CW enjoyed mega success (meta-success?) with the first season of The Flash, and now that season 2 is just around the corner, promotion has stepped up a gear. Apparently there's no limit to the number of speed-related puns this series can employ, because the newly unleashed poster art, as seen below, commands us to get up to speed! It truly never gets old.
Does the poster have you dribbling with awe? What do you mean, "it's just you"? That's rude. Anyway, the CW are clearly making a big deal of the fact that they'll be hitting the ground running with Jay Garrick's original Flash this season. His iconic, winged retro helmet is all it takes to reduce comic fans to a wreck, but the question of exactly what role Garrick will play and how he will fit in, or alter, the dynamic of the team is one that's not yet been answered.
It seems unlikely he'd behave in a villainous way, but equally there's bound to be a little competition and tension between Jay and Barry as the former attempts to get home. I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out. Let's take a look at what else Central City might have in store for us this season.
Fractures inside STAR Labs
Harrison Wells was the glue holding the STAR Labs team together. To Barry, Cisco and Caitlin, he was more than a boss - he was a mentor and a father figure. So obviously, the reveal that he wasn't Harrison Wells at all but Eobard Thawne, and that it was he inside the Reverse Flash suit and he who ruined Barry's life 14 years ago, has left a gaping hole in the fabric of the team.
Perhaps surprisingly, The Flash exec producer Andrew Kreisberg has teased that Iris (Candice Patton) will play a crucial role in repairing the status quo.
Iris... is a born leader. One of the best things in the premiere is Barry decides that he wants to work alone because he doesn't want to risk anyone else's lives, and Iris is really the one who gets the band back together again. She's the only one who can stand up to Barry.
Which actually makes perfect sense - it's pretty much inevitable that we would find Barry struggling to deal with the events of the season finale, and totally understandable that only his childhood love would be able to get through to him. Reports suggest there will be an Arrow-esque time jump between the two seasons, so we'll probably find Barry striking out as the lone vigilante of Central City whilst Caitlin and Cisco attempt to move on with their lives. A lot of people took issue with Iris's role in the later stages of season 1 - the "investigative journalist" angle was a bit stereotypical and she felt too much on the fringes of the action to make an impact. Now, with Iris inducted into the team in some capacity, we can expect her role in the series to feel a lot more crucial.
A new, Vader-esque antagonist in Zoom
With Reverse-Flash out of the picture, we need a new antagonist to drive the season - and we'll be getting him in episode two, "Flash of Two Worlds", which will serve as our introduction to Zoom (played by Tony Todd). Kreisberg has teased in some detail the enigma surrounding Zoom, whose human identity won't be revealed to the audience as early as Reverse-Flash was.
Part of the mystery of the season is who or what is underneath the Zoom outfit, and so we wanted to do something like James Earl Jones as Darth Vader — this iconic voice coming out of this mask. Last year, we thought of the Reverse-Flash as a speed warrior; this year, Zoom is like a speed demon, and no one does demon-voice better than Tony Todd ... The Zoom outfit is much more organic than the Reverse-Flash suit. In a way, it’s hard to tell if it is a suit or alive… There’s no skin showing, for all you know there’s a robot underneath, or dark energy.
Which basically sounds pretty damn exciting, although quite what the difference is between a speed warrior and a speed demon, I'm not sure. But the creation of another iconic villain is exactly what The Flash needs to keep cruising on hype throughout season 2, so fingers crossed this mystery satisfies.
Can Barry and Iris be together?
Despite (or maybe because of) the fact that Iris in real life would not look twice at Barry Allen, much of season one was spent teasing the possibility of their getting together. It seems inevitable that it should happen, but would it be a good thing for the show?
My personal preference is that Iris and Barry do hook up - but only when the series eventually ends. If they get together too soon, there'll be no dramatic value - just look at Ross and Rachel. There has to be obstacles to their happiness. For now, Iris has Eddie's death to contend with - she's grieving, and that's not going to go away any time soon. We also know that Barry has a potential new love interest for the season in Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten), a colleague of Joe who's more than a little bit curious about the meta-humans. What we don't need to see is Iris getting jealous over the romance, the way she did with Linda Park - who's also back for season 2.
What else is on the cards?
A lot. Season 2 has more new villains lined up, including Atom Smasher and Doctor Light, so hopefully we'll get teasers and casting news soon enough. Jesse Chambers (Violette Beane) will also be introduced as "a brilliant but quirky college student who gets caught up [with] The Flash and Zoom."
And of course, there's the not-insignificant matter of Dr. Caitlin Snow's transition into Killer Frost, which I talked about last time - this is probably the development I'm most excited for this season (if it happens at all - details are thin right now). Caitlin, besides being a lovely human being and good comedy value, is really the moral compass of the STAR Labs team, so to witness her begin to shed her humanity has the potential to be really quite interesting.
You can bet your life there'll be a ton of new spoilers dropped in the five weeks between now and the show's return, so I'll be writing more about The Flash. In the meantime, use the comments to let me know what you're most excited for - Jay Garrick, Zoom, the team's big reunion, or something else entirely - and enjoy the teaser trailers in all of their cruelly brief glory.
The Flash season 2 premieres October 6th on CW with "The Man Who Saved Central City". Season 1 is released on DVD and Blu-Ray September 22nd.