CW's The Flash has proved one of its most popular shows: despite initial misgivings, season 1 went from strength to strength, and so far season 2 is set to be even more exciting! But with the DC Cinematic Universe kicking off their long lead in to Justice League in [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870), could they accidentally doom the fan fave show?
With plenty of plots still left to unravel, The Flash has potential for many more seasons. But with 4 different DC canons floating around, how long will people stay interested in the same old superheroes? Though it's far in the future [The Flash (Movie)](tag:15273) may impact on The Flash TV show, and by then interest may have dwindled. Unlike the Marvel Cinematic Universe that pulls everything together in one neat multi-genre canon, DC is sprawling to say the least. So how can The Flash learn from [Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.](tag:722469), and will season 2 be its last?
The Little Show That Could
Agents of Shield was a bit of a gamble for Marvel, and early reception to the show was not overwhelmingly positive. A spinoff from the movies was never a sure bet, and the fun spy show didn't really come into its own until halfway through season 1 when [Captain America: The Winter Soldier](tag:254973) had devastating consequences on the show.
Lining up with the events of the film, the show revealed how the corruption of Shield hit the team, with the consequences rippling over into season 2. It was a deft bit of storytelling, and pushed the show from quaint spinoff to a staple of the Marvel universe. After Shield's success, Marvel greenlit Agent Carter, as well as prompting Netflix to go ahead with Daredevil and their other Defenders shows.
With DC, this is far less clear cut, with many different studios owning the rights to separate characters. The rules are very strict, and the CW showrunners have to be very careful with what they can include in the show.
"There are things we can do, and there are things we can't. There are cities we can use, and then there's everything else. You won't be hearing Gotham or Metropolis on the show anytime soon."
Which means that The Flash can't repeat Agents of Shield's recipe for success any time soon, and tying the show into the movies would prove far too difficult as many of the plots would contradict each other.
So how can The Flash save itself? The best would be for it to establish its own multi-show canon, and thanks to more crossovers with Arrow season 4, and the new [DC's Legends of Tomorrow](tag:2937021) series, it looks like the CW are doing just that! But here are some other ways The Flash can learn from Shield...
Darker plotlines: Shield season 2 gained a lot of traction with fans, mostly because they stopped being a fun spy show and started packing a real emotional punch. The Flash has certainly had its darker moments, especially with their use of villain Reverse Flash, who murdered Barry's mother. But can season 2 give us some maturer plotlines as the characters deal with their grief after the events of the finale?
New powers: Skye's superpower plot was one of the strongest parts of Shield season 2, as she struggled to gain control of her new powers. Barry already has super speed, but perhaps he could develop some of the powers The Flash has in the comics? Actor Grant Gustin has already confirmed this is a possibility...
“I mentioned he’ll have a new mentor in Season 2. In the second episode they’re already working together and in the second episode, Barry does something new with his powers that is really exciting to me. We’ve never done it before. It’s pretty different than anything else we’ve done.”
Intriguing! Could Barry finally start to use lightning?
An Uncertain Future
With ratings up and a positive fan response, The Flash season 2 is starting strong. But the movies certainly complicate the issue, and this could be Barry's last season. Hopefully the show can learn from Agents of Shield's success, and we'll see plenty more of The Flash in the future!