CW’s Superheroes: The Future of Arrow and The Flash
Major Spoilers for both Arrow and The Flash ahead.
The CW is really taking strides in the superhero genre this year. With Arrow’s third season premiere and the first episode of The Flash airing last week, it is maintaining a strong presence for its target audience. Both episodes ended on a cliffhanger, hinting at possible storylines to come. Based off what the creators have announced and casting announcements, there are many new additions, both in story and character, to come for both of these shows.
Over the past two years Arrow has increasingly gained popularity, providing strong stories throughout its two seasons. This series could become even bigger, with more characters being added to the roster, namely Ra’s al Ghul has been confirmed as a character that will be introduced this season. Ra’s al Ghul has become a well-known villain, in mainstream society, thanks to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. An article by The Hollywood Reporter, titled ‘Arrow Boss Tackles 10 Big Season 3 Questions’, discusses an interview with Marc Guggenheim, the executive producer of Arrow, about the upcoming season. In this interview he says that Ra’s al Ghul (who will be played by Matt Nable) will be present in some way from episode four. In this episode Nyssa, his daughter, also makes her return to Arrow. A big question that will be on the lips of Arrow fans is whether or not he is the archer that killed Sara Lance, in the premiere’s final scene. As Merlyn trained with the League of Assassins, Ra’s al Ghul’s group, the audience knows that he has archery training and most likely uses black arrows; these could all be reasons why viewers believe that he is the killer. It would also lead into some interesting storylines between Nyssa and Ra’s, as well as the Lance family and the Ghul family.
The next episode, of Arrow, will be entitled ‘Sara’ and revolve around her death and its impacts on the characters. In another article by The Hollywood Reporter, ‘Arrow Boss on Premiere Shocker: Aftermath will be “Brutal”’, Mark Guggenheim talks about how it is a very emotional episode with impacts on all the characters. The article quotes Guggenheim as saying “everything is laid bare and everyone is raw and naked.” This can lead to many scenes involving Laurel, especially as she saw the body of her sister fall right in front of her. A synopsis of Hypable for this episode promises the return of Tommy Merlyn and the introduction of Komodo. Tommy, a fan favourite character from season one, is going to be featured in a Hong Kong based flashback, where Oliver is assigned to kill him. No doubt this will lead to an interesting plotline, but will Tommy actually meet Oliver face to face, as in season one he showed no sign that he had met Oliver in the years that he was supposedly missing. Even if they do have an interaction does this mean Tommy will be back for more than one episode? The other piece of news was the addition of Komodo aka Simon Lacroix (played by Matt Ward) to Arrow’s second episode cast. When looking into the characters mythology, Komodo has ties to Robert Queen and Shado, past characters on Arrow. Presumably he is a suspect in the case of who killed Sara, but his part in the show could extend to being a strong antagonist to Oliver, bridging some of the gap between Oliver’s past and the present time. Also he could serve as a reminder to Oliver of how his relationship with Shado turned out, strengthening his resolve in his belief that he cannot have a relationship with Felicity.
Oliver’s relationship with Felicity was given a shot in episode one of Arrow; however it didn’t end well, leaving what could be a tension between the two characters. An article on The Star about Arrow’s upcoming season details that Emily Bett Rickards, who plays Felicity Smoak on the show, has confirmed that there is an episode coming up about her backstory. The episode is about her college years and does feature her mum. No doubt this means more will be put into the story of Felicity in the present as well. This could mean that Felicity may reflect on her date in this episode and decide whether to convince Oliver to try it again or whether she believes it will ever work out for them. The introduction of Ray Palmer also adds to this, as within their encounter in the first episode they appeared to have a bit of chemistry.
Ray Palmer, played by Brandon Routh, is an interesting addition to the cast as well. Trying to take over Oliver’s company, Queen Consolidated, puts him in direct opposition to Oliver and Guggenheim has said, to THR, “what Ray is planning and up to with his Star City campaign and what he plans to do with the company will be one of those mysteries.” Star City is the name of the city where Green Arrow is in the comics, so this plot could be leading to Oliver fully being accepted as the Green Arrow, and having that title given to him. People have also questioned whether or not Palmer will become Atom as he does in the comics. To THR, Guggenheim responded to this question: “with The Flash in existence, there’s no real compelling reason to do superpowers on Arrow because we can bring characters to Flash to have superpowers.” This means that Ray Palmer could also be another link between the two shows. When his part on Arrow is over, then maybe he could appear in a few episodes of The Flash as Atom.
After the debut of Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) on Arrow, The Flash has been eagerly awaited by fans of both Arrow and the DC Universe. Last week, the show premiered to high viewership and since then the internet has been filled with rumours of what is to come. Among these the addition of Reverse Flash and Firestorm has started a lot of speculation, but I will come back to these points.
A lot of casting has been announced for The Flash, with many DC comics’ characters being portrayed in the upcoming series. First of all, the characters of Girder, Plastique and Captain Cold have all been added to the cast, some in a recurring role. Screenrant has confirmed some of these castings including Girder (to be played by Greg Finley) who has the ability to change to and from metal. Finley will be a recurring role throughout the first season, and no doubt will have multiple encounters with the Flash. Perhaps some of the most interesting new characters announced are Captain Cold and the addition of Caitlin Snow, who will play a regular role in the series. Captain Cold is to be played by Wentworth Miller (from Prison Break) and is one of Flash’s greatest enemies from the comics. This could lead to some interesting plotlines for the future of The Flash, leading to maybe a major villain in another season. Caitlin Snow (played by Danielle Panabaker) however could have a Slade-like role in The Flash. In the comics Snow becomes the villain, Killer Frost, who has multiple encounters with Firestorm, another addition to the cast. By putting her in a regular role, the creators could make her like Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke in Arrow. Her story could begin with Barry Allen and then show her fall to villainy as the plot moves forward. It will be intriguing to see how the writers and producers push this plot onward.
Possibly the biggest thing in the premiere were the hints dropped about Reverse Flash. Fans can’t decide whether the Reverse Flash will be Detective Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett) or Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh). The first photos of Reverse Flash have been revealed; however stunt doubles were used hiding the actor’s identities. Many people believe that Thawne will become the Reverse Flash as his name is close to that of the Reverse Flash in the comics, Eobard Thawne. However, the other side is that Wells becomes him due to the cliff-hanger that left fans wanting more at the end of the premiere. Either way it has been confirmed that the Reverse Flash will face off with ordinary Flash during this season, hinting that this may be the main villain for season one. If it was to go this way, then the death of Barry’s mum would be explored more in depth and we could possibly find out the reason behind it.
However, Firestorm seems to be a popular topic these days. Robbie Amell ( cousin to Stephen Amell) was cast as one half of the hero, Firestorm. Recently Screenrant revealed that the other half of Firestorm will be played by Victor Garber (Alias), who will play the professor that has his mind melded to one of his student’s, Ronnie Raymond’s, body. The big news surrounding Firestorm though, is whether or not he will get a series of his own, with many fans and journalists speculating he will, due to how much of The Flash is set to have a focus on him. A Screenrant article, about the recent casting of Garber, mentions that the villains Killer Frost and some of the first few villains, will be from Firestorm comics, thus adding to the reasons why he could be the head of a new spinoff. The article also quotes Greg Berlanti, executive producer, as saying they “designed the series to include Ronnie.” This could either suggest that they wanted to start him off in The Flash and then maybe put him in his own show or that he will be a part of the show, in the same capacity that Sara Lance was a part of Arrow.
After all that, there is the episode that fans of both shows have wanted since they first heard that The Flash was being created; the crossover. The first episode of The Flash showed just a glimpse at what this would be like with the incorporation of Arrow into it, now the creators have revealed that the crossover episode will be a four-hour event that crosses both seasons eighth episodes. The villain has been revealed to be Captain Boomerang with Following the Nerd informing that The Clock King will be present in the episode, before the crossover, on The Flash, a crossover villain between the shows, as he was previously featured on Arrow. Not many details have been revealed, but the title of the first part is ‘Flash vs. Arrow’. This could just be to hype up the episode, but at the same time it could mean that Arrow and Flash are fighting over something, maybe even the way to deal with the enemy. Either way, Greg Berlanti, Mark Guggenheim and the teams working on both Arrow and The Flash will try their hardest to bring these episodes to audiences in a fun, interesting and entertaining way.
‘Arrow’s heroic world will expand with love interest, villains’, thestar.com, 08/10/2014
‘Arrow Boss on Premiere Shocker: Aftermath will be “Brutal”, hollywoodreporter.com, 08/10/2014
‘Arrow Boss Tackles 10 Big Season 3 Questions’, hollywoodreporter.com, 06/10/2014
‘Arrow season 3, episode 2 synopsis, stills: Another archer appears’, hypable.com, 11/10/2014
‘Clock King Returns for Arrow/Flash Crossover!’, followingthenerd.com, 08/08/2014
‘The Flash Casts Greg Finley as Tony Woodward AKA Girder’, screenrant.com, 13/09/2014
‘The Flash Casts Plastique; Could a Firestorm Spinoff be in the Works?’, screenrant.com, 13/09/2014
‘The Flash: First Set Photos of Reverse Flash in Costume’, screenrant.com, 10/08/2014
‘The Flash first look: Wentworth Miller makes his debut as Captain Cold’, insidetv.ew.com, 07/10/2014
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