When it was announced that the Flash would join the other DCEU heroes on the big screen, this caused much discussion, as fans were concerned this big-screen speedster would clash with the much-loved CW show The Flash. Fears soon dissipated, however, when the first look Justice League footage revealed Ezra Miller's Barry Allen to be a very different interpretation of the character — and it will be really interesting to compare the two.
But now we have the first full length trailer for #JusticeLeague, it seems the Warner Bros. movie will be taking more than a little inspiration from #TheFlash TV show. Check out the brief flash of Barry's backstory in the trailer:
It's a split-second shot, but we briefly see Barry Allen visiting a man in prison. From the looks of things, the two are close, so we can easily deduce that this is his father — following the exact origin story that The Flash show used.
A Familiar Origin Story
It would seem that in the #DCEU, Barry's father has been imprisoned for killing his wife (Barry's mother) — although of course it wasn't the stalwart Henry Allen, but the evil Reverse Flash who killed Nora. We know, because this is far from the first time we've seen this story. The Flash Season 1 follows Barry as he determines to clear his father's name, and eventually discovers that his future-nemesis the Reverse Flash (disguised as Harrison Wells) was the one to murder his mother.
Granted, The CW writers did not come up with this — this story first appeared in the 2009 comic The Flash: Rebirth (not to be confused with the current Rebirth continuity reset), written by current #DC chief Geoff Johns. This comic reimagined Barry's origin story to include the Reverse Flash murdering his mother and his father being wrongfully imprisoned for the crime.
Yet, before this origin appeared in 2009, Barry had no such sob story. He was actually one of the few heroes that didn't have a tragic origin, making him a refreshing addition to DC's superhero slate. The Flash's classic origin story focuses just on how he got his super speed, as a lightning blast (combined with some chemicals) turned the clumsy and perpetually late CSI Barry Allen into the fastest man alive.
There have been a few changes made to this origin over the years. One of the strangest retcons occurred in 1988, when a time travel hiccup — caused in part by Crisis on Infinite Earths — meant that Barry transformed into the very flash of lightning that gave him his powers.
Other retcons also messed with time travel, with one meaning everything bad in Barry's life was caused by Professor Zoom, and another meaning that Iris West was actually a time traveler herself from the 30th century.
Why Use The Same Story?
So we're left wondering why, with all of DC's vast history to draw from, Justice League — and presumably The Flash movie — are reusing an origin story made famous by The CW show. While this is a very interesting tale, it's not an essential part of the Flash's origin in the same way that, for example, the murder of Batman's parents is integral to Batman's origin.
Perhaps those worries that the movie Flash would step on the toes of the TV show were founded after all. Honestly, it's aggravating that we'll see the same story play out again onscreen — especially as we already know the big twist.
The similarity just invites comparison to the TV show, which may pit fans against each other. The Flash has so many story possibilities open to him, and after years of the show repeating the same old tropes over and over again, Flash fans are desperate to see something new.
Many were hoping that the movie version of the character would tell a different story, but if this little moment in Justice League is a set up for the problem-plagued The Flash movie, it seems that Barry's can join Batman and Superman in the Dead Moms Club — but at least his mother wasn't named Martha.