If you’re not watching The Flash on the CW Network there’s no time like tonight to join in and get caught up. All the DC Comics fans who grew tired of the dark and gloomy nature of the DC Comics universe as realized in television (like Constantine) and the movies (like Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy) have the alternative they have been looking for from this spin-off of CW’s Arrow.
Grant Gustin plays Barry Allen against all prior types. He’s more like Peter Parker than the Barry Allen of the Silver Age or more recent New 52 incarnations, and little like the older, more serious scientist in The Flash television series from the 1980s starring John Wesley Shipp. He’s cheery, funny, friendly, and generally a happy guy despite his obsession with his mother’s death years ago, having to deal with his father in prison for her murder, and the fact that his life has been turned upside down by a bolt of electric current from a particle accelerator.
And if the series isn’t enough for you, check out the tie-in comic book series The Flash Season Zero. Season Zero provides a supplemental story to the TV show but also is a jumping-on point for those who may have missed the first few episodes. Now only two issues in, you can get these back issues easily from any comic book retailer. The best reason to check out Season Zero? The return of artist Phil Hester to the part of the DCU he drew for many years as penciller on the monthly Green Arrow series. With multiple crossover episodes this season between The Flash and Arrow, hopefully we’ll get a chance to see Hester’s take on drawing Stephen Amell’s much younger version of Oliver Queen.
As with the Arrow TV series, the producers—familiar folks like Greg Berlanti, Andy Kreisberg, and Geoff Johns—cram each episode full of references to the classic DC Universe. Also like Arrow, their placement of these references isn’t exactly like we’ve seen them in the past. We know that Allen’s S.T.A.R. Labs pal Cisco Ramon one day becomes superhero Vibe in the DCU, and his other lab pal Caitlin Snow is the DCU name for one of the supervillains who goes by the name of Killer Frost. Will his friends change into these characters during this series? We’ll also meet old bad guys like Simon Stagg and Clock King. The writers really have an endless supply of resources to pull ideas from.
The Flash appears Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Central on the CW Network and The Flash Season Zero is available monthly at comic book stores everywhere.