At this point, it’s been nearly 3 full weeks since the mid-season finale of Arrow aired, ending with Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen going all….well, why tell when I can show:
So cool, right? Sadly, it will be quite some time before we see the next step since any return appearance from Gustin as Allen in this season of Arrow has been canceled in favor of going away to film a more expensive, standalone pilot which will hopefully get picked up to a full series. Sure, throughout the remainder of the current season of Arrow we’ll apparently receive some form of updates about Allen either through Felicity or in TV reports playing in the backgrounds of scenes. However, dangit, we want to see The Flash zooming about in his red costume if for no other reason to verify if we’ll be able to look at it and not instantly think of the latter era of Smallville which featured Clark zooming about Metropolis.
Alas, we simply must wait. We’ll all have to make due with the rumor mill to clue us in on what we might expect from this Flash TV show. Earlier this month, Bludhaven Banter exclusively revealed an early casting call for two characters who are meant to be regulars on The Flash, Iris West and her father, Detective West. The inclusion of Iris West is not a surprise since she is Barry Allen’s love interest from the comics. However, the casting description revealed they intend to cast an African-American actress as Iris, which is surprising since Iris has classically been depicted as Caucasian in the comics. Plus, there might be a profession change in order, with no hint of Iris’ comic book profession as a news reporter.
Should we pay any attention to such a rumor? Actually, yes. This purported casting call indicated a new back story for the show wherein Barry will actually have lived with Iris and her father since the death of his own mother and subsequent imprisonment of his falsely accused father. As part of this scenario, Barry will have developed “strong feelings” for Iris, about which she is oblivious. This seemed to be validated in the Arrow mid-season finale when Barry empathized with Felicity’s potentially unrequited affection for Oliver, as Barry claimed to understand what that felt like.
Well, now Bludhaven Banter is at it again:
“Alright, here’s the scoop. In pilot episode for The Flash, there is a character called ‘Detective Eddie Thawne’ which sounds a lot like Eobard Thawne, the name of Professor Zoom. Now, that’s not a lot to go on, so I did some additional digging and it turns out that he may very well become the villain we all know and love. The description for the character states that he is ‘leading man handsome’ (late 20s-early/mid 30s) and has recently transferred to Central City Police Department from Keystone. Thawne is set to be loved within the precinct and takes the credit for a lot of things that Barry can’t. (We assume this’ll mean he takes credit for some of The Flash‘s work, but that’s just speculation on our part). However, the most intriguing part about this character is that his past will be a complete mystery. No one knows where he comes from, and he ‘harbors a dark secret’.”
It’s worth noting that Zoom was killed off in the comics but resurrected in 2009 by Geoff Johns, who is involved with The Flash TV show. The speculation is that they are just taking The Flash’s long-standing time-travel component from the comics head-on, and that Thawne will turn out on the show to be exactly what he is in the comics, a time-traveler from the future who gets stuck in our present (his past). Are you ready for the shared Arrow televisual universe to get wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey?
But, wait, there’s more. The second scoop is that the supporting cast continues to be filled out with the character Francisco Ramon, who will appear in the pilot with the intention of becoming a series regular. In the comics, Ramon is a latino gang member who has the superhuman ability to cause sonic shockwaves and detect interdimensional shifts, which actually makes him something of a check on The Flash’s powers should The Flash ever go evil. Ramon took the superhero name Vibe, and joined the Justice League. At the time of his introduction in the mid-1980s, Vibe was criticized by some as being an ethnic stereotype. He was re-introduced in the New 52 as a more powerful character, and DC tried to give him a big push with his own monthly series penned by Andrew Kreisberg. It didn’t catch on, recently ending its run after just 10 issues. According to Bludhaven Banter, on The Flash Ramon will not have superpowers at the time of the pilot but instead merely be “Cisco Ramon.”
So, Kreisberg is trying to make The Vibe work after failing in the comics, although the character is still around just not anchoring his own title. And Johns is making sure to integrate Professor Zoom after re-introducing him in 2009 and elevating him to an even bigger arch-nemesis. The delight to be had is that after the earlier casting rumors this now means The Flash intends to have a white male lead with Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and a supporting cast of two African-Americans (Iris West and her father) and a Latino (Ramon).
The Flash is being co-created and produced by Arrow writer/DC Chief Creative Office Geoff Johns and Arrow co-creators/executive producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg. It is set to begin filming in March. It is unclear when the show might air should it be picked up to series by The CW since they could opt to pick it up as a mid-season replacement show as they did during the current season with Star-Crossed and The 100. Arrow‘s second season returns from its mid-season break with all-new episodes beginning January 15, 2014.
The Flash vs. Professor Zoom in The Flashpoint Paradox:
What do you think? Let us know in the comments section.