One of the very first American superheroes I fell in love with was The Flash and this was one of the first comics I remember reading as a kid. This is the cover to The Flash #163.
But it was this bizarre cover a few issues later that hooked me forever on The Flash as a villain turns The Flash into The Fastest Paving Stone Alive. Seriously.
I love the art of Carmine Infantino who would draw these elegant but sharp lined people and his portrayal of The Flash is still one of my favourite bits of comic book art I’ll probably ever enjoy. Even when I stopped reading superheroes I still dipped in and out of The Flash because the idea of being the fastest man alive who can run so fast he can run through time itself was, and is, one of the simplest and most fun ideas for a superhero ever.
So when I heard an American television series adapting the Flash from the people who made Arrow I was a bit wary. Not because I disliked Arrow, as I’d not watched the programme because too many superhero adaptations are grim, depressing and don’t capture an iota of the fun of those wonderful Infantino drawn stories from the 1960’s, but I thought I’d give it a chance.
Well, after one episode I was totally hooked. Much of this is down to the light tone, the surprisingly good scripts and effects, but it’s really down to the lead actor Grant Gustin who simply is Barry Allen/The Flash.
It’s not perfect. It is a bit soap operaish in places and sometimes it’s budget betrays its ambition but overwhelmingly the series is a joy even for an old cynic like myself. It’s got The Flash being heroic, but also it’s a programme that celebrates intelligence as opposed to many programmes that assumes it’s audience isn’t paying attention or smart. Yes it can cram a lot into an episode but it moves so quickly that the joins don’t matter but anyhow, all it has to do is get Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen/Flash to smile, act heroically and I’m sold on it again.
It also pays an amazing amount of faithfulness to DC Comics. So far in the nine episodes broadcast we’ve seen Grodd, the Reverse Flash, Captain Cold, Rainbow Raider and Firestorm among many others, including of course the crossover with Arrow which is simply a joy.
This is fun, enjoyable and overwhelming entertaining television that captures and updates the Flash perfectly for television. This is the perfect time to catch up with it as it’s now on it’s mid-season break in the US so if it’s a case you’ve not watched it so far, do it now and get ready for when it returns in the New Year. This really is the best programme around at the moment.
Though no yellow boots. I loved the yellow boots…..