by Tony Ortega
“You have failed this city.” Oh sorry, that’s from my other favorite CW show. “What if I am just a guy who got struck by lightning?” Well, Mr. Allen, this statement struck me like lightning. I was a little hesitant to get into another new comic book based CW show but my inner comic geek would not allow me to let the season premiere of The Flash go without watching it. My concern is always that the TV show always departs so exponentially from the comic. I am so glad that I gave The Flash a try despite my apprehensions. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a real winner here with The Flash.
Spoilers ahead folks. You have been warned.
So in the world according to Tony Ortega (and it is a great world), the most important thing in a movie, TV show, novel, etc. is to make me care about the characters; make me invested in seeing their lives unfold; make me forget that I am sacrificing time to watch/read about you. The Flash did just that. So we begin with young, nerdy, clumsy, and slow Barry Allen being struck by lightning, chemicals and a particle accelerator. Okay, with the exception of the particle accelerator, we stay close to the comic book origins. Flash forward (pun intended) 9 months later and Barry is waking up from a coma since the incident in question. Now, I was really hoping for Marvin and Wendy from the Superfriends to be the STAR lab geeks (or even Zan, Jayna and Gleek), but alas, we get Cisco and Dr. Caitlin Snow (along with a now paraplegic Dr. Wells). Dr. Wells, the creator of the particle accelerator basically minimizes Barry’s new found abilities, which sends him racing (pun intended again) into Starling City, where we see a guest appearance by… wait for it…Oliver Queen (sighs). Barry questions his ability to be a hero, stating that he is nothing like Oliver and that maybe he was” just a guy who was struck by lightning.” My heart hurt and tears formed in my eyes as this mirrored my own self-doubts about my own abilities, about making an impact on others in my chosen profession or other endeavors. Oliver replies by telling him he can be a guardian angel to his city and be there “in a flash.” And thus, a legend is reborn. Thank you Oliver.
Now, one thing that I didn’t like is that now they are saying that this particle accelerator explosion has irradiated Keystone city and created other metahumans. Holy shades of Smallville (anyone remember how the Krypton meteor shower gave certain folks in Smallville “metahuman powers?”). Come on CW, can we come up with a more creative way to give people powers instead of copying something that did work in a previous comic book show on your network.
Now, some treats about the season premiere: anyone notice the broken cage with the sign “Grodd” hanging off of it? I did. The first major villain in the show as The Weather Wizard, a main rogue in Flash comic’s rogue gallery. The original TV Flash now playing Barry’s father (John Wesley Shipp still looks so yummy). Iris West now being a person of color (hello, new 52 Wally West). Jessie L. Martin playing a cop again. Eddie Thawne (aka Professor Zoom) is now a cop. Hats off to the breakout star of the show, Grant Gustin, whose wonderful portrayal of Barry Allen made forget what a dick he was to the love of my life, Blaine Anderson, on Glee. I was particularly intrigued by the last minute reveal that Dr. Wells can actually walk and looks at a hologram of a newspaper article 10 years from now indicating that The Flash was lost in a CRISIS? Despite my apprehension towards small screen reinterpretations of my favorite comics, the CW knocked it out of the ballpark with the season premiere of The Flash. I give it 4.75 out of 5 stars and predict a full season of this show.