Is It Any Wonder I Fell In Love With The Flash So Quickly?

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 6.03% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

I hadn’t been planning on watching The Flash, because, well, I’m a little tired of superhero TV shows.  Agents of SHIELD just hasn’t floated my boat this season, and Gotham has been getting such mixed reviews we haven’t even started it, so even though The Flash is one of my great childhood heroes, I didn’t start it.
No.  That’s wrong.
Because The Flash is one of my great childhood heroes, I didn’t start it.  I’m attached to The Flash.  If they got him wrong, it’d just make me sad that this grim-and-gritty misfire was the face of one of my favorite superheroes.  So I tuned out.
Until my friend Guthrie emailed me to say, “Please tell me you’re enjoying The Flash as much as I am.” I trust Guthrie.  He’s a Green Lantern guy, I’m a Flash fan, so we obviously have our differences, but the Flash and Green Lantern can still team up to be buddies.
And I was all like, Well, if Guthrie loves it, I’ll give it a shot.
So we sat down last night and I fell in love.
It’s rare that any show nails what I consider to be the heart of a comic book character, because any long-running comic book character has many hearts.  Like when I saw The Dark Knight with my friend Dana.  I thought it was a brilliant interpretation, but Dana’s Batman-heart was “The World’s Greatest Detective,” a dude who relied more on intellect than raw might, and yeah, that Batman wasn’t there.  Likewise, for many Batman is an avenging devil, as portrayed by Frank Miller, this gritty guy who’s just a hair better than his enemies – a valid interpretation, but not how I view it.  Or Batman’s the goofy 1960s Adam West version, all clean-cut and surrounded by art deco.
They’re all valid.  Some interpretations are more popular than others, but each of those Batmen are a Batman that someone grew up and idolized.
There’s no right and wrong here, but there is disappointment if someone emphasizes the wrong character traits.
But no!  This Flash is heroic.  He is a literal do-gooder – a little naive, but who would risk his life for others like this if he weren’t?  He is incredibly smart, but he needs his friends in a way that other superheroes don’t.  He is likeable, wisecracking, the kind of superhero you’d want to have a beer with.
My favorite scene in the entire DCU hands-down is where Wally West has the opportunity to beat up a supervillain at the bar, and instead he quietly asks if that villain has been taking his medications, and the villain admits shamefully that he hasn’t, and Wally gets him into treatment.  That’s this Flash.  He cares.  He fights because there aren’t better options, but he’ll cheerfully try to talk if he can.
Now, this Flash is a little heavy on Daddy issues, but I suppose they gotta give him something to work past.  We’re only three episodes in.  I’ll live with that.
But the action sequences are spiffy and the dialogue is relatively good and I love the simple, bold way they humanize people.  There’s not a lot of subtlety in this, but I don’t want deep characterization in my Flash media.  I want big damn heroes, and I am hooked.

2 Comments

  1. John Wiswell
    Oct 23, 2014

    I haven’t seen The Flash show yet, though enthusiasm of friends like you is making me want to seek it out. Hope it’s on Hulu or CW’s website.
    Is that scene about asking a villain if he’s taking medication in this show, too? Or were you referencing Justice League Unlimited? I love that Flash episode of JLU, and if this show can be anything close to that, I’ll be smitten.

  2. Timothy
    Oct 31, 2014

    It’s based off Flashpoint so the daddy issues will be recurring.
    I love Barry and the actor playing him, but dislike most of the rest of the set-up. I’m going to give it another try.

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