Those of you who have been reading my blog long enough may know that I’m a fan of the CW show Arrow. As corny as it can be, I think the show is great fun and has only gotten better after the first season. Last week the CW launched its second DC Superhero inspired show with The Flash, and I have to say I’m already pretty impressed. In fact, after only one episode, I think that it’s better than Arrow, or at least better than where Arrow started.
The story follows Barry Allen, played by Grant Gustin, a CSI who has become infatuated with strange criminal cases following the death of his mother at the hands of some strange supernatural force that he witnessed as a child. His father, played by John Wesley Shipp who portrayed the Flash in the 1990 TV show, was convicted of the crime, as no one believes what Allen saw. Since that time, Allen has been trying to piece together his mother’s murder and prove his father’s innocence.
Things in his life take a turn when a particle accelerator built in his hometown of Central City explodes, and Allen is struck by lightning from the blast. He receives superhuman powers and the gift of great speed, but he isn’t the only one. The whole city has become populated with “metahumans” some of whom are not so nice, and Allen, with the help of some scientist friends who were working at the particle accelerator, are the only ones who are in any position to stop them.
Personally, I find Barry Allen to be a more compelling character than the stoic Oliver Queen of Arrow, which is one of the reasons I already think The Flash might have greater potential. While Queen’s story of turning his life from playboy millionaire to hero vigilante is an interesting one, I find Allen’s tale of seeking justice for his family more appealing, and I find his character more sympathetic.
The strength of the supporting cast built around Gustin also bolsters the show. While I like the Arrow cast, I feel like a lot of the show’s success rests on the (worthy) shoulders of Emily Bett Rickards. The Flash has prominent veteran actors in Jesse L. Martin and Tom Cavanagh, both of whom have substantial roles as mentor figures (in different ways) for Allen. Carlos Valdes, who plays Allen’s engineering sidekick Cisco Ramon or Vibe (as he is called in the comics), is another bright spot in the cast who brings a lot of spirit and humor to the show.
The Flash’s second episode airs tonight, and if you haven’t already started watching, I definitely recommend the show. If you like Arrow, then this show will be right up your alley. If you thought Arrow was a little lacking, I still think The Flash is worth a look.