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The Flash Season 2: Grant Gustin is The Best Comic Adaptation Lead since Robert Downey Jr. [Review]

From the CW Network, DC Comics and executive producer Greg Berlanti  (Arrow), The Flash stars Grant Gustin, Jesse L. Martin, Candice Patton, Rick Cosnett, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes and Tom Cavanagh. Season two has ended and Season three is set for Fall, 2016.

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Central City forensic investigator Barry Allen is, always charming and – as a result of a scientific experiment gone awry – now the fastest man alive! He’s The Flash, zigzagging through the action-packed new series from the creative team behind Arrow and based on the supersonic DC Comics character. With his life shadowed by his mother’s murder and his father wrongly convicted of the crime, Barry finds that his newfound power of super speed grants him the ability to move through Central City like an unseen guardian angel. Barry quickly discovers he’s not the only “metahuman” created by the explosive disaster – and not everyone is using their new powers for good. Now, to protect the innocent, Barry and his close friends who know his secret, race to combat evildoers in one astonishing adventure after another.

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I never watched Smallville. I only dabbled in Arrow. I can’t stand Gotham. But The Flash….. The Flash has changed the way I look at superhero television – easily the best of the bunch, not only has The Flash managed to top a stellar debut season but during season two, the series has elevated the comic book adaptation genre entirely and it did so during a year when we had movies like Deadpool and Captain America: Civil War. Grant Gustin IS Barry Allen – He IS The Flash. If WB could get off their asses and combine the movie and TV universes they’d easily be able to compete with Marvel Studios.

Season 2 picks up after The Flash inadvertently opened up a portal to other worlds in the season 1 finale. Because of this he winds up making several gates to Earth-2, which is a parallel universe to his own, loaded with doppelgangers of everyone we know from the show. There’s a major death in the opening episode, because The Flash is crazy like that and it isn’t long before a new big bad makes his way into the fold. Sorry Reverse Flash, black is the new yellow this season and ZOOM is here to annihilate us all. This new villain is terrifying, his monster-like mask and suit are badass and above all else, the voice – done by Tony Todd (Candyman) – LOVE IT. Amazing choice to have Todd put his most menacing and demonic tone into that character – it really did make all the difference. It was going to be really tough topping the Reverse Flash, but they pulled it off.

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More villains, more of a budget for CRAZY villains too is the theme of season two. Gorilla Grodd is back for an episode and it was delicious. I love me some Grodd. The biggest surprise for me was not one, but two episodes having King Shark – a massive half shark half man which DC Comics fans know to be a frequent member of The Suicide Squad. Holy shit the effects on this guy – he’s massive, he’s terrifying, he’s movie-calibre stuff and we’re getting him on our televisions. Major props to The CW for giving the fans a treat like this – I never would have imagined we’d get to see King Shark ripping the roof off a house and trying to eat The Flash. What a treat.

Having an Earth-2 was an interesting idea and it allowed the show to bring back dead characters from Earth-1 and introduce their doppelgangers from Earth-2 into the fold. I was especially happy that Tom Cavanagh was able to return because of this – and even though he’s not the same Dr. Wells that we know from Season 1 – not even close, the actor brings such a sense of weight and grounds the show in ways other castmembers aren’t able to do. We also get to see EEEEEEVIIIILLLLL versions of people from Earth-1 as well – including fan favorite Killer Frost. Turns out – I don’t like Killer Frost. Or I just don’t like her over-the-top- vocal fried out sassy persona. She pissed me off every single scene – so I guess the doppelganger thing didn’t always work out the way I’d hoped.

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Over the course of the second season, Zoom continues to be a punishing force, constantly beating Barry and his friends at every corner. There will be death and you can bet that there will be insane plot twists (the man in the iron mask? Holy shit – I love you writing team – high five on that one). Gustin continues to be one of my favorite TV performers and his portrayal of The Flash may be the best comic book adaptation casting choice since Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark.

Rating:

Major Spoilers for The Finale Ahead

Now let’s talk about that finale. Holy shit writers – you either need awards or straight-jackets for being insane enough to pull that ending off. Not only did they just murder Barry’s father in the penultimate episode (dude – can Allen get a break? Or are you just gonna kill off every family member he has eventually?), but driven by madness and grief, Barry does the unthinkable in the final minute of the season finale…. Zoom has been defeated in a killer battle with Barry. then taken by time wraiths. He doesn’t die either – he turns into The Black Flash – which fans will know as the grim reaper of the speed force – yet a different villain who serves up justice to those who abuse their powers…. So I’m thinking we will definitely see this new zombified baddie in a third season…. Here’s why:

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So what does Barry do that may cause Black Flash to get pissed? He decides to travel back in time once again to the night his mother was murdered and HE SAVES HER BY KICKING THE REVERSE FLASH’S ASS! WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?! He saves his mother, likely undoing EVERY SINGLE THING THAT HAS HAPPENED OVER THE COURSE OF THIS SERIES. Dude?!?! Normally I’d be pissed about this kind of plot-twist, but I’m a comic fan and I know what happens in the comics when The Flash goes back to save his mom – he causes the Flashpoint Paradox. This is a nasty bit of brilliance that causes the present day to become awful and crazy and completely upside down in all kinds of amazing ways.

One simple thing such as saving a loved one’s life and now we have Batman shooting guns, heroes murdering one another – all kinds of anarchy. I don’t know how they’ll incorporate that content in season three since we don’t have many of these characters owned by The CW, but we do have Supergirl, Arrow and The Legends of Tomorrow…. The possibilities are endless really and I have faith in whatever direction Greg Berlanti and his crew take us in because they’ve been killing it so far with the best superhero show on TV today – The Flash.

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Editor-In-Chief of Fox Force Five News. I had a zombie cameo on the opening page of The Walking Dead issue #91, where I was killed with a machete... It was awesome.