The Flash is a go at the CW. After the massive success that the CW has had by taking the DC Comics superhero the Green Arrow (also known as Oliver Queen) and translating that into their ambitious, highly popular, and critically acclaimed series Arrow, it is not a surprise that the network began looking to expand their property into more than one show. After all, many successful shows lead producers to create a spin-off to capitalize on the original program’s success. The CW had even more reason to create another series given that the stable of characters in the DC Comics universe at their fingertips included heroes both beloved and incredibly famous. Finally, last year, the network made their plans known: The Flash himself would appear on two episodes of Arrow that would set the character up for his own solo series.
Grant Gustin was cast as Barry Allen, an assistant forensic investigator with no superpowers who arrives in Starling City to help Oliver and the team out with a very specific threat – his mother had been murdered under mysterious circumstances in his youth, and he had been investigating possible supernatural happenings ever since. In his brief time on the show, Gustin won fans over with his sweet, inquisitive portrayal of Allen, and also showed real sparks with fan-favorite character Felicity Smoak. For the first time, Felicity had a viable love interest who might reciprocate her feelings in a way Oliver never did, and the two characters had a unique chemistry. Pairing Gustin with Arrow’s most likable character was a smart way to endear him to the audience. Eventually, Oliver came to respect Barry, and Barry left him with a parting gift: for the first time, Arrow donned his signature mask. Upon returning home to Star City, Barry is in a freak accident at the lab he worked at; a major explosion caused by lightning striking and the lab’s particle accelerator left him comatose with a grim prognosis. Felicity was devastated, and through the remainder of the season would mention visiting Barry from time to time.
Fans of comic books know exactly what will happen next… that lightning strike will give Barry the ability to travel at superhuman speeds, becoming a superhero in his own right. The CW has officially greenlit The Flash for its fall lineup, and the first trailer has finally debuted, leaving comic book lovers salivating. The new series will center around Barry awakening from his coma and discovering his newfound abilities, and now he has his own cast of characters to flesh out his world, many of whom may be familiar-sounding to die-hard Flash lovers. Candice Patton will play Iris West, Barry’s oldest friend and a potential love interest, while Law & Order star Jesse L. Martin will play her father. Tom Cavanagh will play Harrison Wells, the creator of the particle accelerator and scientific genius who hopes to train and study Barry’s miraculous abilities. Carlos Valdes and Danielle Panabaker will play Barry’s lab co-workers, and Rick Cosnett will play the villainous Eddie Thawne. Check out the trailer for The Flash below:
Commentary by Alex Warheit