Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Slow Read Regarding The Flash

Some brief notes, since I haven’t used this in over four years:

-I assume you’ve watched the episode/series/thing I’m talking about.
-Spoilers everywhere.  Always spoilers.  I may spoil random things just to keep you on your toes.
-This is stream of consciousness, as I’m not good enough (or too good) to rewrite.
-I meander. 

The Flash is my favorite comic.   It was also my first series that I collected/read/went to Dallas Fantasy Fairs to pick up back issues of.  I have one signed comic in my possession, and it is Flash 79, and it is signed by Mark Waid, because it is an issue that means a lot to me and is the conclusion to an amazing storyline.  Also, Wally West is my homeboy.  Barry Allen was the first, and saved everything during Crisis, and is now the Flash in the current comics (I assume, I haven’t read any of New 52 for various reasons).  And Barry Allen is the Flash in the CW show that is currently running…AWAY WITH MY HEART!!!

And this is what I’m here to talk about, The Flash (and eventually, all of the other things I watch whenever time allows).  Thank you CW, for putting together a great superhero lineup.  I was a Smallville watcher for several years, until it just got too awful for me to take.  I shunned Arrow because I’d been burned by Smallville (and DC films, by and large), and because I had plenty of DC animated shows to get my fix from.  But thanks to Netflix, I blew through the first two seasons of Arrow in time to start Season 3 when it aired in the fall, and with Arrow came…The Flash.

Another aside (an aside to an aside, welcome to my writing style), around the same time in my youth that I was getting into reading (and to a lesser extent, collecting…in that I bagged and backed all of my stuff a few months after I got hooked) comics, CBS also brought forth the too-beautiful-to-live live action series of The Flash, starring John Wesley Shipp as Barry Allen.  Who plays Barry Allen’s dad on the CW version of The Flash.  Because everything is everything.  So my love of the Flash.  Great character, great writing, especially the Waid run, and I had Barry as my TV Flash and Wally as my comics Flash, who was living with the legacy of taking over as the Flash after Barry died saving all of existence during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. 

So now back to this year, and this week’s episode.  They took a month off for…CW reasons, I can only assume, and came back to DROP SOME BOMBS.  Barry Allen is hit by a wave of electrified chemicals at the same time as the particle accelerator at STAR Labs explodes, causing a dark matter wave, and suddenly we have metahumans EVERYWHERE, and Barry has his helpful friends Cisco (who I wanted to hate, but now love) and Kaitlyn (who you remember from Sky High, which is a highly underrated movie with a sneakygreat cast), and Dr Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanaugh, who you should know from Ed, which was another too-beautiful-to-live show that needs to be on Netflix and be discovered as the lost gem it truly is).  And then Not-Chris-Noth from Law and Order, Jesse L. Martin is in it, and terrible Iris (okay, she’s probably a fine person/actress, but she is Kreuking all over the place lately) and Eddie Thawne is a person (comics wiener perked up when I heard that name, and THAT paid off last night too) and then lately we’ve had a Linda Park (Wally’s eventual girlfriend/wife in the late run of the Flash before Flashpoint/new 52/whatever the hell DC did to piss me off) in the picture, which is WEIRDING ME OUT BUT WHATEVER…mostly because I want some Kid Flash at some point and don’t mind me I’m a nerd. 

Ahem, so Barry Allen is nerdy police forensics guy, and rather than this being CSI: Central City, instead he gains super speed.  And his mom was killed by a “yellow and red blur” when he was a kid (yes, those colors are obvious to comics fans, everyone else gets to wait until January for clues), and his dad (JOHN WESLEY MOTHEREFFING/NOTKILLING SHIPP) is in jail for the crime.  So here we are, we’ve got our weekly stories of “oh hey, metahumans come to Central  City to wreck shit”, our overall arc of “I wonder who killed Barry’s mom?”, and then lesser storylines of “Barry loves Iris, but she’s dating Eddie”.  And then awesome Dr Wells storylines like “Oh shit he can walk” and “Oh shit he killed that guy” and “Oh shit he has a secret room where he has future newspapers where the front page story looks like that part in Crisis where Barry died to save the world”, and then later season storylines like “Oh shit, he’s Reverse Flash (please please please let him be called Professor Zoom at some point, I don’t care how)” and “Oh shit, he killed Barry’s mom in the past”, and this week’s “Oh shit, his name is Eobard Thawne and he just killed Cisco!!!”.  Which was some major major shit going down, and two majors is a lot considering Barry had to reveal his identify as the Flash to Iris, and oh yeah, also ripped a HOLE THROUGH GODDAMN TIME. 

Flashes love time travel, and I have the sneaking (okay, not that sneaking, I watched the preview for next week’s episode after the credits) suspicion that a lot of these revelations are going to be undone thanks to Barry’s trip into the recent past.  Which is fine, and will be awesome.  Flash has bought a LOT of credit from me by now, so I’m just going to relax and enjoy the ride to next week’s episode and the rest of the season.  It’s pretty obvious that Barry has to go back in time to the night his mother was killed anyway, and it also seems obvious that he’s not going to be able to do a damn thing to stop it (although if they want to make season 2 some kind of Flashpoint alternate universe stuff, I will be okay with that).  Best he can hope for is to get his dad out of prison, assuming they want Shipp to be a series regular at this point. 

So, relationship stuff, eww, ick, barf, but it’s the CW and that’s what keeps the lights on.  The better relationship stuff was the casual way the comatose police Captain’s (male) fiancé was allowed to visit.  I mean, it’s a tiny bit shoehorned in, but I’m not going to complain about it.  Tiny bit.  All for same sex marriage.  But also for smoother storytelling.  Not as bad as “Don’t text, it can wait” from the Season 1 Arrow finale.  As for Iris/Linda/Eddie/Barry…meh.  It is what it is.  Would be much more interesting with Iris knowing that Barry is the Flash, buuuuuut that probably gets reset like an NES by this time next episode.  Although I really do want to see that conversation happen for real at some point. 

Some brief notes, since next week’s episode pretty much takes care of itself – no speculation needed.  Loving Wentworth Miller as Len Snart/Captain Cold.  I love the Rogues, I love the classic Rogues, I love the other Rogues, I love the terrible Rogues that other Rogues make fun of.  We’re only missing Mirror Master of the Classic Rogues, and I really REALLY want Abra-Cadabra on this show, probably Season 2.  Also very happy about the casting of Mark Hamill as Classic Trickster (plus whoever the new Trickster will be).  James Jesse was a fun character in the comics run, and along with Pied Piper, it’ll be good to have some potential villains turned allies for Team Flash (comics spoiler based speculation, obviously).  Firestorm had a difficult birthing process, but left on a good note.  With Flash and Arrow on TV, I really lament the presence of a good Green Lantern (either a watchable movie or a TV version) to complete the trio…plus Flash/Green Lantern is such a good duo, and robs me of the potential Grodd/Hector Hammond crossover fun.  But hey, Season 5, right?  I need it all though, Speed Force, Kid Flash, Impulse, Johnny Quick, the Kilg%re, everything.  Years to go though, and with the ratings that Arrow and Flash are getting, I’ll hopefully get every bit of it.  Don’t be afraid to throw some script work at Mark Waid of Bill Messner-Loebs either.  This is some good street-level superheroics going on, and I’m thrilled with how well they’ve nailed both characters tonally at this point in the respective series. 

As for next time, maybe I’ll do some quick hits on what I’m currently watching, plus I’ve crossed a few series off my Netflix queue (finished, not given up on), and I’m working my way through Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and I have thoughts on new Community as well. 


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