'The Flash' Series Premiere: Our 5 Biggest Questions


The Speed Force?

The Flash Pilot Lightning Bolt Easter Egg

The explanation for Barry's powers may seem like typical comic book fiction: bathed in unknown chemicals and struck by lightning, he becomes a 'metahuman' - blessed with an increased metabolism and perception. Throw in some strange theoretical physics, and who's to say what is and isn't possible? That was also the thinking in the original comic origin story, but would later be substantially expanded upon. It wasn't just lightning that gave Barry his powers; it's what connected his body to an extra-dimensional energy known as 'The Speed Force.'

Before DC and WB sought to adapt The Flash, the time or detail placed into the Speed Force was one of our largest concerns. Would it be swept aside with a wave of the hand, or delved into head first? That question persists, since it's Barry's connection to the Speed Force which makes time travel possible. The official synopsis makes mention of Barry "tapping into an energy," so it sounds like the writers will attempt to tackle the issue head on at some point. But given the lack of problems viewers have voiced with the existing explanation for Barry's powers, it sounds like they've got some time before needing to further explore that 'bolt of lightning.'


Dr. Wells' Secret

The Flash Premiere Questions Wells

The biggest surprise of The Flash's premiere certainly came in its closing moments. With Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) shown to be not only able to walk, but possessing knowledge of the future - specifically Barry's 'vanishing' - viewers and hardcore fans alike were left befuddled. We'll list our questions about the 'crisis' referred to next, but for now, Wells' secrets have to be one of the show's biggest mysteries early on. But it's possible the showrunners have thrown fans off the scent from the very start.

At this point, the notion of someone coming from the future, impacting Barry's life, and doing it all with a smile on their face thanks to their twisted conclusion that it will 'make Barry a better hero' is established in the comics: it's the Reverse-Flash modus operandi. Since Eobard Thawne was a brilliant scientist in his own rite, and there's reason to believe Barry's mother's death was no accident, the writers are giving plenty of 'Professor Zoom' hints. It may seem odd, but if 'Harrison Wells' is merely an adopted identity (H.G. Wells wrote "The Time Machine" after all) then fans could see one heck of a twist before long.


The Crisis

The Flash Pilot Crisis Infinite Earths Easter Egg

Finally, "The Crisis." The devoted Flash fans were left with their jaws on the floor when Wells' newspaper revealed that the show's writers weren't just mentioning the 1985 "Crisis on Infinite Earths" as a target for the emotional impact of the series, but flat-out confirming it would be adapted in the show's first episode. And that is even more important to The Flash than any other DC hero, since that story - red skies and all - ended with Barry's death.

Let's be clear: we don't expect to see the "Crisis" story adapted in its entirety, since its scale and wealth of DC Comics characters are simply too colossal for even a feature film, let alone a TV series. But positioning the crisis as a decade away, and establishing early on that time can be twisted and history can be changed, the name-drop gives the writers their "thing to be avoided at all costs." How they choose to use it remains to be seen, but those hoping to see a cross-network, cross-series culling of superhero characters should probably prepare themselves for disappointment.



The Flash TV Show Story Movie

Those are all the questions that we see as not just teased, but potentially influential down the line. Do our answers help you grapple with exactly what the writers are planning, or do you have your own theories? If so, feel free to share them in the comments.

The Flash airs Tuesdays @8pm on The CW.

Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce for updates on The Flash as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.

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