The Flash

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Although the introduction of Firestorm is a bit of a dud, otherwise The Flash‘s mid-season finale doesn’t disappoint as the Reverse-Flash finally makes his presence known and “The Man in the Yellow Suit” gives us Barry’s first encounter with the man responsible for his mother’s murder 14 years ago. After weeks of teasing us about the true identity of the Flash’s arch-nemesis the last few sequences of the finale seem to suggest that both Detective Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett) and Professor Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) are connected to the villain whose power set follows the more modern take on the character in that his powers are similar, but the source of them are in sharp contrast, from those of our hero.

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The second-half of The Flash/Arrow crossover brings Barry (Grant Gustin), Cisco (Carlos Valdes), and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) all to Starling City to help in the search for a former agent of Argus returned to take revenge on the organization that left him for dead. I’ll freely admit Captain Boomerang (Nick E. Tarabay) has one of the more ridiculous concepts of any Flash villain. He’s a killer with a boomerang fetish, but is that any more ridiculous than a hero with a bow and arrow? Presented here as a merciless and skilled killer as well as a battlefield technician whose arsenal includes several surprise trick boomerangs, the episode makes good use of the character by presenting him as a large enough threat that both heroes, and both supporting teams, are all needed to stop him.

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The first-half of the two-part crossover brings Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) to Central City for Star Labs help in identifying an unusual weapon used in a recent killing in Starling City. Although we’ll have to wait a day for the story behind the boomerang and the official introduction of Captain Boomerang on Arrow, the latest episode of The Flash does offer a different challenge to the heroes who struggle to work together to take down a metahuman with the ability to put his victims into an uncontrollable rage.

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Oliver Harper’s latest retrospective focuses on the 1990s Flash television show.

Retrospective / Review: The Flash (1990) TV Series.

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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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