If you're one of those folks who bemoan the glut of "dark" and "gritty" superhero movies and shows you can rejoice because CW's The Flash is going to restore your faith in the good guys. The comic book hero comes to life in the endearing hands of Grant Gustin, who as Barry Allen, is more mature than Peter Parker, less hokey than Clark Kent and doesn't brood like Bruce Wayne. It's time to have fun playing hero again.
The folks behind CW's other superhero show, Arrow, Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg know a thing or two about making entertaining fan fare and The Flash delivers even on a broader scale. Even though Barry's origin took place on a two-parter on last season's Green Arrow drama the show does a great efficient job of filling in the blanks of that night and replaying the event that gave him his powers.
Being a forensic scientist he's stoked about the unveiling of a particle accelerator by genius physicist Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanaugh) but when it's turned on a terrible explosion occurs and a rippling effect of dubious energy blooms across Central City. At that moment Barry is struck by lighting while in his lab.
He awakens months later and realizes he has the power of super speed. Under the care of Wells and his assistants at STAR Labs, Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) and Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker), Barry finds allies in learning about his powers and even getting a snazzy suit made for high friction.
Barry is not without some baggage as heroes often carry. At age 11 he saw his mother die at the hands of a red and yellow blur that appeared a lot like his new found power. His father was wrongly convicted of her murder and was raised by Det. Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) along with his daughter Iris (Candice Patton) whom he grows to be best friends and his unrequited love interest.
Yet instead of brooding, the trauma drives him to find out what really happened to his mother and becomes a police forensic investigator. Gustin projects such warmth and kindness you can't help but root for him to beat the bad guys and get the girl. He expresses joy having superhuman speed and his first instinct is to use it to help people. How can you not like him?
It may have been a pilot episode but with such a talented group of people behind the camera and in front of it the show has a polished look and feel. Most of all, The Flash is entertaining and good old fashioned comic book fun.
Check out what's coming up this season on The Flash