Flash is one of my all time favorite DC characters. I’ve stated multiple times not only my love for the Flash (Wally West version primarily, but I do have love for both Jay and Barry) but the fact that he was my gateway into the greater DCU. Unfortunately the book has been of varying quality since the end of Geoff Johns historic first run as nobody seems to know how to write the book or its characters anymore.
So when when they announced this:
I was not hopeful.
Imagine the smile it brought to my face when the show proved to be pretty good. I was excited to see that a few of my favorite underrated actors had been cast, namely the effortlessly charming Tom Cavanagh and lovely Danielle Panabaker. I hadn’t followed Jesse L. Martin’s career, but I knew he was highly respected and it didn’t take long into the show to see why. None of this would have mattered if they miscast the lead, thankfully Grant Gustin proved to be the perfect fit for Barry Allen. Gustin is able to strike that correct balance dramatic hero and the likable down to earth guy that is central for the character. Barry is a bit of a goof, but he is the type of loveable goof everybody enjoys being around.
So I like the show, but I have my complaints. A few tiny things in the series make me a little crazy. Silly little things that wise and rational people would pass off as minor or trivial but as a shameless fanboy end up sticking in my craw. Nitpicks, if you will. Ah, who am I kidding, lets can the preamble so I can get to the petty fan griping!
5. The Bowtie
Yeah, you heard me. This show has a severe lack of bow tie and that needs to be fixed. Barry Allen is known for wearing bow ties, it is one of his best known habits and that fashion choice is something that makes him distinct from every other superhero in mainstream comics. The version of Barry they have in the show is a well dressed geek and a science nerd low and behold, what are well dressed geeks and science nerds wearing these days, bow ties! Thank you Doctor Who. Look, I’m not saying he has to wear one all the time, or even that often, but would it kill the creators to throw in a bow tie every once and awhile?
4. Physics?! We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Physics!
One of the main parts of the show is that they are trying to be all sciencey and junk with Barry and his powers. Makes sense as the Flash has always been about the multiple and unique ways our hero can use his incredible power set to save the day. Here’s the thing though, Barry could never survive the wear and tear of his own powers. Other than his ability to quick heal (which is just another manifestation of his speed) Barry’s body is that of a normal dude and a normal dude would tear himself to pieces doing what Barry does. Any scientist with even a limited understanding of physics and the biological limits of the human body would know this, yet it has never been brought up in the show.
Fortunately for Barry, comic writer extraordinaire, Mark Waid solved all these problems with the introduction of the extra-dimensional energy known as the Speed Force. The Speed Force allows any who are tapped into it the ability to bend or break the laws of physics without any negative consequences. It even physically manifests itself as the lightening that pours off Barry’s body when he he runs, another phenomenon that has went by with little to no comment from the team at Star Labs. If these people don’t start asking questions about this stuff we may have to take away their degrees.
3. Linda Park? What, What, WHAT?!
As I’ve already said, Wally West is my Flash, and being a long standing Wally fan that I would also be a fan of the love of his life, Linda Park. Their relationship and eventual marriage was such a joy to behold. You really felt the connection and their union truly made Wally and Linda not only better people, but more interesting characters to read about.
Getting back to the TV show, the pilot had Linda appear reporting the news. It stung a little bit as it reminded how much I wish it was Wally on the show then followed by the million and one reasons that wasn’t ever going to happen. I accepted the nod the creators were making and then continued to enjoy the rest of the episode. Then I learned that not only would Linda be back in a recurring role, but as a possible love interest for Barry and I had to take a moment to calm down and breathe properly. I know that Wally doesn’t exist in this continuity, but I can’t help but feel this is creepy and wrong on so many levels. These episode had better be good enough for me to put up with this torment, and that’s all I got to say about that!
2. Barry Allen, Jailer?
Of all my complaints on this list, this is the only one that will grow into a major issue the longer the series progress. As it stands right now, whenever a meta-human is captured the Flash and Co. go throw them in their makeshift prison under Star Labs without any trial or due process of law at all. They have a similar thing over on Arrow, but that series is overall grittier and their version of Ollie is different enough from the comics that I can accept that it exists, but it makes no sense over on The Flash.
First of all, both Barry and Joe are members of the Central City Police Dept. It is their job to uphold the the law and protect the rights of citizens, neither of which you can do while running a secret underground prison. Secondly, are a few scientists really able to securely and humanely house multiple prisoners? Most likely not. What about rehabilitation or chance of parole? Are we to deny meta-humans those options and how then are we not being discriminatory? This show isn’t deep or dark enough to tread into that water so they need to fix this while it is still a nitpick instead of a full blown thing. Iron Heights Penitentiary has already been mentioned on the show and is where they send the super-powered baddies from Central and Keystone in the comics. They need to get that place up to snuff and get those prisoners over there ASAP!
1. That Damn Chin-Strap!
I hate this damn thing. I loathe its existence. This abomination was introduced with the “New 52” redesigns for the Flash’s iconic costume. A costume that had been tweaked and refined over the years by some of the best artists in the business to damn near perfection, only to be wrecked by the addition of this useless ugly add-on. I guess since they couldn’t get away with putting a silly collar on the costume like they did with most of the other heroes in the DCU they had to come up with some other way to screw the costume up. I hate it in the comics, I hate it on the show, I hate the damn thing PERIOD. Rip it off, tear it up, and never do it again.