In about two and a half weeks, something special is about to happen. As far as I can tell, that’s when two separate superhero shows based on DC properties will air side-by-side, with one being a spinoff of the other. Arrow has raked in lots of cash and popularity for Warner Bros, DC Entertainment and The CW in its two-year run so far and on October 7th The Flash will debut, featuring Arrow’s hot cameo last year, Grant Gustin as Barry Allen, the Scarlet Speedster. And as DC is wont to do, there will be companion comics, same as there were with Arrow, and a week back DC got it all started.
Based on what I’ve heard about the debut, based on the leaked episode one from a few weeks back, The Flash Season Zero takes place concurrent to the comics, even though it is being called Season Zero. Kind of like the Year Zero comics about other heroes that DC has done over the years, but paired with the first season of a live-action show about the titular character. The first two issues here give the reader a brief intro into who Barry is and his role as The Flash, and then launch straight into a big arc that also sees the introduction of the C-lister villain Strong Man. Script is good, art is good, what more could I want?
The first issue seems to recap what we have already seen on Arrow and all the trailers for The Flash and its first episode. That wasn’t so much a problem for me since it provides a nice handy reference point for the updated television version of The Flash. You get into the story, Barry tells you about his origins and basically seems to sum up the things he learned in the (leaked) pilot. I was indeed confused by the crew of STAR Labs since I’m not familiar with any of them outside of their one or two cameos on Arrow, though I know that all three are going to be important members of Barry’s supporting cast on the show. The cold introductions to the three of them didn’t work so well for me, but I liked the fact that they became more relevant in the second issue.
Another thing is that we don’t get to learn how Barry gets his suit, which is another thing that I believe the premiere in two and a half weeks is going to touch on. Given what I’ve heard about this particular version of STAR Labs, I have a feeling that the answer is going to be rather obvious by all accounts.
Still, what matters is whether or not these two issues are as much fun to read as their companion issues for Arrow Season 2.5. And my answer is going to be an emphatic yes. The story here, by Andrew Kreisberg with scripts by Brooke Eikmeier and Katherine Walczak, is really good. It introduces Barry quickly, gives us the lowdown on him, and then moves on to introduce his great supporting cast and also his second and third villains (the first being Weather Wizard, who is going to be featured in the pilot). Strong Man gets very little to do in either of the two issues, but his brief appearances are fun to read about. The second issue introduces a villain who seems to have an affinity for animals, and my feeling is that neither of these two villains are going to get lost in obscurity, and that they are actually going to return in future issues, especially Strong Man, and his mysterious benefactor.
The pencils here are by Phil Hester, inks by Eric Gapstur, colours by Kelsey Shannon and letters by Deron Bennett. Unlike Arrow Season 2.5, the artwork in this series is bright, colourful and also cheerful. There’s no bleakness here, just Barry’s constant upbeatness and generally positive way of looking at things. The characters look quite different from how they are on the show, which is interesting since in Arrow Season 2.5 the characters match much more closely with their live-action counterparts, but still this wasn’t something that held me up. I liked the artwork here and I’m looking forward to seeing more of it in future issues.
These two issues feel like a really great start to the show, and I’m looking forward to both the next few issues, and also the premiere in two and a half weeks!