Flash forward?

So. The Flash.

People who know me know that I’m a hardcore DC fanboy. I love Superman, am at best ambivalent about Wolverine, and own more Green Lantern paraphernalia than suit jackets. It’s not that I have anything against Marvel comics (I read many of their titles), or the Marvel movies… in fact, here’s me co-hosting a Marvel movie marathon for my theatre group.

Not pictured: Superman pint glass, with cape. Not kidding.
My co-host didn’t feel I was embracing the spirit.

So, yeah, love me some DC comics. Have been wanting a Justice League movie for years, even though they let me down every time.

And yet even I’m confused by all the love getting thrown at the Flash all of a sudden.

Why Flash?

When laying out their plans for the future at Comic-Con, (plans that move much slower than Marvel’s, as DC Entertainment is but a portion of the Warner Brothers empire rather than a separate studio like Marvel) DC Entertainment announced that their Superman/Batman movie in 2015 would be followed by a solo movie for the Flash before taking a swing at a combined Justice League.

This caused a few raised eyebrows. After all, the holy trinity of DC Comics isn’t Superman, Batman, and the guy who runs fast, it’s Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. The greatest female superhero of them all. Remember? Wouldn’t making her movie next be the logical move? I mean, other than Incredible Hulk, Marvel opened with their big trinity–okay, well, no they didn’t. As far as the Avengers go, the big three have traditionally been Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor, but in Marvel as a whole it’s Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Deadpool. Two of whom are even Avengers now, at least in the comics. But in terms of characters they still owned the rights to, it’s Cap, Tony, and Thor.

I digress.

I suppose the Wonder Woman movie they tried but failed to make with Joss Whedon (HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN–sorry, rant for another time…), the TV series they tried but failed to make with David E. Kelley, and the more Smallville-esque origin TV series they can’t get even sell to the network that deliberately ran Smallville for a goddamn decade, Warner Brothers is feeling gun shy with Wonder Woman. And they’re not eager to return to Green Lantern, given the harsh reception the last movie got. And Entourage aside, I don’t see them making an Aquaman movie before they’ve tested him in a team flick. Assuming that Justice League is a hit, and they follow it with solo movies. Neither of which are in the same time zone as “sure things” yet. So, yeah, if they’re going to do one more solo movie, I guess I can see why they’d pick the Flash.

And I love the Flash. Ever since Mark Waid’s run on the title in the 90s, it’s been one of my top books. The Flash is definitely one of DC’s top characters when handled well–any character is awful if you write him awful, so don’t throw any silver age nonsense at me–so I allowed my enthusiasm for a Flash movie to override any confusion over their “Man of Steel, Man of Steel sequel–NO WAIT ALSO BATMAN, Flash, Justice League” plan.

This this happened.

Flash of Two Worlds?

For those who didn’t click the link, in addition to a Flash movie in 2016, they’re trying to launch a Flash TV series in 2014 by introducing the character in an episode of Arrow, a move known as a “back door pilot.” And, for the record, the executive producers/showrunners of Arrow are the guys who are supposed to be writing the Flash movie as well.

Um… okay. Interesting choice. This is the part where I might have flipped out in joy. Ranted about how great it would be to set up the Flash in a TV series, a medium far, far better suited to adapting comic books than movies ever were, then do the Flash movie and link the TV universe of Flash and Arrow to the DC film universe. Like how Agents of SHIELD is linked to the Avengers movies.

If only I believed that’s what they’re doing.

Because, you see, as the second season of Arrow starts, super powers still aren’t a thing. The season two sizzle reel showed no sign that they were going to do the one thing I stubbornly hoped for, despite how unlikely it seemed: references to the events of Man of Steel. It’s the first time Arrow has ever failed to bend over backwards to please me, so I let it go… but now the Arrow universe is priming to include the Flash. Super powers are coming to Starling City.

And yet I can’t help suspect that they’re planning on keeping the movie Flash and TV Flash separate. I don’t know why they’d do that. I can’t picture the thought process in which having a movie about a character while running an unrelated TV series about the same character is a good idea. Man of Steel didn’t come out while Smallville was airing. But if you’re willing to fire Joss Whedon off a Wonder Woman movie, you’ll do any damn stupid thing.

Final thoughts

So maybe… MAYBE… this will all become the simple wonder of synergy it logically should be. Maybe the DC cinematic universe started with Man of Steel will link to the televised universe of Arrow, and Flash will be the bridge. After all, Flash was the first character to travel from Earth-1 to Earth-2 (long story). And yet I can’t shake the suspicion that they’re going to go the other way. Hire one team to write two Flashes, going to bizarre lengths to avoid a united universe.

I hope I’m wrong. But I also hope that one day I’ll learn to love things that don’t disappoint, hurt or try to kill me, but my commitment to community theatre and craving for Pizza Hut suggest otherwise.

Still, though. Flash on TV. Didn’t expect that to happen twice in my lifetime. Might yet be worthwhile.

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