Making A Hero: The Flash
Making A Hero will be an ongoing series of articles taking a closer look at the characters that surround our favorite heroes, some of these people surround them for their own personal gain while the fair majority are there because they love and support our heroes in one way or another. We are living in the golden age of super hero television, CW is doing fantastic things with DC properties while Netflix is consistently raising the bar with Marvel properties. Fox and ABC are both turning out quality comic book television as well the first two just have higher volumes of heroes! So far we have looked at both Daredevil and Supergirl, today it time to talk about the Scarlet Speedster himself!
During season two of Arrow when it was announced that Grant Gustin would make his debut as Barry Allen, I personally was a little apprehensive about how The CW was going to pull off something like The Flash. Then you meet Barry and I realized that it didn’t matter how the show looked because Grant was such a great Barry even before super speed. Then the show started and all of my worries went out the window, not only is the show super well written and acted, but it looks fantastic. While Arrow is a darker urban crime drama, Flash was set up more as a family friendly superhero show. The show runners decided to change this version of the Flash’s origin story slightly, by accelerating his time line. Our Flash gets his powers years earlier than normal and it is only mildly an accident…aka it’s not at all.
That being said the first person we have to talk about when speaking of making a hero would be Eobard Thawne. Thawne acting as Harrison Wells starts the entire journey for everyone by purposely blowing up a particle accelerator. He does this in hopes that he can get Barry to run fast enough to break the space time barrier and get him home. The creators did not keep the secrete that Harrison Wells was actually The Reverse Flash from the audience for too long, but did hold out that Harrison Wells was really Eobard Thawne for a good while. The duplicity of Thawne was tragic in that even though the audience knew he was a villain he seemed so genuine, and a part of him having lived in this time period for so long really did care about the people he was working with. He just is also a certified crazy pants and viewed them as dead already anyways so their lives were expendable. Eddy saves everyone from the wrath of Thawne after Barry ruins is evil master mind plans. We have since seen past versions and now an alternate timeline version of the character, he has been too great of an adversary to eliminate!
When we met Barry he was a normal human guy who had a need to prove the impossible, which of course brought him to Oliver Queen and the mirakuru soldiers, plus he was a nerdy fan boy of The Arrow. Oliver and Barry have a very symbiotic relationship in that Barry makes Oliver see the good in himself, while Oliver makes Barry see his own potential. His out look on life and super powers make him able to be a symbol of hope that Oliver doesn’t see himself capable of being. Their relationship has evolved over time as every relationship should, in the beginning Oliver saw Barry as a reckless child with super powers. At this point in their relationship they see each other as equals and partners when they need to be, and when your actions effect the lives of so many it seems essential to have someone you can sit down and have a beer with after saving the world.
Iris West very simply put is Barry’s heart, soul, and motivation. Eobard’s messing with the time line altered their relationship in a lot of ways but their feelings for one another are so strong they can’t help but be in each other’s lives in one way or another. Iris also was basically the only character who didn’t know The Flash’s identity through the first season of the show, which gave an interesting dynamic to two characters who up till that point had shared everything with one another…well everything except that he was absolutely in love with her. You can’t talk about Iris without talking about Joe West, Barry’s adopted dad. Joe is the most down to earth character on The Flash and is often the character that makes Barry stop and look at a problem for a normal human perspective. He helps Barry from getting to stuck in his own head and is often the voice of reason, though Joe is undoubtedly where Barry gets his stubbornness from. While Eobard messed up a lot of things in Barry’s life we have seen time and time again that if Nora is alive and Henry is around Barry and Joe never develop that beautiful relationship we all love so much.
Last but certainly not last are another duo that have to be mentioned together, Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon. They are the first people Barry sees after waking up from the coma and are the most vital parts of Team Flash. The two are each others perfect pair, Caitlin thinks in the most pragmatic way while Cisco’s thoughts and ideas are fantastical. When the world changes as dramatically as it did after the particle accelerator both ways of thinking are needed to solve the types of problems that come their way. There have been trust issues between the three characters but most everyday they all know that in this crazy world they live in they need one another to survive.
While there are several more characters including, Barry’s parents, the various versions of Harrison Wells we have met, and the various metas Barry has encountered along the way both good and bad. I just couldn’t include them all or you would be reading this post until The Flash returns January 24th at 8pm on the CW, check out the review for the mid season finale here!