Remember back when The Flash was supposed to just be a backdoor pilot snuck in toward the tail end of Arrow’s second season but The CW decided to order a more traditional pilot for the purpose of allowing them more time and money to get it right? Well, that extra money sure shows. I just watched The CW’s epic new 5 minute trailer for The Flash, and it left me honestly saying out loud to no one in particular, “Holy crap, that looks amazing!” If you are an Arrow fan or at least vaguely curious about this upcoming Flash TV show you need to watch this video, although be warned that this video is pretty much the pilot of The Flash condensed down to 5 minutes.
For you comic book readers you probably recognized a familiar figure in the trailer’s opening sequence involving the death of Barry’s mother. Let’s not spoil it.
If Arrow is the TV show version of Christopher Nolan’s Batman then The Flash may be the TV version of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. Think about it. They’ve made Barry Allen an endearing nerd who clearly has no luck with women, the object of his affection being a woman, Iris West, so oblivious to his feelings she observes how desperately he needs a girlfriend. Once an accident grants him super powers it also gives him enhanced abdominal muscles (if only attaining such abs was that easy), and he suffers through early encounters of wondering what’s happening to him after his super speed causes things to appear to go in slow motion around him ala Peter Parker’s spidey-sense. He even ends up in some kind of alley-way to test out his powers, letting out an overjoyed, “Waahoo!!!!” in response to what he can do. Plus, on top of everything else if you circle back to the beginning of the trailer they’re running with Geoff Johns’ new Flash origin story from the comics, which combined Peter Parker and Bruce Wayne to result in an orphaned Barry Allen. In the show, this kind of makes Jesse L. Martin’s surrogate father character his Aunt May.
Okay. That last bit is probably stretching the Spider-Man comparison too far, but in a mere 5 minutes this new trailer feels as fun and vibrant as the Sam Raimi Spider-Man did nearly 15 years ago. Going further back, the training sequence with Barry and his goofy early costume before Cisco unveils the new costume even rings a bit of the early training sequences in The Rocketeer. These are good things to mimic.
They appear to have stuffed a genuine fun, old-fashioned super hero origin story into a 40+ minute pilot. Like the first film in a new comic book franchise, it even has a super-powered villain (is that supposed to be a new version of the Weather Wizard from the comics?) daunting enough to be formidable but sure to be passed in future installments by deeper, more realized villains. Like, maybe, Tom Cavanagh’s Harrison Wells, who appears to be a potential antagonist further down the road, what with his being in a wheelchair and studying metahumans (to potentially find a new ability to walk, perhaps?) and telling Barry at one point that he’s not a hero but instead a kid who got struck by lightning. Potential villain or just a really tough mentor?
Obviously, I’m burying the lead since the trailer spoils the fact that Stephen Amell’s Arrow has a cameo in The Flash pilot. In fact, he’s the one who gives Barry the name Flash. However, it is remarkable how much their rooftop discussion feels like a scene from Arrow while the rest of the footage felt like Flash had in its pilot already established its own distinct, lighter tone and identity. For one thing, it’s very bright with far more daytime scenes than Arrow’s more nocturnal preferences, and Central City instantly feels distinct from Starling City even though these two shows are probably filmed in the same territory in Canada.
The Flash will premiere sometime in October, kicking off The CW’s Tuesday nights in the same 7PM/8PM time slot Agents of SHIELD formerly occupied over on ABC before they chose to push it back an hour next season. For a full rundown of the cast head elsewhere on the site. The CW’s official synopsis reads as follows:
Barry Allen was just 11 years old when his mother was killed in a bizarre and terrifying incident and his father was falsely convicted of the murder. With his life changed forever by the tragedy, Barry was taken in and raised by Detective Joe West (Jesse L. Martin), the father of Barry’s best friend, Iris (Candace Patton). Now, Barry has become a brilliant, driven and endearingly geeky CSI investigator, whose determination to uncover the truth about his mother’s strange death leads him to follow up on every unexplained urban legend and scientific advancement that comes along. Barry’s latest obsession is a cutting edge particle accelerator, created by visionary physicist Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) and his S.T.A.R. Labs team (Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow, Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon), who claim that this invention will bring about unimaginable advancements in power and medicine. However, something goes horribly wrong during the public unveiling, and when the devastating explosion causes a freak storm, many lives are lost and Barry is struck by lightning. After nine months in a coma, Barry awakens to find his life has changed once again – the accident has given him the power of super speed, granting him the ability to move through Central City like an unseen guardian angel. Though initially excited by his newfound powers, Barry is shocked to discover he is not the only “meta-human” who was created in the wake of the accelerator explosion – and not everyone is using their new powers for good. In the months since the accident, the city has seen a sharp increase in missing people, unexplained deaths and other strange phenomena. Barry now has a renewed purpose – using his gift of speed to protect the innocent, while never giving up on his quest to solve his mother’s murder and clear his father’s name. For now, only a few close friends and associates know that Barry is literally the fastest man alive, but it won’t be long before the world learns what Barry Allen has become…The Flash.
What did you think of the new trailer? Am I a bit more overjoyed in my reaction than you? Or are we singing the same tune? Let us know in the comments.