CW’s The Flash TV series is what superhero shows should all strive to be. Mainly, it’s about fun, with a young actor (Grant Gustin) playing a fresh version of a classic character trying to get his footing with his strange, new powers. Like the original 1980s version of the series, this series is about Barry Allen working with a small group of friends to do good in his smaller world of Central City. Unlike the edgier, groundbreaking Arrow TV series, The Flash doesn’t take itself too seriously.
As with Arrow, DC Comics and the CW partnered, as it should, to bridge the TV series with the comic books that the series was derived from. It’s here, in the print and digital pages of The Flash: Season Zero, available this week in a trade edition, that we are introduced to one of the most vibrant and fun versions of The Flash to be published by DC Comics in years. Again, not taking the stories and characters too seriously, the writers of the TV series have written the further adventures of Barry Allen that both amplify the humor and camaraderie found in the TV show, but this incarnation also informs the TV superhero–filling in gaps that don’t make it to the TV scripts.
In the pages of The Flash: Season Zero we see what would be more difficult to translate to the moving image, like King Shark, that villainous land shark. This is done beautifully and in his unique superhero world style by artist Phil Hester, who returns to the realm he illustrated for several years in the pages of Green Arrow (and even returns to his roots by including a cameo of Oliver Queen in one story). Hester’s pencils and Eric Gapstur’s inks along with some great color work by Kelsey and Nick Filardi provide a visually interesting read for audiences of all ages.
It also helps for continuity sake that this trade edition, a giant 260 pages including a full cover gallery, was written by show writers (and comic book veterans) Andrew Kreisberg, Marc Guggenheim, Ben Sokolowski, Brooke Eikmeier, Katherine Walczak, and Lauren Certo, as well as Sterling Gates, Phil Hester, and Kai Wu (Burn Notice).
The book features seven complete stories, the best of which are the origin story “Freak Show” and the introduction of the Suicide Squad in “King Shark.” Fans of Arrow will find Felicity Smoak and Ray Palmer featured in one of the stories.
Pick up The Flash: Season Zero at comic book stores everywhere and here at Amazon.com.