If you could run faster than any human being in history, is there anything you would still be too late to stop? That's the question posed in the latest trailer for The Flash, highlighting the fact the beneath the red leather and lightning, Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) is one truly troubled soul. His CW sibling may be the one defined by loss and torment, but as the newest trailer featuring Central City's 'Guardian Angel' shows, The Flash and Arrow have both had their share of tragedies to overcome.
Ever since the first words broke of a Flash spin-off tied to the world of Arrow, skeptics have wondered if the darker, more stern approach taken for Green Arrow's TV adaptation (often likened to Batman Begins) could work for Barry Allen's world of metahuman villains. The first appearances of Barry Allen in Starling City - as well as the pilot episode of The Flash - merged the two shows with ease, but finding a stable tone for the shared universe is an ongoing challenge.
The Arrow showrunners have explained that part of the reason for bringing Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) into the fold is to lighten the mood substantially. As the above trailer shows, the balancing act will also require some added focus on the darker, less carefree aspects of Barry Allen's speedster as well.
That isn't to say that those darker elements aren't pulled directly from the comic books, since Barry Allen's path to heroism (rebooted origin story or not) began with one of the worst tragedies that a child could face. Understandably, the speedster's claim to the title of 'fastest man alive' has attracted the most attention from casual observers. But The CW isn't just interested in attracting viewers who felt that Arrow's style was a little too dark; they want to give those same fans another night to tune in.
The differences may not seem as stark as they once did, as Arrow has stepped farther and farther into the realm of the supernatural, and of costumed heroes. With The Flash still weeks away from its debut, yet already having cast the likes of Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell), this trailer may be needed for some potential viewers. The message - whether it's accurate in the end or not - is that the superpowers of the show aren't the core, but Barry Allen's mission.
At the end of the day, it's fair to say that Barry and Oliver - while starring in two different shows - represent two sides of the same coin. Oliver Queen may seem like a man with nothing to live for, but deep down, he's always ready to believe in the best of people. Barry Allen may seem like a happy-go-lucky kid on the surface, but is secretly consumed with solving a mystery that destroyed the life he could have had.
We can't say for sure if that relationship will be explored in the first planned crossover event, but it shows that the two heroes may have more in common than even fans expected. Are you happy to see The Flash pitched as a bit closer to Arrow than other details or trailers have implied? Or should each show stick with their own style, and let audiences find which one(s) they like?
The Flash premieres Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 @8pm on The CW.
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