Warning this article reveals every spoiler in the pilot! Stop here and do not read if you want to watch the TV show without anything spoiled.
(PCM) The Flash Pilot is good television, but let’s face it. You want to know what parts of the real DC Universe made it into The Flash pilot.
The Flash pilot is crammed with fun but to anyone with existing knowledge of The Flash will agree the producers of the show make confusing use of characters and the back stories they come with.
You see the plot thread established in the pilot use elements from the DC Universe before and after it was rebooted with New 52. Take a moment to wrap your head around this. It’s important. The New 52 is the name of all DC titles (originally 52) rebooting the entire DC universe in 2011 in an effort to bring new readers into comics without the burden of knowing each character’s backstory. But in doing so existing readers are asked to pretend all the history of DC comics never took place.
The show begins with its biggest Easter Egg. If you’ve read the Flash in the New 52, you know Barry’s mother is killed. In the pilot, we flash back to Barry’s youth and witness a yellow streak (known as the speed force) circling Barry’s mother Nora Allen. In Barry’s second flashback there is a cinematic freeze frame. There you get a glimpse of a man in a yellow suit.
If you blink you’ll miss the super villain Reverse Flash …Or at least one of the villains known as Reverse Flash. Like The Flash, DC has a few characters taking on the role of Reverse Flash.
Could this incarnation of Reverse Flash be Professor Zoom whose real name is Eobard Thawne? Remember the name Thawne. We are going to revisit it.
The CW show pilot The Flash depicts the current print New 52 canon. Reverse Flash kills Barry’s mother Nora leaving authorities to believe Barry’s father murdered his mother. Solving the death of his mother becomes Barry’s motivation to become a forensics detective hoping one day to free his father.
Print Continuity Breaks
In an act of kindness a detective (Joe West) on the scene raises Barry as a foster child. To fan faithful this may be an issue as in no previous tellings or current print universe of New 52, Barry isn’t raised by the West family. He is however raised by a friend of the family, detective Frye.
Including Reverse Flash will do a lot for the show as Professor Zoom one-day kills Barry’s wife Iris.
A glaring difference from print legacy is Barry’s one-day wife Iris raised under the same roof with Barry like a sister. If Flash is using any of the past Flash material and it is, then having Iris raised in the same house is going to be hard to explain. You see Iris is from the same future as Eobard Thawne.
The Eobard & Ethan Connection
Later in The Flash pilot we meet a young detective in Central City named Ethan Thawne. Is he related to the 25th century’s time traveling Professor Zoom or is he to become Professor Zoom? Recall that in the opening act we see a story element Eobard Thawn where Barry’s mother dies by his hands as Reverse. Changing the name of Eobard to Ethan may the writers way of confusing the comic book faithful just enough not to spoil the evolving storyline. However the similarity of the names and appearance of a Reverse Flash seems too obvious to ignore.
Regardless of who Reverse Flash is, it appears the time travel aspect of the Flash’s super powers is part of a long-term storyline. The last act of the pilot episode reveals this to be true. We’ll get to that.
Reverse Flash is never referred to as Reverse Flash or Professor Zoom in the pilot. It’s a mystery yet to be solved that a haunts Barry.
S.T.A.R. labs is a central character to The Flash. In a freak accident S.T.A.R. used as the scientific catalyst, which creates Barry Allen’s super powers along with Weather Wizard. It’s also revealed that due to the accident S.T.A.R. labs many other superheroes and supervillains await us.
- Gorrilla Grood’s cell at S.T.A.R. labs.
- Ferris Airlines
- News item, Wayne/Queen Merger Complete
- Names of characters that are actually more meta’s like Flash:
- Caitlin Snow: Killer Frost
- Cisco Ramon: Vibe
- Actor John Wesley Shipp
Let’s not leave the John Wesley Shipp as a footnote in the Easter Eggs. He was after all the original Barry Allen in the 1990 TV series, The Flash. He plays Barry Allen’s father, Henry Allen. It’s better than a homage to the show and actor, it’s a proper form of respect. Few viewers will ever learn this tidbit.
The Flash Costume
It’s acceptable for TV. The show producers acknowledged they want to follow the plausible approach Christopher Nolan used in his Dark Knight Trilogy. So for Barry’s suit to pop out of his ring at this time isn’t going to happen.
Our TV version is an adapted fire suit developed at S.T.A.R. labs by a free spirited Cisco Ramon who is to one day portray the costumed Vibe. It fits Barry nicely but does look a bit drab and loose. As an actor Barry may need to bulk up in the lats to really wow the audience.
What Happened To Flash’s Boots?
In the spirit of explaining authenticity the the layman, Barry’s boots are not his trademark yellow. They too are red, but if Green Arrow can adopt a real mask after a full season, then Flash can change his boot color too at a later time. His trade mark bolt background shield is red not white. This matters in that the Reverse Flash’s suit is a perfect inverted suit.
Barry’s suit is designed with two way communication back to S.T.A.R. labs where a small team support him. Not canon, but it’s TV, Barry can’t run around talking to himself in every episode, or can he?
What gives The Flash some real hope is writer Geoff Johns is on board. Not only has he been a TV writer for Smallville and Arrow, his pedigree is best supported by the fact he has written the Flash comic book, The Flash as well. If anyone knows canon and has the right to make changes for the sake of television it’s an original author.
As mentioned in part one of this article, the New 52 reboots every DC character, Batman, Superman, everyone. Any great story in the past is to be forgotten and may be retold in time.
In the last scene of The Flash pilot we get a huge teaser for a long term plotline. You witness an Internet news headline that Flash is missing. In the year 2024! The keyword is Crisis. That word is deliberate.
The writers of the The Flash are pulling a story element from Crisis On Infinite Earths (1985) where Barry Allen dies in a heroic act upon which he reset the continuity of the entire DC universe.
What’s confusing to any existing Flash fan is the TV show The Flash appears to boot the show from the New 52 (2011) which is yet another reboot of the entire DC universe.
If you try to establish from all the characters revealed in the pilot what’s to happen, you may get a headache.
Let’s hope he continues to write The Flash in upbeat style of the pilot and not the dark slow character study style of Smallville and Arrow. Those shows don’t match up with the print universe of Superman or Green Arrow. With The Flash attempting a more realistic comic book style it may be the first live action superhero TV show to most accurately portray a comic book super hero.
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