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Series: The Flash (2014)

"My name is Barry Allen, and I am the fastest man alive. A friend recently gave me the idea for a new name, and something tells me it's going to catch on..."
Barry Allen, a.k.a. "The Flash"

The Flash is a 2014 series from The CW based on the DC Comics character The Flash and a Spin-Off of Arrow. It stars Grant Gustin as Barry Allen, Candice Patton as Iris West and Rick Cosnett as Eddie Thawne, with DC's Geoff Johns as executive producer.

Barry Allen, a young forensic investigator in Central City, is struck by lightning and sent crashing into a rack of chemicals because of a freak accident during the activation of a S.T.A.R. Labs Particle Accelerator. Waking up from a coma nine months later, Barry discovers he now has the ability to move at superhuman speeds. He resolves to use his power for good, but the Particle Accelerator accident has created other "metahumans" who may not share his morals. Barry also seeks to solve the mystery of his mother's death when he was a child, for which his father was unjustly jailed, as they witnessed a yellow blur of a man do the deed - a man who might have the same power.

The series was officially greenlit for the 2014/2015 season on May 8th 2014. It began airing on October 7th, though the first episode was leaked months earlier.

See here for a recap page that Needs Wiki Magic Love.

One of three live-action DC Comics shows to premiere in 2014, along with Fox's Gotham and NBC's Constantine, though being on different networks makes crossovers unlikely.

The Flash contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Distillation: Among other elements, the costume is influenced by the Flash's current New 52 look, and the subplot of Barry's mother is from Geoff Johns's The Flash: Rebirth story. The latter is a relatively new development - for most of comic history his parents had mundane lives until Johns rewrote Barry's backstory.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Barry is blonde in the comics, but retains Grant Gustin's natural dark brown hair color.
  • A God Am I: Clyde Mardon starts getting a God complex after gaining his powers.
  • Alternate Continuity: Geoff Johns said the show and Arrow will not be part of Warner Bros.'s current DC movie franchise including Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Lampshaded when Wells is telling Barry about the antimatter, dark energy, X elements, etc. that fell into our world due to the accident.
    Barry: Those are all theoretical.
    Wells: And how theoretical are you?
  • Ascended Fanboy: Barry went from excitedly investigating the paranormal, superheroes, and new scientific miracles, to becoming a superhero and a scientific miracle. Even the Arrow thinks he's cool.
  • Bad Future: It seems that at some point in the future, Flash will disappear (possibly die) battling a mysterious force powerful enough to turn the skies red. Dr. Wells is either from this future or somehow knows about it and seems to be manipulating Barry to bring it about.
  • Bigger Bad: The Reverse-Flash killed Barry's mom, and Barry wants to hunt him down, but just exactly what or who he is isn't clear right now. And then there's whatever will cause the "Red Sky Crisis" in 2024.
  • Bullet Time: The series uses this for the audience to get a feel for Barry's speed and perception of the world.
  • Buffy Speak: "This is the part where I'm supposed to do the whole intro thingy".
  • Call Back: The Arrow advises Barry to take his own advice and wear a mask. Barry had previously advised Oliver to do that in "Three Ghosts".
  • Comic Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Averted for Barry, who starts using the name the Flash. The villains tend to play it straight themselves, but Cisco comes up with names for them.
  • Continuity Nod: S.T.A.R. Labs conduct their tests on Barry at an abandoned Ferris Air airfield. The organisation was previously established in Arrow.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Central City uses the gas chamber for executing people, in era where most executions are done using a lethal injection.
  • Deadly Dodging: In "Fastest Man Alive" Barry sidesteps Danton's attempted lunge at him. Danton Black falls through a window and eventually to his death.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Detective Chyre, an ally of Wally West in the comics, dies even before Barry Allen gets his powers.
    • Mark Mardon, known as Weather Wizard in the comics, didn't survive the Mass Super-Empowering Event (according to his brother Clyde, who becomes the Weather Wizard analogue and he dies too). Though, because Mark's body isn't shown, he may return.
  • Differently Powered Individual: The show uses the term "metahuman" from the comics for people with superpowers.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Captain Cold makes his debut in a special prequel comic published in TV Guide.
  • Exiled from Continuity: Geoff Johns stated that Superman and Batman can't appear on The Flash and Arrow because of the movies in development... for now. Despite this, the pilot has a reference to "Wayne Tech".
  • First Episode Spoiler: Harrison Wells can walk and knows Barry's future.
  • Foreshadowing: Whilst Harrison Wells is showing Barry around S.T.A.R. Labs, they walk past an animal's cage which has clearly been broken out of, with a sign reading "Grodd".
  • Freak Lab Accident: How the Flash gets his powers. In a twist on the comics, the freak accident in his lab (lightning + chemicals) is directly caused by another freak accident at S.T.A.R. Labs (particle accelerator-induced explosion + storm).
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • In the pilot's Wham Shot, an article about a Wayne Tech/Queen Inc merger can be seen on the newspaper from 2024.
    • In Barry and Mardon's first confrontation, a wisp of fog is seen exiting the shattered passenger-side window before it flips over and crashes. A blink-and-you'll-miss it, as it's meant to explain how Mardon escaped the car before it got totalled (with Barry having to climb out of the shattered windshield).
  • Healing Factor: Barry heals from a fracture in three hours.
  • How We Got Here: The pilot opens with Barry is running through the city, explains he's the fastest man alive, then (in a flashback) shows how he got his powers. He's actually telling the story to the Arrow.
  • Ice Queen: Caitlin. She's a Perpetual Frowner and generally aloof and distant. And her last name is Snow. To top it off, her comic-book counterpart is the supervillain Killer Frost.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to Arrow, this series seems to focus more on the fun of super heroics as opposed to the angst. There are a few dark moments here and there, but less so than Arrow. The Arrow himself even Lampshades it, noting that Barry can be far more of an inspirational hero than him.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Including giving you abs. Justified in the sense that this is lightning as a result from an exploding particle accelerator leaking out exotic matter and extradimensional energy so who knows what the hell it can and can't do.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Iris feels this way about Barry. He feels differently.
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: The particle accelerator explosion gives people throughout the city, possibly all over the world, powers. And animals too, since it's apparently given Gorilla Grodd his powers as well.
  • Me's a Crowd: The second episode features Danton Black (Multiplex in the comics), who can create duplicates of himself.
  • Meta Origin: For Flash and most of his Rogues.
  • Mundane Utility: Barry uses his super speed to duplicate the effect of a centrifuge when it breaks down.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • John Wesley Shipp, who played Barry Allen in the 1990 series, plays Barry's father Henry.
    • Edward "Eddie" Thawne is a reference to Barry's Arch-Enemy Eobard Thawne, known as Professor Zoom/the Reverse-Flash. Time will tell his exact relation to the Reverse-Flash, who has been indirectly shown already.
    • In the first episode, Iris calls the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator an "Atom Smasher", a character from the comics and long-time member of the JSA.
    • The show's incarnation of the Weather Wizard is Clyde Mardon, rather than Mark Mardon, his brother and partner in crime. In the comics, Clyde is the one who creates the technology that allows Mark to become the Weather Wizard.
    • While at the hospital, Barry's heart beats so fast that it sometimes looks like he's flatlining. In Justice League, Flash deliberately speeds up his heart to look like he's flatlining.
    • Oliver says the lightning bolt that struck Barry wasn't random, it may have chosen him. Before the New 52 reboot, one story showed that at the moment of his death in Crisis on Infinite Earths, Barry became one with the Speed Force, went back in time, and became the lightning bolt himself.
      • Post New 52, it's also hinted that the Speed Force is a semi-mythical power that has chosen multiple champions throughout history.
    • Amanda Pays, who portrayed Barry's potential love interest Dr. Tina McGee in the 1990 series, is returning to play a rebooted version of the same character.
    • In the newest trailer, we see Barry running fast on a treadmill and static electricity forming around him, a visual reference to the Cosmic Treadmill from the comics and a nod to the older Flash show.
    • The future newspaper seen at the end of the pilot mentions a "Crisis" involving red skies.
      • Another article on the same page mentions a merger between Queen Inc and Wayne Tech.
      • The future Flash seen in the photograph wears an altered costume that looks very close to the classic Flash suit from the comics, right down to the color scheme and chest emblem.
    • A tv news reporter named Linda Park is seen briefly - in the comics, Linda was the girlfriend (and later wife) of Wally West, Barry's sidekick-turned-successor in the comics.
    • Episode 2 briefly introduces Simon Stagg, a villain opposed to Metamorpho in the comics. Cisco calls Danton Black "Captain Clone" before eventually settling on his actual alias from the comics, Multiplex.
    • Episode 3 opens with Barry and Iris leaving a theater that mentions a Blue Devil movie on the marquee.
      • Caitlin comments that Ronnie Raymond used to say their relationship was like fire and ice, referencing their comic alter egos Firestorm and Killer Frost.
    • Episode 4 involves the attempted theft of the Kahndaq Dynasty Diamond.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Despite his God complex, Clyde Mardon is perfectly happy using his powers to rob banks until Detective West's sarcastic comment about why a God would need to rob banks prompts him to think bigger.
  • Not Wearing Tights: Thus far, Barry's the only one that has anything resembling a superhero costume, as all of the villains have been wearing typical civilian gear, or tactical black.
  • Parental Abandonment: Barry's mother was murdered when he was a child and his father was arrested for the murder.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Caitlin apparently never smiled for nine months after the S.T.A.R. Labs accident which cost her her career and killed her fiancé. Barry fleetingly changes that by saving the city from Mardon's tornado.
  • Race Lift: Iris West and her family are Caucasian in the comics, but African-American here.
  • Retcon:
    • The Arrow episode "Three Ghosts" depicted Barry's lab accident happening on the night he returned from Starling City, and showed Barry to be on the phone to Felicity Smoak immediately before it, with Barry telling her that he missed the cut-off in the line at S.T.A.R. Labs. The Pilot instead depicts Barry as being back in Central City the morning before the accident, removes the phone call, and has Barry and Iris at S.T.A.R. Labs before leaving to file a police report after Iris is robbed, with Barry heading to his lab from there.
  • Rogues-Gallery Transplant: One of the villains in Season 1 will be the Mist, who is traditionally the Arch-Enemy of Starman in the comics. Another villain will be Multiplex, a Firestorm villain.
    • Simon Stagg is also more associated with Metamorpho than Flash.
  • Rule of Cool: Why is the Flash insignia a lightning bolt? According to Cisco Ramon, so it's "not boring".
  • Running Gag: Barry's youthful appearance is mocked once again in the pilot, as it was when he first appeared in Arrow. One of the cops at the precinct affectionately calls him "Baby Face" after Barry returns from his nine-month coma.
    Cop: That was quite the nap you took there, Baby Face, but you still look like twelve.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Gender-flipped with Cisco and Caitlin. Cisco is constantly brimming with energy and smiling broadly, while Caitlin is calmer and less cheerful and the generally more intelligent person in the duo.
  • Science Hero: The S.T.A.R. Labs team as Barry's support. Barry himself, of course, has superpowers.
  • Secret Keeper:
    • Caitlin Snow, Cisco Ramon, and Harrison Wells become this to Barry, helping him figure out what happened to him.
    • Detective West also finds out Barry's secret after seeing him stop Mardon's tornado.
    • Oliver Queen/The Arrow; Barry also serves as one to him, from his initial appearances in Arrow.
  • Sherlock Scan: Barry does this during crime scene investigation, determining who or what was ther by simply looking at the scene, complete with Sherlock-style onscreen overlaid graphics describing exactly what his Sherlock Scan is revealing to him with graphs and measurements.
  • Shout-Out: In the flashback in Episode 3, Caitlin suggests that she and Ronnie watch Orange Is The New Black to kill time on their flight to Tahiti.
  • Spandex, Latex, or Leather: The Flash costume is a mix of fabric and leather, described in-universe as originally being developed for firefighters. It's also a darker shade of red (Specifically, maroon) than usual.
    • Likely, this is because bright red is difficult to film under varying lighting conditions in real life.
  • Spin-Off: Of Arrow.
  • String Theory: Barry has one of these devoted to his mother's murder
  • Super Speed: Only a few days after waking up from his coma, Barry clocks in at around 700 mph, just under the sound barrier.
  • Tempting Fate: Mardon mockingly asks Joe West: "You think your guns can stop God?" Turns out they can.
  • Tornado Move: Clyde Mardon pulls one off when he starts thinking big.
  • Urban Fantasy: After its parent show was about as realistic as a superhero comic adaptation can be, The Flash settles firmly in this area with the Particle Accelerator explosion having numerous weird effects throughout Central City.
  • Wham Shot: The pilot ends on the reveal that Harrison Wells is from the future, and that in 2024 the Flash will vanish in the midst of a crisis involving the sky turning red.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Barry gives one to the S.T.A.R. Labs team when he points out that more metahumans exist in Central City, and they haven't done anything about it or even told the police.
    • Wells gives one to Barry in reaction to the above. He firmly tells him off for putting his life in danger when he could be using his powers to make massive breakthroughs in modern medicine, and implying that with his fake permanent disability, seeing Barry recover from grievous injuries in a matter of hours is hard for him.
  • Where The Hell Is Springfield?: The only known fact about Central City’s location is that it’s 600 miles from Starling City, which is somewhere on the Pacific coast of North America.
    • Traditionally in the comics, Central City is located in the Midwest
  • You're Not My Father: Barry to Joe West. Given an Ironic Echo at end of the episode.
    Barry: You're not my father. But you are the one who kept me fed. Put clothes on me back. You dropped me off at college. That's the definition of a dad.
    Joe West: *moment of choked up Silence, grabs pizza, shoves into mouth*

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