DC Comics is hoping to expand their superheroic universe on television screens. As most comic fans know by now the CW has greenlit a spinoff pilot to their successful show Arrow with The Flash.
So far it appears to only be in the pilot stage and hasn’t officially been picked up as a series, but apparently a lot of fans are hopeful and the makers of it are confident that the Flash will soon stand alongside Arrow on CW’s television schedule.
Grant Gustin will be portraying Barry Allen. Apparently he’s a former cast member from that Glee show. I’m not familiar with him at all. Gustin already appeared on Arrow in a few episodes as Allen. My friend told me that he didn’t actually appear as Flash yet on Arrow. He was simply forensic investigator/scientist Barry Allen. But he did go through his accidental mishap that will turn him into a superspeedster. So they’ve been setting this Flash show up for awhile.
I have yet to see any episode of Arrow. I’ve heard it’s actually not that bad. Towards the beginning of its run it seemed every magazine article I read about it was about Arrow’s abs. Arrow became a photographic beefcake from what I kept reading in mainstream articles. After a few times of reading about the guys six-pack I lost interest in reading anything more about the show and still have never tuned in. So I have no idea what the quality of the show actually is.
Now it’s the Flash we’ll be seeing running through the streets of Central City fighting crime. Well, lets talk about the costume that he’ll be wearing.
Three time Oscar winner Colleen Atwood designed this new costume for the show. When I asked my friend, who is a huge Flash fan, of his reaction to what he saw he simply said, “I’m not impressed”.
From the looks of things it looks much more leathery and not as skintight as I would have expected. It’s almost like one of the early costumes from the X-Men movies only redder. It almost looks like a revamped Daredevil costume Ben Affleck was wearing in the 2003 movie.
Some parts of the fabric looks a bit heavier and more durable. As if in the design considerations they addressed the issue of what kind of material could realistically hold up to the speeds Barry would be running at. It would be an awful pain if after every run he takes he would have to patch up burnt out holes in the thing. I think his knees would get worn down almost immediately. I don’t even want to think about the beating his boots would have to endure!
I had anticipated they would dull down the bright red color that Flash had worn in the comics for decades. It’s just what you do nowadays. We’re in the midst of a superhero renaissance where our once shiny, bright simplified good characters have now been presented with pathos, introspection and are much more serious.
Superhero films are no longer just a good guy battling a bad guy in an escapist adventure. Lightheartedness and whimsy have been replaced with much grittier stories and characters. Superheroes are literally darker – and that translates right into their costumes.
With this new Flash costume we get a splash of that classic red on his chest insignia, but that’s all. Flash always had such a classic looking costume. It was simple, but looked cool as hell. The solid red that was broken up with that lightning motif and some splashes of yellow. Add in a few touches to the Greek God Hermes and he’s off and running.
I think they could have captured the familiar Flash costume better and translated it to live-action in a more striking way. As it stands now I can’t say I’m blown away by what we’ve seen so far.
Perhaps if they ditched this leather idea and stuck with a more streamlined, tigheter speed skater-type of costume. Add some lightning bolts to it and make it leave a more visual impact.
If they needed to, they could have added some subtle built in leg muscles to fill out the suit a bit until this guy starts doing some major squats. I would have accepted it easier that he could manage to keep something like that in his ring than this leather number – or are they dropping that for this new show?
I will say I do like his mask. I think that looks pretty good. Most masks in the past looked like the actor had trouble seeing out of them. The eye holes would constantly move around and he would have to readjust them. Here it looks like a nice snugger fit.
One interesting question that crosses my mind is with this latest foray into television – how or if will it effect DC’s attempted building of a cinematic universe. Will there be some major crossovers between DC’s television universe and their film universe? We all would expect to see Flash pop up on Arrow now and then and vice versa, but could they both be showing up in DC’s big budget films as well?
Since its announcement the Batman/Superman movie has yielded countless rumors and speculation. With the confirmation of an appearance by Wonder Woman who will be played by Gal Gadot, other DC heroes have been rumored to be showing up. So many in fact that this ‘Man of Steel sequel’ seems to be more like the jumping off point for a Justice League film franchise.
One of the rumored heroes that is speculated to pop up is the Flash. So, if he does indeed show up will he be Gustin’s Barry Allen? By the time the Batman/Superman movie is released it will be clear by then whether audiences have embraced this new incarnation of the character on TV screens – if it actually gets picked up as a series. If it is a success, instead of casting a new film counterpart Flash for the movies why not use the already established television performer?
Arrow star Stephen Amell has already flat out said he would like to be part of a Justice League movie. It seems like it could be a natural way to go about expanding their superhero projects, keep characters/actors consistent and keeping it all under one giant DC umbrella.
This could be an interesting approach DC takes with its live-action universe. Introducing characters on the small screen then gradually pulling them into their feature films. Something of a reverse that Marvel has been doing. And it could potentially be more effective than Marvel’s film/television crossover they’ve attempted with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
It’s still very early to be thinking about all that. The next thing will be to see if this television Flash catches on and if it will be more Smallville or Birds of Prey.