Since 2012, Arrow has remained the gold-standard in live-action superhero television. Between its dynamic cast of characters, Shakespearian narrative and gripping action, there’s no real question as to why that is. In light of that series’ success and in conjunction with DC’s other small screen debuts, the CW launched its long anticipated Flash spin-off series on Tuesday night. The only real question going into its first episode was whether or not Barry Allen, the fastest man alive, could hold pace with Arrow‘s high quality output.
As a child, Barry Allen watched his mother’s mysterious murder before his very eyes: a crime that his father was wrongly convicted of. As an adult, he channeled his need for answers into a career as a forensic scientist for the Central City Police Department. But after a particle accelerator at S.T.A.R. Labs explodes, feeding unknown energies into a thunderstorm, Barry is struck by a bolt of lightning that leaves him in a coma for nine months. When he awakens, however, he discovers that he can now run at supersonic speeds and heal at an accelerated rate. With the help of a team of disgraced scientists with everything to prove, he becomes the Flash: a masked vigilante who fights other metahumans that were created by the same storm of cosmic energies that gave him his powers.
At its core, difference between Arrow and the Flash is difference between Batman and Superman. Arrow is the Dark Knight of television: dark, brooding and intense. Oliver Queen is an urban commando, stalking white collar criminals who have fundamentally failed the city and pin-cushioning them with arrows. His actions are fueled by redemption: cleansing himself of the vapid playboy that he used to be through selfless dedication to the common good. Like Tony Stark, he realizes what his narcissistic inaction has done to both his home and to the people he cares most for, and dedicates himself to reversing the moral entropy that has gripped Starling City. Continue Reading »