The Flash: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray Review]

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From the CW Network 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 of The Flash returns October 6th, 2015.

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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Review

I came into this series having skipped it when The Flash initially aired. I had tried watching Arrow and although I enjoyed it at the time, I bailed because I was engrossed in a hundred other shows. So technically I’m doing this backwards by first diving into The Flash, which is of course a spin-off from Arrow. From what I can tell — it doesn’t matter. Even though both shows bounce off one another from time to time, The Flash definitely stands apart in terms of laying it’s own superhero foundation.

I didn’t even read The Flash comics as a kid nor do I to this day but being familiar with The Justice League, I of course know who Barry Allen is and I can appreciate The Flash for what he is. In the past however I’ll admit – I didn’t really care for this guy. Now that I’ve watched this series – I love The Flash. I love this world and the show has made me a fan of the lightning fast superhero. Hell, I even watched that animated Flashpoint Paradox film after watching this show because I needed to see more of this character (sidenote: that DC Comics Flashpoint flick is astounding).

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Grant Gustin is perfect in the leading role. This young man is playing someone that fans aren’t typically getting a lot of in their DC adaptations these days – an upbeat and positive hero. Batman, Arrow, Superman — those guys are all mostly depressing, doom and gloom buzkills. The Flash himself has a horrific origin story where his mother was murdered AND his dad was wrongfully accused of the crime. One could argue that Barry’s tragic backstory is even worse than Bruce Wayne’s and you don’t see the guy being such a dick. Gustin’s portrayal of Barry Allen is perfect – his hero is positive, funny and he’s moved on with his life emotionally for the most part even while he battles his demons.

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The villains are all badass and unique in their own ways. Gorilla Grodd dude. Did you ever think in a million years that you’d be seeing Gorilla Grodd in a comic book adaptation? Let alone a television series and he still looks that good? The special effects in The Flash are movie calibre  and on Blu-ray they look magnificent. Sure you can tell where real Barry ends and gumby-ish CGI Barry begins but The Flash always manages to look damn slick even in its most outlandish moments.

My only gripes would be that I cannot in any way relate to the teenage love story stuff. The CW must have some sort of rule where they HAVE to implant this angle into every single series even when it can come off as distracting. I’m not saying they should drop this subplot entirely, but they could do without shoe-horning it into every single episode. Some of the lines get a little corny as well but it’s easy to look past some of that stuff when the action and compelling set pieces are done so well and man oh man are they ever glorious.

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The Flash is true to it’s comic history in ways that most adaptations in this genre aren’t, respecting every single detail about this character and the cast of supporting characters (Jesse L. Martin and Tom Cavanagh especially!) all do their part to help bring this geeky world correctly to the small screen. The Flash is a comic book brought to life and it is not ashamed to embrace that notion.

Special Features

  • The Fastest Man Alive!
  • Creating the Blur
  • The Chemistry of Emily and Grant Screen Test
  • Behind the Story: The Trickster Returns!
  • DC Comics Night at Comic-Con 2014 Presenting Gotham, The Flash, Constantine and Arrow
  • Audio Commentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel

I was surprised at the depth of the special features included in this package. ‘The Fastest Man Alive!’ feature clocks in at over 30 minutes in length and really explores the comic book origins and how the show adapts so many of them in great detail. Seeing Geoff Johns weigh in as the comic book creator was very nice and also getting a sense of how the actors really do love this world was a nice touch.

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Mark Hamill has his OWN segment in here. That alone is a win. The screen test was fascinating to see how early on Gustin was destined to become this character (screw anyone else thinking they can play The Flash in another adaptation….). The fact that they included the 2014 Comic-Con panel that not only had The Flash, but Gotham, Constantine and Arrow as well is cool. If you were worried that having a package with over 20 episodes would skimp out on the bonus features then fret no more fellows – The Flash delivers here, making this collection one of the best of the year so far in terms of television releases.

  • Details:

    • 4 Discs (Blu-ray)
    • Street Date: September 22, 2015
    • Running Time: Feature: Approx 968 min
    • Enhanced Content: Approx 180 min

     

Rating:

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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.