CW’s Superheroes: The Future of Arrow and The Flash

Major Spoilers for both Arrow and The Flash ahead. 

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CW’s Superheroes: Arrow and The Flash

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.

Komodo is the newest villain to appear on Arrow
Komodo is the newest villain to appear on Arrow

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 (Brandon Routh) in Arrow's Premiere
Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) in Arrow’s Premiere

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.

The newest addition to CW's lineup The Flash
The newest addition to CW’s lineup The Flash

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.

Reverse Flash on the set of CW's The Flash
Reverse Flash on the set of CW’s The Flash

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.

Works Cited

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

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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37 Comments

  1. I can’t wait until The Flash season 1 comes on in the UK I’ve been a huge fan of The Flash since the early 90s TV show & I’ve been waiting for another Flash TV show since it ended also I can’t wait until Arrow season 3 comes on in the UK I love that show

  2. Jarred Caruso
    0

    Pilot of The Flash was awesome but would of liked it more if hes annoying friend that builds the toys??? Wasnt in it… cause lets face it if that kid cant afford a decent haircut he shouldnt be on tv

  3. CW: The network that takes cool superheroes, and turns them into over romanticized stupid teens. I don’t know why CW keeps producing this garbage. It is worse than Smallville or Arrow.

  4. Can’t wait to see the next episode of The Flash.

  5. Jc Canady
    0

    I have almost hate this idea that when people get super powers that hey let’s dress up in stupid costumes and save the day! Like are you kidding me ? You’re not going to use your powers for self gain? I would. I wouldn’t be evil with it but I wouldn’t assist police or the government

    • Tyler McPherson

      But these few that dress up, in Flash anyway, are the ones that are opposing the many people with powers that are doing exactly what you say. I suppose your right with not many doing it for self gain, but without the villany, just like regular people with powers.

  6. Liz Watkins

    I enjoyed the first episode of Flash. I hope it holds up to expectations. I super excited about Wentworth Miller coming on.

  7. Jamie Tracy

    Love the article.
    I will always support shows or movies based on comics. That being said, I find it hard to watch Arrow because they turned the flamboyant Ollie Queen from DC Comics into Batman-lite. I still watch it every week because I love the DC Universe.

    I have high hopes for Flash. I want it to focus more on the science side of things, which it looks like it is heading and welcome the introduction of Firestorm.

    The CW has moved away from the meteor-freak of the week of Smallville into crafting season long stories like they did with Arrow last season. I think we are in good hands and hope the fans support these shows.

    • Tyler McPherson

      Thanks. I haven’t actually read any Arrow comics so I don’t really know the difference between comic him and actual him. But I understand about the season wide plot, in my opinion, it works really well for Arrow.

  8. Jemarc Axinto

    I agree with Jamie’s comment above. Changing Oliver to a Batman-esque character rubs me the wrong way and I’m still waiting to see more of a change in him that differentiates him from Batman, especially with Justice League on the horizon.

  9. Amanda Dominguez-Chio

    I love Arrow and The Flash. With Arrow, I’ve enjoyed watching the character development of Oliver. The pilot episode of The Flash was awesome and I’m curious what the ending means. I’m looking forward to what the season will bring. Great article!

  10. Huge dissapointment with The Flash. I really didn’t expect a hit but i was hoping to see a decent tv show. Grant Gustin as The Flash is just boring and the first episode show that he is not the guy for the role. To put this simple: they fucked up the casting. This show is far worse than Arrow which is really good (in my opinion).

  11. Sion Ferrell
    0

    I am AMAZED by how great both of these shows are.

  12. The Pilot of flash just proves that this show is going to be something special. Grant Gustin as Barry Allen, while not looking like the Barry we know from the comics, is just so damn likeable as a character. The effects for Flash’s speed is great for tv, and the story they’re setting up so far has me very intrigued.

    It’s not trying to be boring, gritty, or hyper realistic like THAT OTHER CW “superhero” show. It’s embracing all the craziness that comes with a superhero like the Flash and using it to its fullest. The only thing that could hurt it is the CW and their tendencies for stupid love triangles and romance subplots that long overstay their welcome.

    But despite all that, I have to say, for the first time in a while, I’m excited for a new show on television.

  13. Jessica Eve Kennedy

    Great article. I feel a bit disheartened about this season of Arrow now after what happened to Sara in the premiere. We’ll just have to see where they take the story, I guess.

    • Tyler McPherson

      Well the writers of Arrow have dealt big punches to the audience storywise consistently since Season 1, so hopefully they can keep a consistent strong story going.

  14. I dare say The Flash gets a big multi-tentacles up from me. It’s refreshing to see a hero who’s not angsting about suddenly having powers, who has an earnest desire to help people, and who is literally doing the best they can to cope, accept, and doing a pretty successful job of it.

    I’m all for dark, gritty anti-heroism, but at least let me get to watch some folks who are successful at being people. The pilot of The Flash seems to do that.

    • Tyler McPherson

      I like Arrow and have enjoyed the first episodes of The Flash. It is just good to see that the creators have gone with trying to make a completely different show otherwise it would just be seeing the same old thing every week.

  15. Am I the only one who’s more excited about DC’s TV shows more than their upcoming movies?

    • Tyler McPherson

      I am on your side. I like the TV side better then DC movies, as so far the only ones I have enjoyed are the Dark Knight Trilogy, I am not that big a fan of Superman so didn’t overly enjoy Man of Steel.

  16. I have high hopes for this the flash, pilot didn’t disappoint and it’s connected to the awesomeness that is arrow, the only thing in doubt is the ending, if they give us a good one and they’ve had some good ones (arrow, intense great endings) this will be the golden age of superhero television. 

  17. The bad part about the flash is after watching marvels “quicksilver” in xmen days of future past etc this is quiet lame even though the flash came out before quicksilver – which was a rip off DCs flash but marvel just did it better

    • There is a huge difference between a movie’s budget and time, compared to a TV show…

  18. I can see The Flash getting better and better.

  19. Loved the flash so far! though i have not seen even a single episode of Arrow… though i have been told good things about it. Cant wait to see the next episode next week!

  20. Giovanni Insignares

    The difficult thing about these shows is the fact that all these casting announcements drain both shows from any sort of surprises (in terms of future characters). On the other hand though, the creative team behind The Flash and Arrow have done a great job of using these announcements as great teases, while still incorporate these (already announced) characters in ways fans don’t even expect. I love Arrow and The Flash is off to a great start as well. Hopefully they keep going strong.

    • Tyler McPherson

      Yeah they do reveal the character but as soon as a character is dropped into the show, those who know the lore, know what and/or who they are meant to become, as was the way with Roy. But i agree that both Arrow and Flash have done well with still surprising audiences in the way they come in and they can deviate from the lore to provide shocking episodes.

  21. I personally lost interest in Arrow during the first season, though I’ve heard it picked up significantly in the second. However, I do love the direction of The Flash. The casting is excellent, especially for Barry, Joe, Eddie, and Iris, and it was cool of them to cast John Shipp as Barry’s father.

    Here’s hoping more shows are spun-off from Flash/Arrow!

    • Tyler McPherson

      It picked up a lot in the second season and is worth a watch. However, it is darker then the Flash so it does depend on personal tastes in shows.

  22. So excited about The Flash. I think they’ve started on the right foot and hope that they only go up form there.

  23. Great article, love that tv shows are broadening and have been for years towards superheroes and storytelling that was once just for films.

  24. Katie Brown

    I love both of these shows. The cross-over episodes between these two shows were fantastic. The Flash has more of the typical, bright, color-filled comic feel–but it has done an amazing job of showing nuance and character development. Grant Gustin is the perfect choice for Barry Allen!

    • Tyler McPherson

      I heard recently that they are planning on doing a cross-over every year! I like how they are both stylistically different from each other so that both can stay separate while remaining connected somewhat.

  25. Arrow is one of my all-time favorite shows. Great story lines all thus far! I was pleasantly surprised by how well the cross-overs of the Flash worked out.

  26. compare the difference between The Flash and The Arrow, I think that the Arrow has darker stroy storyline than The Flash. The Flash has more crazy idea about scientific creation which I am interested in.

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