The Flash

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While introducing another of the Scarlet Speedster’s lesser villains and providing Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) the opportunity to stand-up to his old childhood bully for the first time, “The Flash is Born” is more memorable for the time spent on the First Season’s ongoing storylines. As the name of the episode suggests, “The Flash is Born” finally gets rid of “The Streak” and properly dubs the Fastest Man Alive with public moniker of the Flash.

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Investigating the bizarre animal sightings and attacks around Central City, the Flash goes to the circus in The Flash: Season Zero #2. Thanks to the help of Cisco, Caitlin, and Harrison Wells, links the odd break-outs at the zoo, the bank robbery by a strong man, and an attack of snakes inside a skyscraper all back to the circus which just happened to be pitched outside Central City at the time of the accelerator explosion likely imbuing several performers with unexpected powers.

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In an episode that builds on the backstory of both Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) and Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) by offering flashbacks to the night of the accelerator accident which appeared to kill Caitlin’s fiance (Robbie Amell), “Things You Can’t Outrun” features the Flash (Grant Gustin) attempting to stop the Mist (Anthony Carrigan) from completing a killing spree whose intended victims include Joe West (Jesse L. Martin).

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As Barry (Grant Gustin) begins his role as the city’s new hero he must face the disapproval of Joe West (Jesse L. Martin), the questions from Iris (Candice Patton) about his odd behavior since waking up from a coma, a series of mysterious black-outs, and concerns from the Star Labs team about how much Barry is pushing himself. Despite Joe going from complete disapproval to supportive in speeds that would give the Flash whiplash (this turn could have been better explored over a couple of episodes), “Fastest Man Alive” continues to sell me on the premise and style of the show (even while featuring the hero in a costume that needs a serious upgrade).

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Tying in to the new Flash television show, The Flash: Season Zero offers storylines set in the Flash/Arrow universe. Promised to include more costumed villains, the comic has another advantage by being able to better hide the show’s mishmashed fabric costume of the hero that looks far better on the printed page than in High Definition.

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After introducing Grant Gustin as forensic scientist Barry Allen last season on Arrow, The Flash gets his own show the CW beginning with this pilot episode that introduces the main characters in Barry’s life, the tragedy of his past, and the accident which turned him into the Fastest Man Alive. As nearly all pilots are, “City of Heroes” is a little rough in spots and a bit heavyhanded now and again in underlining specific ideas for the audience going forward. That said, other than the hero’s costume (which needs an upgrade fairly soon), The Flash shows quite a bit of promise.

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With this extended trailer we now have our first real look at The Flash which has officially been picked up by the CW and will air on Tuesday nights at 8/7 Central starting this Fall. Introduced on this season of Arrow, the spin-off stars Grant Gustin as CSI investigator Barry Allen who after nine months in a coma awakes to discover he has become the Fastest Man Alive. Tom Cavanagh, Jesse L. Martin, Danielle Panabaker, Candice Patton, and Carlos Valdes also star.

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The Flash Annual #3 is confusing on a number of levels as the new creative team cement their storyline of a future version of Barry Allen deciding to return to the past and set things right. Introducing us to Wallace “Wally” R. West for the first time its obvious the character has gone through the same New 52 filter that continues to adversely effect several of DC’s once-great heroes.

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Time travel and the character’s relationship with the passage of the time have long bee staples of the Flash comic storylines over the years. Beginning with something as innocuous as a new watch, The Flash‘s new writers Robert Venditti and Van Jensen begin to examine the idea for the first time in the New 52.

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The Flash‘s two-issue team-up with Deadman comes a close as the Scarlet Speedster fights off the Keystone Killer who discovers the hero is the perfect new host for the evil spirit. There’s less Deadman this time around and more dancing around the subject of Barry’s true parentage until the reveal that proves the teases were just that and that there is no blood connection between Barry and his mentor Captain Frye.

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