Thursday, February 5, 2015

Quick as a Flash: TV Predictions

I think by now this blog has established that I, like many people recently now that comic books and their characters have become mainstream pop culture, am a huge nerd.

With the premier of Arrow on the CW, DC comics jumped into television to great success, and followed that show up with the Flash in a shared universe.  This makes far more sense to me then trying to make comics into movie franchises.

One of the biggest concerns with superhero films is the difficult task of building characters and putting them into interesting plots that have to resolve within 2 hours.  Blockbuster films are expensive, and are slow to create.  There have been years between Iron Man movies.  Meanwhile the comic book is continuously written and published at least once a month.

Television shows, however, debut once a week for several weeks in a row, and (as long as it doesn't get canceled by talentless studio execs) there are only months between seasons.  Television episodes, as in comic books, can have stand alone stories but also over-arching season long plots.  The serial nature of television meshes much better with the serial nature of comic books.

The first season of The Flash debuted in October.  I like this show.  Grant Gustin is a great Barry Allen, and the writers have surrounded our titular hero with a good group of supporting characters, much like Oliver Queen has in Arrow.  The first season is more than halfway done, and it's already been full of comic book Easter eggs, foreshadowing, and character reveals; plenty of stuff for nerdy fans to freak out over.  They even make some nods to the Flash tv show from 1990 by casting that show's Flash as Barry Allen's father.

A good example of the foreshadowing, is the slow reveal that the character Dr Harrison Wells is probably actually the character Eobard Thawne better known as Professor Zoom, the Reverse Flash.  The Reverse Flash is one of Barry Allen's greatest foes.  He is Joker-level evil, and uses time travel through the Speed Force to extract revenge.  There is another character on the show, a detective named Eddie Thawne.  I'm betting Harrison Wells is Eddie Thawne's descendant from the future.  It is very possible that Eddie also becomes the Reverse Flash. After all, there are a few in the comics.

In addition to the ultimate Flash nemesis, there are many other villain characters to be introduced.  Captain Cold and his buddy Heat Wave already appeared in two episodes, and Captain Cold's sister was introduced, possibly revealing her to be Lisa Snart, the Golden Glider.  We also saw the Pied Piper appear twice, and the Weather Wizard, with the possibility of a second Weather Wizard appearing later.  Captain Boomerang was the antagonist of the Flash/Arrow crossover.  The Girder has already debuted in the show and killed off.  Blackout, the Mist, Plastique, and Multiplex have also starred in their own episodes.  Also, although he hasn't been officially introduced, Gorilla Grodd has been teased since the pilot episode.

However, it hasn't all been villains.  Ronnie Raymond is a character on the Flash, posthumously referred to as a member of the Star Labs team that perished in the accelerator explosion during the pilot episode.  However, as every good comicbook nerd knows, Ronnie Raymond is half of the superhero known as Firestorm.  Firestorm has since made an appearance, and recently it has been revealed that Martin Stein (the other half of Firestorm) also existed in this universe, and is probably fused to Ronnie Raymond.

Speaking of Ronnie Raymond...  Caitlin Snow, played by the very pretty Danielle Panabaker, was his girlfriend, and has been very distraught at losing him to the accelerator accident.  In the comics, Caitlin Snow is Killer Frost, a villain with the ability to naturally create and manipulate ice, and who craves heat in order to survive.

The Flash writers have already revealed that eventually Danielle Panabaker's character will become Killer Frost.  How this will happen, of course, is up for speculation.  I predict that Caitlin Snow will end up in a crossfire between the Flash, Firestorm, and Captain Cold and get shot with the cold gun.  Firestorm will attempt to save her with his abilities to rearrange atomic structures.  He saves her life, but at the same time changes her into Killer Frost, the heat vampire.  Of course, she has a mental break and blames both the Flash and Firestorm for making her into a monster.

Cisco Ramon is also from the comics.  The superhero Vibe debuted in 1984 as a member of the Justice League Detroit.  He was also a terrible Latino stereotype, and was the first JLA character ever to be killed off.  Vibe has sonic manipulation powers, similar to the Pied Piper.  My prediction:  like Caitlin Snow, Cisco is caught up in a battle between the Flash and the Pied Piper (already happened once) and somehow gets vibration manipulating powers as a consequence.  Only instead of becoming a villain, he becomes a hero.

Of course, only time will tell if I called all the shots, and spoiled several seasons of The Flash.  We haven't even seen Harrison Wells/Reverse Flash/Professor Zoom be fully revealed yet.  It's going to be awesome.

DC seems to be on their way to creating a shared television universe much like Marvel has done with their movies, only in a shorter amount of time.  DC has been able to introduce Green Arrow, the Flash, the Huntress, the Atom, The Black Canary, and Firestorm, and elude to Batman, Vibe and the Blue Beatle.  The future looks bright for DC fans.  

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