Of all twenty-six pilots in this series, I had more mixed emotions about The Flash in advance than I did any of the rest. When I began collecting comics at age six, Barry Allen was one of the first heroes to teach me about truth, justice, and sequential numbering in long-running comics. I still have issues #270-350, along with the first 200+ issues of Wally West’s subsequent series (including the weirdly numbered Zero Hour and DC One Million crossovers). The first time he came to TV in 1990, I’d taped nearly every episode on VHS years before DVD was a thing, and when it became a thing and the show was eventually granted its release, finally getting to see the legendarily preempted Captain Cold episode was, pardon the expression, pretty cool. Until several years ago, I was a longtime fan of the Flash legacy.
I entered with trepidation into his new vehicle produced by The CW, purveyors of the frequently aggravating Smallville, which left me with so many negative emotions that to this day I still haven’t convinced myself to try a single episode of Arrow because I assumed the results would be similar or worse. (I haven’t forgotten Birds of Prey, either. Yikes.) Knowing that The Flash was a direct spinoff from a show I’m not watching didn’t encourage me, nor did the announcement that both shows are already planning their first crossover (ugh). Insert obligatory reference here to other problems with translating DC heroes to other media, especially movies.
But it’s on the list. So I gave it a try. And I was happy to be surprised. (Fair warning to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet: one paragraph in this entry covers the specific subject of Easter eggs. If you’re a fan of those and plan to savor them as a surprise someday, consider this your courtesy spoiler warning.)