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Well, since we don't seem to have a Flash community yet, I suppose this is as good a place to put it as any.

First, everyone knows the Flash pilot episode is out there... somewhere on the Internet, right? If not, go check it out. You won't regret it because it's the best damn superhero pilot I've seen in quite awhile.

If you do, you'll know what I'm talking about.

Now, this isn't a review of the episode. Mostly because a) this isn't a Flash community, and b) those big scary "Not for review, resale, or rental" messages on the bottom of the entire episode.

What I do want to look at is how the Flash compares to Arrow. The heroes, not the show. And heck, lets toss in the Smallville Clark Kent in the process. They're all shows on the CW, they have some of the same creative people involved like Geoff Johns (who produced some of the best Smallville episodes). I think we're justified in looking at how different the three main heroes of these shows are.

This is an Arrow community so lets look at Oliver first. He's the vigilante, the vengeful hero. At least initially. He's not in it for glory or fame. He's doing it because he has daddy issues. He has to learn to become a hero, rather than just a killer who is knocking names off of a list.



Then we have Smallville's Clark Kent. Clark is the "burden of responsibility" hero. While rewatching the early episodes, it's interesting to note that Clark was kind of a drag. In "Leech", for instance, Lana points out that he has the weight of the world on his shoulders and Clark agrees. He's had to hide his powers, he seems to feel responsible for everything that happens he can't stop, and generally he's kinda mopey. He's also younger than our other two heroes, a TV teenager (i.e., the actor is 24 playing Clark at the age of 15 when the series begins), and has a lot of high school angst.



Sure, Clark grows out of that more or less, but we're looking at the premiere of our heroes here.

Oliver by comparison is more or less a fully functioning adult. Sure, we hear about his party-boy pre-island personality and see it in the occasional flashback, represented by a bad haircut. But Oliver doesn't have unrequited crushes or worries about getting a date to the prom.

So we have the Vengeful Hero, and the Burdened Hero. And that brings us to the Flash. And he's a new type of hero for the CW. He's... the Fun Hero.


I'm not talking a Booster Gold-style Gloryhound. And Barry certainly isn't without his angst. Essentially an orphan with an unrequited love for a girl he can't have, yes, Barry starts with issues. But he (and the writers) don't really dwell on them. By the end of the pilot, he's reaffirmed his parental issues (awwww), he's more or less over losing the girl because he kinda finds a new one (and has the unmentioned Felicity waiting in the wings). The father-figure in his life accepts him for who he is.

Barry doesn't have to learn how to be a hero, unlike Oliver and Clark. He damn well knows you get superpowers, the next thing you do is you put on a funky costume and you go out, fight crime, and save bike messengers.

Maybe it's just the act of running, but Grant Gustin captures the exuberance of the character. For those of you who have seen the 70s Superman movie, remember a young Clark outrunning along a train and just enjoying his superpowers? That's what Barry is like once he gets his superpowers on.


Oliver is all grim and determined to hit targets, but he doesn't really seem to enjoy being the world's greatest archer. In fact, there's a scene of him swinging around buildings in the Flash pilot that I don't recall him ever doing in his own series. Maybe if he swung around Starling City more, Spider-Man style like he does here, he'd be a more enthusiastic hero.

Clark, burdened with having to hide his powers, never really seems to enjoy using them early on. I'm sure there's a scene or two I'm forgetting, it has been 10+ years. But the general feel he has early on is, "Oh, I have powers and they're such a burden: I can't enjoy them."

It's also nice that the writers speed things up *heh* for the Flash pilot. By the end of the episode, Barry is in costume and Central City's "guardian angel." He's got the costume, he's got the mask, he's got most of his powers. Clark had ten years of costumus interruptus, and Oliver didn't get his mask until season 2.

So it's nice to see the CW didn't give us a retread of their previous two superhero types. But it's even better that they gave us a hero who damn well enjoys being a hero.

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* Sorry, "Blueballed by Lana Yet Again Face wouldn't fit in the caption and be readable.
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Not sure how much I can comment (unsure abut embargoes and such), but I like this take on it good a bit, is what I'll say.
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Exuberance is a good word- this new Barry has just the right kind of "aww shucks" to be the guy you want to see slowly become the confident hero.

Who doesn't enjoy hero stories for the "scarlet pimpernel factor" like Batman and the Arrow pretending to be self indulgent playboys but who secretly have a mission they'd die for.

Love CWs little touches, sure Oliver isn't about to use an arrow to shoot off some champagne corks at a party but his archery is a product of survival, his bow and arrows are essential tools, like Redford said in the Last Castle: Irwin: [while looking at Winter's military collection] Any man with a collection like this is a man who's never set foot on a battlefield. To him a minié ball from Shiloh is just an artifact. But to a combat vet, it's a hunk of metal that caused some poor bastard a world of pain.

[spoilers]
Great origin story for the suit - liked the oxygen mask was part of it but discarded for efficiency.

Like the home [star labs] team the flash has on his side and their level of commitment though the professors "you're not a hero" thing struck a chord and got me dewey eyed later.

With his power and knowing his Dad's innocence he better not just leave him in prison for all of season 1, loved the link to old Flash series but is TV afraid of having a single mom raise Barry?
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Just watched the Flash pilot, awesome! this show is very promising. For starters it doesn't hide Barry's powers like Smallville did to Clark's, Barry's powers are all there. Then Barry is not gloomy and doomy like Clark and Oliver, he's totally fine with the fact that he's diferente. He doesn't have the typical issues of the reluctant superhero, actually he wants to be a superhero. And the best part is that dispite all that the mistery is still there. Judging by that newspaper of the future I started wondering if Reverse Flash was the responsible for the explosion of the particle accelerator. How did doctor Wells get that newspaper?
Can't hardly wait to see the show!!!
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I'd like to get my own sneak peek of the pilot. Where did you see it? On Hulu?
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Got it online.
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Okay, I've watched the Flash Pilot episode. One thing you hadn't mentioned is that John Wesley Shipp, the actor that played The Flash in the 1990 series appears in a cameo as Henry Allen, Barry's father. The one thing I've come to love about the CW is that in their superhero shows seem to always pay homage to the creators, comics and/or any previous incarnations of the character that has appeared before. Also, the potential storylines is as open as the Flash series comics is long. The fact that they actually show what happened to Nora Allen has the greatest potential of doing a live acted version of recently released DC animated video Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, in which Barry finally confronts his mother's killer. I patiently wait, with baited breath to see where the Flash story goes.
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Mentioning him would have been a review... *shhhhh*
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The Flash = Smallville 2.0
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Except funner.

And first-season-wise, better acted.
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I think that is why The Flash won't make a good TV show. Everything you describe (and what I could make up from the trailer) happens in the pilot. TV shows are about character development and slowly (not to slow like Smallville S8-9-10) bringing the story towards a goal. The Flash does not seem to have that. I think he would've been better of with a stand-alone movie.
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I'm not particularly worried. I think this show will be good fun. But I just had an idea for a show with a more serious tone that's better suited for that type of character development: Quicksilver, the character that Evan Peters played in the recent X-Men movie. Of course it needs to have Evan Peters in the lead role, because he's awesome. It may not be a great fit for the CW though, because they will think it's a good idea to say that the character is 17 years old even though the actor is 27.
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Nice story. But first of all, something was bothering me about this new Flash... But, a BROWN Flash? That's the thing with red, you don't have much room for changing and staying red. Too light, and it becomes pink, too dark, and it looks earth brown.

I know you were comparing the CW heroes, not the heroes themselves. (Even though we're not talking about an illegally unaired pilot because we'd never watch something so illegal, right? Right? *Ahem*) But I have problems taking Smallville as canon and it bothers me that the show sometimes is all that some people know about the Superman universe.

While the other heroes seem to be complete enough to be recognized as the characters, several important elements are missing for this to be considered a Superman show, and the costume is the least of them. I'm thinking more of the dual identity/personality Clark Kent is supposed to have, as well as his job at the daily planet.

I always thought Smallville Clark was ready enough to become Superman by season 5 at least. All he needed was ask Ma Kent to sow him a homemade Superman uniform and move to Metropolis. He was a slow learner in the flight department? So what? Doesn't "able to leap over tall buildings" remind us of anyone we know? All he needed to do was be faster than a bullet and stronger than a locomotive.

Another thing is that Superman's alter ego was from a place called SMALLville precisely because that was a small and obscure place. Clark was supposed to be a simple guy, from "salt of the earth" Kansas interior, and that would contrast with the ways of the "big city folks." This way he would always be a little like a hick deep inside, a simple guy in the essence. But the moment everybody else that matters is also from Smallville or living there, that stopped making any sense.

Anyway, these characters have so many versions that we can always pick the ones we like best, and, again, The CW Clark wasn't quite like it. Even though I think Tom Wellig totally has the right looks, I's prefer the 1990s Clark Kent/Superman played by Dean Cain in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.



But if we get past the TV set and go into the source material, the comics, I'd prefer the 1986 John Byrne/jerry Ordway/Marv Wolfman/Dan Jurgens version for the following reasons:

- Clark was born on Earth. (He was brought to Earth in his birthing matrix, not as an infant.)
- He what it felt to be human with humans because Krypton was a barren, sterile place.
- He grew up as a normal guy and only got his powers gradually with puberty. So he was pretty much normal in the beginning and even excelled at sports.
- He traveled around the world to learn about humanity before becoming Superman.
- The Kents are still alive and help him even as an adult. That keeps him rooted in his origins without feeling like an alien.
- He develops a normal, adult relationship with Lois Lane and eventually they marry.



But I understand movies and television have a stronger appeal, and also young people tend to stick with the newest versions. People also prefer the version they had when they were younger or even kids. But from my point of view, the CW still owes us a decent Superman show.

Anyway, nice article.

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AHHH i thought for a moment there is a new Smallville Show in the making.... :(
I WISH THERE A NEW SMALLVILLE SHOW.. THAT WHOULD BE EPIC!!
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Clarks self-righteousness was fucking annoying but it was well acted and in character. But it makes for an extremely boring protagonist as he only sees black and white. He essentially has no flaws. The irony that an alien has better morals and ideals than the actual humans he tries to fit in with.
Also the amount of time it took him to fly, oh god..
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So since we are not allowed to talk about Flash pilot all i am going say was i felt The flash was kind of copy Smallville style unlike Arrow which seem aimed at adults and has more issues.

Barry is very likable character just like Clark Kent but I really found Oliver to be unlikable he look like a bad guys he doesn't really have friendly face he look more like bad guy than a good guy.

My main concern with The Flash is whether they go for FOW type episode or will focus on main storyline with Barry trying find out what really happens.


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Damn dude. Exactly what I was going to say. I prefer a larger narrative and Smallville didn't really hook me till season 4! I hope they work in a bigger picture story and don't fall into a FOW pattern ;)
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FOW stands for Freak of the Week in case people were wondering
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I find that ALL TV superheroes tend to carry a "burden of responsibility" around like their most prized possession. Clark was really bad for it, to the extent that if any of his costars, especially the women, threatened to do anything the least bit heroic or risky, he'd start getting all territorial about it. I haven't seen the Flash preview yet, but Oliver tends to be that way too a lot. It gets a bit funny when everyone on his team starts arguing about who gets to sacrifice themselves for the greater good and he exercises his veto power.

As for the Flash enjoying his powers more, maybe that's a symptom of living fast. After watching X-Men: Days of Future Past, it seemed like the happiest (and funniest) character there was Quicksilver. His speed gave him time to get creative, and orchestrate situations to play out in "normal" time like Rube Goldberg machines. I hope the new Flash indulges himself once in a while as well, playing similar pranks on his slower opponents.
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Smallville was one of the best shows I've ever watched. Clark may have seemed like a really angsty mopey teenager but it's still impossible not to love him.
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I have to dis agree a bit on the arrow, I know he is going vigilante style but at the end of a few shows (or maybe it is just me who thinks I see this) he looks happy about saving his city. I'm not sure how he would look though if he were giggling as he shot an arrow through some one's chest???
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If you can find some back issues of the 70s and 80s Green Arrow, you can see what I mean. The Green Arrow in those comics was a swashbuckling devil-may-care adventurer. While he didn't giggle, he did enjoy swinging around, taking trick shots, and just generally being an annoyance to criminals everywhere.

The Arrow we got in Arrow is more the late 80s "Longbow Hunters" Green Arrow, both in look and in fighting style (i.e., no trick arrows, just shooting people). There's nothing wrong with them taking that approach. Just that they could have made Oliver a Fun Hero and it wouldn't have been a total departure from the comics.
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By the second season he cheers up a bit.

But the reason that it seems inappropriate for him to be giggling, as it were, is because they chose to make him a grim avenger early on. If you go back to his Golden/Silver Age era appearances, he was more of a swashbuckling type. I'm not saying that they made the wrong choice, but how they're making different choices for their different heroes.
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I like what you wrote and I'm totally watching Flash, but let's be fair, oliver went through hell, so I kind of understand why he isn't all joyful but I do think he enjoys saving the city, he is kind of like batman, sort of dark.
I totally think you were right clark was unbereable sometimes, dude you have superpowers!!!!!!!!!!!!
When I think of superman I always remember what Bill says in Kill Bill Vol.2, that clark kent is the secret identity of superman and that is how he sees humans, weak and stupid...
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That would depend on the version of Superman you'd be referring to. Certainly not true for the post-1986 comics Superman. This reminds me of something Clark says to Lois in "Lois & Clark" when he proposed to her and she wasn't sure who was proposing, Clark or Superman. "Lois, Clark Kent is who I am. Superman is what I can do."

Bill obviously had just a superficial knowledge of tge character. And he was the villain, right? You can't trust what a villain says!

As for Smallville the show, I have serious problems inserting it in the overall continuity.
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sorry I never read the comics! bill was a villain but I liked that phrase and I was just trying to connect it to clark always mopping around :)
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The sentence was said in a humorous tone by Bill, and being he the villain, it's obvious he would trash the image of Superman, who, well, is a crime fighter. I think his sentence would perfectly apply to Dr. Manhattan, the "superman" of Watchmen. Dr. Manhattan was created as a criticism to super powerful heroes who would lose connection with humanity, and because of that he made a very interesting character.
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Also, Greg Berlanti had a speedster in No Ordinary Family, too...

That show also had the "I like having superpowers" feel to the characters.
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I was sooo bummed out when it got cancelled, No Ordinary Family deserved a season 2.
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I neither confirm nor deny, the awesomeness of which you speak, although i think your hypothetically correct. Extremely hypothetically correct.
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Good analysis...I think grumpyclown sent me the link for it but I am holding off to watch it in the fall. Its really the only show I am 100% looking forward to so, I want to give something to myself to look forward to. What I found especially fun about your point, the producers were all trying to make the same point (at least Arrow v. Flash) but all they could talk about was tone of the show. What I think will be very funny is I almost think half the reason Stephen Amell has been putting out all these videos and popping up at smaller comic-cons has been to get people truly used to his own actual personality so that when Oliver lightens up a bit probably as a result of Barry, we won't be too shocked.
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Oh give it a chance now, you'll like it. Plus (not really a spoiler) it's pretty self contained, almost like a quick TV movie, so you don't have to worry about what happens next week or cliffhangers. The only qualm I had with the pilot floating out there somewhere on the internet, is that although the visual effects are complete (and pretty darn nice for network tv) the sound effects seemed to be lacking a fair bit of polish and tuning.
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I'm practicing self discipline...
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Staff
FWIW, I approve of the self-restraint.
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I was reluctant for the actor to take the helm of The Flash. But he did an all right job. He still however looks like he needs a good six months in the gym and a lot of protein shakes.
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@Sanity_Bleeds

They are filming in the same area that Arrow is filming, certainly they could get Stephen Amell's trainer to work with him.

I think his abs were CGI.
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That's still my biggest complaint too. He needs to look like a runner, not a scrawny cyclist. They really should have put him on the Andy Whitfield pre-Spartacus exercise regimen.
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You should give in to temptation ;-)
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That's just your bieber talking
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