The Flash is on the fast track to visit Arrow this season, raising many questions. How will Dr. Barry Allen’s alter ego manage to be fleet on his feet in the CW series’ powerless world? What exactly will his fancy footwork look like? Will The Flash clash with Green Arrow?
DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and Arrow showrunner Andrew Kreisberg were lightning-quick to field those queries and others in a Tuesday afternoon press conference. Here’s what was learned:
* Barry Allen will be introduced in Episodes 8 and 9 of Arrow Season 2 (opening Oct. 9), as a forensics scientist working for the Central City police department — “just an ordinary man,” said Kreisberg. “That’s how the audience will get to know him before life gets a little bit faster.” Barry will also appear in Episode 20, a formal backdoor pilot more focused on this new character (and possibly planting fun Easter eggs along the way).
* Addressing the sticky wicket of creating The Flash in a world that has purposely been established as free of superpowers, Kreisberg said, “Part of the fun is for the audience is to go on that ride and see how we do our ‘Arrow take’ on the Flash legacy. Some of it will feel very familiar, and some will feel different.” All that said, Johns asserted, “He does need powers to be The Flash.” And as such, Kreisberg added, “Our characters will react to the extraordinary changes to their world in a realistic way. These ‘powers’ wont be treated as commonplace.”
* Why introduce and potentially spin off this particular DC character? Arrow EP Greg Berlanti counts The Flash as his favorite superhero as a kid, and the character ranks high with Johns and Kreisberg as well. “So when Greg approached us and said, ‘What if we did The Flash as a spinoff?’, all of us lit up,” Kreisberg reported. Especially since the speedster differs greatly from Arrow and other DC heroes. “Barry got his powers by accident — he isn’t a God, he isn’t an alien — so his reactions to that feel very human and grounded.” And whereas Oliver Queen is a dark and tortured soul, “Barry is not, so it will be a fun byplay to see these two characters together, because they have very distinctive world views.”
* Along those lines, a la DC lore, you can expect Barry and Ollie to not exactly be besties when they cross paths. “As excited as we are to write for Barry, we’re really excited about what his arrival means for Oliver, for Dig, for Felicity, for everybody. He’s going to affect everybody’s lives,” said Kreisberg. Added Johns, “Barry’s a cop, so he follows the law, he follows the rules. The last thing he would ever think about is being a vigilante.”
* Once Barry does evolve into The Flash, “He will not be blurring around” Johns said when asked about rendering the speed effect for TV. “We want to do something fresh and exciting and give people a cinematic experience,” he added, pointing to recent Flash comics — as well as the animated release Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox — as possible visual cues.
* With casting now about to get underway, “A blonde would be preferred,” Kreisberg said, though as with Arrow, they’ll go with “the best actor for the part” — and/or “someone who look good in red,” Johns quipped.
* Johns, Kreisberg and Berlanti will cowrite the three Barry Allen episodes, while Arrow/Smallville pilot director David Nutter is on board to direct Episode 20 aka the backdoor pilot for the prospective spin-off.
* Just to be clear, I had the guys double-secret officially confirm: Allen’s ultimate alter ego will be called The Flash, and he will wear the iconic, colorful costume.
* Lastly, there is no word on if The CW’s Flash will be compatible with Macs. (Just kidding. Computer nerd humor.)