Suit Up

We got a (more-or-less) full look today at the suit Grant Gustin will be wearing as Barry Allen in the upcoming CW Flash series.

Grant Gustin in costume as The Flash
Photo: Jack Rowand for Warner Bros. Entertainment © 2013.


The awkward pose — Flash looks like he's stumbling — throws me. It shouldn't be judged too harshly in that it's only a promo shot, yet at the same time that's basically what a promo shot is for: setting the tone, slipping readers or viewers a peek at the creators' hand. One assumes there would be considerable effort put into getting the big reveal just right — but, among other problems, nobody runs or prepares to run with their arm extended forward on the same side as their forward leg; ditto, if not ergo, the limbs that extend behind.

While changes to a character's established comic-book costume inevitably get some devotees riled, I rather welcome them with the understanding that what works as simplified or exaggerated line art in print doesn't necessarily work in live-action filming. As with most aspects of an adaptation, the key is finding a proper balance in keeping the spirit of the source and making adjustments for the needs of the new medium. Superman's lack of red briefs in 2013's Man of Steel was a topic of debate, although I'd argue neither that film nor this new Flash series reinvent the classic outfits any more than DC itself did in 2011 with its "New 52" overhaul. I expect some pushback from fans on the red boots at the very least, but I don't mind them here any more than I did in the outfit worn by John Wesley Shipp in the 1990-1991 Flash on CBS. (Shipp will be appearing on the new series in an unconfirmed role, by the way, suspected to be that of Barry Allen's father.)

How do you like it? What do you expect out of the series, to be set in the universe established by Arrow (where Gustin debuted as Barry earlier this season, capped off by a teaser "origin" moment)? Does Grant Gustin not sound like an old-school comic-book name itself, especially for a guy who runs at superspeed and kicks up one heck of a backdraft when he wants to?

I watched most of Arrow's first season out of a sense of duty, but the second was pretty darned good. Hopefully I'll get a review up here before it returns in October. [Update: I've now seen the Flash pilot and can hardly wait to write about it, about "Earth-Arrow/Flash" plot and casting revelations made at TCA Press Tour in LA and Comic-Con International in San Diego, and about the dubious division of DC's current film and television universes.]

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