As with Arrow, many of the elements and characteristics of the original comic book hero have been kept, although many are also adapted or even ignored to appeal to a more modern and mainstream audience.
As with the original comic book character Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), is a police scientist, or CSI investigator in this case, who is still a highly moral individual despite his history and profession. This was an important aspect of the character that had to be kept as it was central to who he was. In Justice #8 (2006), Batman says, "Barry is the kind of man that I would've hoped to become if my parents hadn't been murdered." Like the original character Allen is also always late, however unlike the original Barry Allen this version is much younger, and is not married. He does however still reside in Central City.
Of course viewers of Arrow will already be somewhat familiar with this version of Barry Allen, as he was introduced to audiences in the second half of season two of that show. This was a good move by the producers, as it creates an existing connection between the character and the audience before the new show actually airs.
The series starts with a flashback from Allen's past when his mother was apparently killed by some strange (electrical?) phenomenon. His father was jailed for the murder and remains in prison, although Barry believes him to be innocent and has been investigating the death on his own for many years. No doubt, this investigation will be a continuing theme throughout the series, or at least the early seasons.
The circumstances that transform Barry Allen into the Flash are again similar to the original comic book in that he is struck by lightning and doused by a mixture of chemicals. Although in this version a particle accelerator built by Star Labs triggered the storm when it blew up after being turned on for the first time. I suspect this too will play a major part further down the track.
Particularly given Allen awakes from a nine month coma in Star Labs (or at least what was left of it after the explosion), and that is where he discovers his new powers, and also how to use and control them. Star Labs and its owner Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh), also supply Allen with his suit. But is Wells helping Allen for purely altruistic reasons, or has he another agenda that will reveal itself it coming episodes?
Jesse L. Martin (Law and Order), plays Detective Joe West who helped raise Barry after his father was sent to prison and works alongside him. His daughter Iris West (Candice Patton), who of course was Allen's wife in the comic book, is more like a sister in this series, although Allen wishes for more.
While it had its faults I really enjoyed the first episode of the Flash, and look forward to seeing the direction the show will take. The production values were high, which is to be expected as DC and Warner Bros. are behind the series, so the special effects were also of high quality. The acting was solid, and the script while not providing anything really new, did allow for some intriguing possibilities in the future.
If you're a fan of super hero shows, and in particular Arrow, I highly recommend giving this series a go. While at this early stage I would not wish to compare the two, one thing that is obvious is the Flash will not be as dark as Arrow. Whether that's a good thing or not, is entirely up to you. 7/10
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