52 thinks their logos look like. Caitlin and Cisco are the techies at the lab and I can't believe they avoided the "crushing on each other but only the audience sees it" cliché. I seen that so often. Then again, it's because Caitlin's fiance was killed in the event. Then again, Mardon survived, and with superpowers. (I read ahead in IMDB's episode guide. No spoilers from the comments, please.) There's nothing else. Cisco handles the teck, Caitlin watches the monitors. That's all we have for now. Their boss is Eddie Thawne and DC fans may know where that's headed, partly because he can stand. Could he also be lying about nobody having Barry's powers? I want to like Iris but they stuck her in this love triangle story with some guy and she convinces Barry to help keep that relationship a secret from her dad since the third party is his partner, Eddie. I'm not sure if I like him or not. What I don't like is that in the comics Barry and Iris were a couple. They eventually married, but the New 52 tossed that away with every other marriage, even Alan Scott's. And I really don't need love triangles in my superhero stories. This isn't Marvel, this is DC! I do like the nods to Flash lore, though. A damaged cage with the name Grodd on it (a reference to Barry's super ape foe), a reporter named Linda Park (Wally's wife and also a reporter), and while the chemicals are never considered a factor in this version since all metahumans get their powers from the event, the fact that Barry crashed into them when hit by the lightning bolt is appreciated. So I like the cast, I like the characters (and the few I don't could grow on me), I like the setting and I like the concept even if it's off from the DC universe's MO. I'll be watching this one because it's nice to see at least one DC production not afraid to relax a bit and not be afraid of its comic book roots.