Wednesday is preview night at San Diego Comic-Con. It's the most laid back day during the whole convention. While the other days are full of mountains of people and lines as long as Route 66, Preview Night is less chaotic, if you're not on the show floor. Ballroom 20 usually hosts preview TV pilot from various networks. This year, Warner Bros. and DC got their time in Ballroom 20, as they showcased a few pilots for the new TV shows The Flash and [Constantine](movie:874314). Here's my review of [The Flash](movie:15273) (I'll save my thoughts on Constantine for another time).
The Flash proves that DC does TV better than Marvel. While superhero stories usually translate better on the big screen, The Flash pilot shows that you can have an engaging origins story on the small screen as well. The pilot features a number of story lines that could be told for seasons to come with Barry Allen's (Grant Gustin) family woes, his love interest, and the mysteries surrounding his origins. Allen obtained a special superpower during a freak particle accelerator accident that gave him the ability of super-speed. He spends the duration of the pilot discovering his superpowers with the joys and pitfalls that come along with them. In some ways, The Flash feels closer to [The Amazing Spider-Man](movie:45497) than anything DC has to offer with its darker cinematic universe with movies like Man of Steel or The Dark Knight.
The pilot is one of the better TV pilots for a superhero TV show in recent memory. It does what a good pilot should do, set the thrust and pace of the series by introducing its characters and character dynamics, while at the same time showcasing the prototype of what audiences will watch week-after-week. The big game-changer for The Flash is combining its story with another pre-existing DC TV property, [Arrow](series:720988).
There's actually a point in the pilot where Barry Allen looks for help from Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) from The CW's Arrow. This meeting also shows off the potential that The CW and DC have for a shared TV universe, something that Marvel has yet to successfully pull off. DC managed it in less than five minutes of screen time than an entire season of [Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.](series:722469) It's wonderful!
While The Flash has its flaws with its case-of-the-week storytelling that we're sure to see (the pilot introduced other people affected by the freak particle accelerator accident, which Dr. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh), the man responsible for creating the particle accelerator and the head of S.T.A.R. Labs (Scientific and Technological Advanced Research), dubbed "meta-humans," The Flash has plenty to enjoy from its engaging tone to interesting mysteries. While some pilots struggle with the ins-and-outs of its story and characters, The Flash keeps everyone up to speed with old fashioned storytelling.
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