It's a good day to be a fan of The Flash, as the showrunners preparing the scarlet speeder for his sprint onto the small screen have released another juicy detail. The series adapting one of DC Comics' most beloved Justice League member has found its leading man in Glee alum Grant Gustin, and for the first time fans can get a look at the suit he'll be donning in the role of Barry Allen a.k.a. The Flash.
The series has been spawned by a guest appearance on The CW's Arrow, a gritty, grounded, but somewhat heightened approach to real world superheroes, but despite that, Gustin had promised a traditional take on the red and yellow suit. The first image shows an influence from both sides, shifting the colors to a darker side, while drawing its design (unsurprisingly) from DC's New 52 comic series.
Unfortunately, the first image shows only the head of Gustin's costume, but given the total absence of any Flash-focused announcements in regards to Warner Bros.'s budding movie universe, it should be enough to give fans a thrill. Before we go any farther in our analysis, take a look at the photo yourself:
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Obviously, there is more to a superhero adaptation than its costume, and WB has given comic book fans just enough detail to pique their interest. At this point the rest of the suit (read: most of the suit) is still a complete mystery. But what is immediately clear is that the show's producers weren't kidding when they said that The Flash would differ from Arrow significantly. The rest of the costume has yet to be revealed, but Barry Allen's skin-hugging suit is a far cry from Oliver Queen's hood and domino mask.
For the time being, we'll choose to overlook what appears to be a leathery 'collar' at the base of the costume's neck and focus on the positives; particularly, that this looks to be a fairly faithful adaptation of the suit seen in the comic book source material. Every comic fan has their favorite incarnation and artists, but down to the small chin 'clip,' the costume is a dead ringer for the version seen in the studio's animated features, most recently Justice League: War.
And as fans know, the source of those designs was DC's New 52 line-up, intended to bring the live-action heroes and the illustrated ones closer together. It may only be a look at the costume's headpiece, but the influences are clear.
Fans will certainly take issue with one or two aspects of the design, noting the flattened-out ear accents that, frankly, were always going to be difficult to adapt. But if changing the design worked for Captain America we think Flash will be just fine. Then there's the darker shade of red - darker than the comics have traditionally featured - which implies a less fantastic attitude than a brighter crimson would. Of course, fans already had one incarnation of a bright red, muscled suit (worn by John Wesley Shipp, who will be returning to The Flash in a mystery role) and the results were... less than timeless.
All things considered, we're not as pleased with the small peek at the suit as we are with how Gustin looks in it. Any Flash fan with a sense of optimism should look at the profile, the angles, and the hint of a smile on Gustin's lips, and start to see why the showrunners have shown so much excitement despite the risks of launching any new superhero series. The Flash's executive producer Andrew Kreisberg claimed that the show's creators were writing the part for Gustin before he'd even landed the role, so hopefully the character will fit the actor as snugly as the suit.
Hopefully this release means further details and images are on the way, but what are your reactions for now? Is this image enough to convince you the writers know what makes the character such a fan-favorite, or do you have your concerns? The comic book faithful will be happy to know that some of Flash's most iconic enemies have already been cast, so suit or no, the action should be familiar.
The Flash is expected to air on The CW in the fall of 2014.