I’m sure that all of you comic book and DCU fans have been completely frazzled trying to get your hands on that online copy of the CW’s FLASH pilot. Because, unless you've been living under a rock with no wifi, then you are aware it leaked online (at your local neighborhood torrent sites everywhere).
Well, I’m a little bit more than stoked to make as many of my friends “jelly.” Because while there are those of you not able to get a sneak peak at the CW’s pilot, I’m happy to report that I’m NOT in that minority. In the immortal words of Daffy Duck, “No, not this little black duck!”
Let me begin by saying that it is rare for television to see a more complete and satisfying superhero origin story. Its filled with Action, Comedy, Cameos, Drama, Effects, One liners, a solid Origin Story, References for Comic Book fans (but not too overpowering so that the general audience won’t get the material), and even juicy spoiler nuggets that make you want more. All in all, it was a gorgeous unfolding of the classic tale of Barry Allen and did it great justice. In my opinion, it is one of the quintessential Hero’s Journeys telling.
The Action is just enough (unlike Man Of Steel). The comedy is put in just the right places (one liners are my favorite here). The cameos (while some might think can get gratuitous) are of people who fit into the world. The drama is hit spot on where it appears, and even though they operate on a tight budget, the effects are pretty kick ass.
As an actor, I’m really impressed by this cast. Especially Grant Gustin's Barry Allen. As a comic book fan my favorite part of the entire show are the comic book references; mostly because of their accessibility. You see, when distributing productions rich with historic detail only known to fans, there is a delicate balance that one must strike in order to appeal to the general public and not just the locked in demographic of fans. Flash does that successfully, with great ease, and still satisfies the locked in comic book fans with rich Flash mythology references. Kudos to writers Greg Berlanti, Gardner Fox, Geoff Johns, Andrew Kreisberg, and Harry Lampert! Oh, and who could miss the spoilers?!? Can you say, Gorilla Grodd, Professor Zoom, Justice League, & Infinite Crisis?
The Casting Call leaked in December..Buzz creator. The script leaked in January...Buzz creator. The actual show leaked in June...BUZZ CREATOR! So, has interest halted? Hell, no! Fans are interested more than ever and are in even MORE of an uproar than ever. The news is spreading around the globe faster than Jay Garrick, Barry Allen, Wally West, and Bart Allen can carry it! Even new hashtags like #BringItOnCW have emerged. Personally, I think that the leak was deliberate. People, and when I say 'people,' I mean production companies, are learning that in this age of technology, more honesty and transparency helps to spread the word and popularity faster than you can say "speedforce." With a built in audience to give you guidance and feedback early in it's inception so that you can change anything necessary (and quick before it airs), it's the opposite of a leak. At that point it's a strategic and powerfully navigated man made river.
The CW already has tons of practice putting together strong comic book television series’ with Smallville, and most recently Arrow. They are finally beginning to understand what they have in the iconic brand of DC Comics’ cast of characters, for what these characters stand, how to represent them, and most importantly how to tell their story. In addition, they are finally talking to each other (something they learned from Marvel/Universal). So the marriage is slowly becoming seamless and symbiotic. The future is looking really bright for the CW’s FLASH. While pilots are often great to raise interest in a show, entice, and build excitement, I truly believe that FLASH is nothing but a firm foundation upon which many future building blocks (episodes) of gorgeousness will be placed. Thank you, CW. You have truly proven that lightning can strike twice for you. ;)
Brian J. Patterson is an actor and producer who splits his time between Los Angeles and San Francisco. He's a lifelong DC comics fan, who plasters his apartment with every picture of Wonder Woman imaginable.
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