In geekdom, we see a lot of teasers. Sometimes it’s just an image or the name of a creator, other times it’s a trailer or a simple tag line. Whatever it is, it’s meant to get a reaction from you and start a discussion. Inspired by the anticipation and buzz caused by these teasers, we at Fantastic Fangirls present Skipping to Conclusions in which we speculate about the comics, movies, TV shows, or whatever we’re excited about but hasn’t come out yet.
Ali and Sam got together to talk about the upcoming Flash TV series, starting with their personal histories with the Scarlet Speedster and touching on their hopes for the show.
Okay! Here’s my Flash history:
The first superhero comic I ever bought was a Flash comic, and it starred Wally West. I’ve always loved the speedster archetype, and the Scarlet Speedster… well, I liked that he ran fast. I liked the TV show with John Wesley Ship, but I never loved a Flash until Impulse. And boy did I love Impulse. I was pretty excited when I heard that they’re going to do a Flash-centric spin off of Arrow. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of the show, I know it’s popular and I sort of broadly like the idea of a more grounded-in-reality superhero universe.
“My” Flash has always been the Bruce Timm Justice League Wally West Flash. I’m a fan of speedsters too. But what I loved about Wally was he was as quick with the sarcasm as he was with the superheroics. He’s also, in the cartoon anyway, a bit of a mess which he tries desperately to over-compensate for, which to me just made him more endearing. I had completely missed the John Wesley Ship Flash series, and by the time I started reading comics Wally had his life together and was a good husband and dad. Which is awesome, I just missed out on the character development.
Yeah, I have a complex relationship with Wally. But I loved him as a dad, when his twins first got their powers and Irey became Impulse.
Buy anyway! Flash TV show! So I kind of gave up on Arrow halfway through the first season, though I hear it’s getting better and better. When they announced the spinoff I had mixed feelings, and when they cast Grant Gustin those feelings got mixier (I, you know, watch Glee). I was, to be quite honest, ambivalent with a side of “sigh”. But then they cast Candice Patton as Iris West and my ears perked up. I got excited. TV producers willing to cast an established character as a person of color? An established comic character? Joy! All of the sudden I was interested…
When I first heard they were doing a Flash show I was like FINALLY. I think a Barry Allen CSI procedural show would do really well and I can’t believe it’s taken a network this long to figure it out. But I was also thinking, REALLY?! We’re shelving Allan Heinberg’s Amazon project (that’s right, a producer of Grey’s Anatomy/writer of Wonder Woman comics was going to make a Wonder Woman TV show that, quite frankly, made me literally jump for joy when it was announced) so that we can get another probably brooding white dude superhero show.
So news about The Flash kind of dropped off my radar at that point.
But I really have been enjoying Arrow, and I think this season has been really strong, particularly when it comes to Black Canary. And the episodes that introduced Barry were pretty great. Grant Gustin, for as much as I didn’t like his snotty Warbler character on Glee, was a really wonderful Barry. He reminds me of the Thor movies’ Jane Foster with his earnestness and wonder when it comes to SCIENCE. He’s also, not at all broody the way DC Entertainment has been pushing with their superheroes as of late. Narratively speaking, I am most excited by the fact they they kept the chemicals-struck-by-lightening Flash origin story in tact. It’s a wonderfully fun Silver Age comic kind of thing that I though for sure DC Entertainment would have stomped that kind of thing out. But they kept it, which gives me home.
And then they announced Jesse Martin would be in the show and I lost my shit because LURVE. Martin is playing Detective West, who is Iris’ dad. So I knew even before Candice Patton was announced that Iris would be played by a person of color. Which means if there’s a Wally in this show, he will also be a POC. The Wests are a pretty big family in the established DCU, so I’m thinking only good things can come from this.
I’d like to get my vote in early for Donald Glover as Wally West.
Yeah, Black Canary is where I hear the most praise (followed by Felicity and Diggle).
Jesse Martin! I know! That’s pretty great. I also LURVE him and am super excited to see him playing a cop again… even though the potential love interest’s dad is a cop thing is also on Arrow. But not with Jesse Martin, so that’s great! Between Grant Gustin and Jesse Martin, I don’t know. Carlos Valdes, who’s playing Cisco Ramon (aka The Vibe, whom I’m very excited to see in the supporting cast) also has a Broadway background. Can we have a musical episode? Is it too soon to ask for one of those?
And I tooootally agree about the fact that the Wests are such an important family in the DCU. I immediately started fancasting guys I thought would make excellent, multiracial Bart Allens.
So all of our excitement about the supporting cast, and what it means for one of the most well-established families in comics, we’ve now also seen the first look at the show… and at the suit. What did you think?
I like the suit! It’s always tough bringing a superhero costume, which is designed more to be drawn than actually worn, into the “real world”. I think they did a really great job with it. The color is darker than the flat, fire engine red we’ve seen in the comics, but I think it still works for the Scarlet Speedster and the texture will really look good on film. Of the DCTVU (DC television universe, see what I did there) the costume is the most blantantly superhero-looking one we’ve seen, which I’m most excited about. I think in execution the Flash is really going to look like the Flash.
Yeah, I like the suit too. It doesn’t look like the foam rubber from the previous Flash series. It seems to fit into what DC/WB is doing with costuming these days. It’s hard to have a guy who’s best known for wearing a red suit with lightning… not have a red suit with lightning. That said, it looks a little more grounded in reality than it could have come out. Some of the set pics make it seem a little Daredevil-y, but I imagine that’ll change in post production.
So to wrap it up, what would you love to see in this new Flash series? Any characters you’re hoping make an appearance? Storylines you’d love them to cover? Do you think they’ll go the Arrow route and introduce Gotham rogues into Barry’s gallery? I’m asking a lot of questions, feel free to answer any/all!
It’s funny you mention the Gotham rogues because one of the things I’m really looking forward to in this new show is seeing the Flash’s rogue gallery. Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Weather Wizard, Captain Boomerang: I love those guys. And they’re such a part of the Flash’s history that I think they have to include them. And I’m looking forward to seeing how they kind of reinvent them for the DCTVU.
There’s a huge part of me that hopes they can get Mark Hamill to come in and at least cameo as the Trickster. He was the voice of the Trickster in Justice League/Justice League Unlimited AND he played the Trickster in the John Wesley Ship show, so I mean, he HAS to do this one too.
I’m also really hoping for Wally. I know he’s persona non exista in the current DC continuity, but you’ve got Iris and a well fleshed out West family. You can’t just not have Wally.
And Professor Zoom! He’s the Flash’s big Big Bad. They’ve also hinted at him in the Arrow series, and there’s an actor cast for the role of Eddie Thawne for the pilot. So I’m pretty excited to see how he and the Flash dance around each other over the course of the season.
In general, I’m just really hopeful about this show. I’m keeping my expectations in check, but overall I pretty happy!
Yeah, we know we have Eddie Thawne/Professor Zoom and Killer Frost so far (Rick Cosnett and Danielle Panabaker, respectively) so that’s a good start!
I think it’ll be hard to get Wally when Barry and Iris are this young, but maybe a kid!Wally will show up (especially if kid!Bruce is popular over on Gotham). I wouldn’t mind them taking a quick trip to the future and bringing Bart back, but I admit to total bias on that. I also doubt that’ll happen, since DCUTV is way more grounded in reality than the comics, which is totally fine.
Anyway, I’m just looking forward to seeing a Flash on screen again. Hopefully they do him justice, and it’s a doorway into getting some more colorful heroes and villains into the DCUTV world.