Sunday, January 06, 2008


After four days, three nights, six full trashbags, three donation bags marked for Goodwill and twenty-two episodes of the 1991 live-action Flash series, I can finally see the floor in all of my closets! My storage areas are officially clean!

The rest of the place is not.

Baby steps, though.

Admittedly, the Flash was more of a distraction than a help. I popped the DVDs in because I'd seen most all of the episodes a long time ago, but I forgot that that was a long time ago. I had to stop and watch.

I really liked that this series had a different continuity than the comics. Part of the fun of was getting to see how much of which villains made it to television, and how much of which plots. The Flash series had some overt references to the Rogue's gallery (Trickster showed up in name and costume, but in personality he was Mark Hamill's audition for the Joker), some medium references (Mirror Master showed up with his civilian name, personality and tech intact, but no costume or villain name), and some subtle ones (the episode where three bad guys of varying degrees of evilness and competence team up to put the city to sleep -- The guy who makes all of the equipment has a green vest and bow tie). Everything's mixed and matched.

I do think they should've kept the comic book connection, though. Barry in the series came up with the lightning symbol on his own and the papers named him the Flash. Nothing really indicated he'd ever read a comic, and there's a few places in the series it might have helped him. In one episode, he gets an old classmate a job as Night Watchman at STAR Labs. See, anyone who's ever read a comic book knows that is the most dangerous job you can possibly get in a superhero city, but Barry thought he was doing the guy a favor (until the bad guy showed up at the lab and locked them in a death trap). Come to think of it, that should be logical by that point in the series. STAR Labs in Central City has no security. It was broken into every other episode. You'd have to be an idiot to think that's a safe place to be overnight. Night watchmen is a job you get your worst enemy.

Interestingly enough, we never saw the character again. (And there were a couple other injured STAR Labs Night Watchmen before the end of the series.)

Artist Iris was annoying too. She doesn't need to be a photojournalist, but man the girl in the pilot was a dull, shallow love interest. Very unlike the woman in the comics. (I prefer to think of her as some other girl named Iris, and that somewhere in that TV continuity there was another Iris West they would've brought in with Wally for the second or third series.) They were right to get rid of her for the rest of the show.

I also kind of wish the Nightshade had made it to the comics during the Golden Age Revisionist movement in the 90s. Yeah, he's only a TV cross between Jay Garrick and Wesley Dodds, but I think he could've been adapted as a Golden Age Central City counterpart to Jay in the comics.

Of course, I'm probably just disappointed he only got two episodes. It's a shame this series never caught on.


  1. I remember that show! Not very well but I do recall it. Mark Hamill was the only villain who ever made an impression on me. Rewatching the Trickster bits also made me think that the inspiration for Harley Quinn might have came in the form of Prank.

  2. The Flash was the show that got me into DC Comics. I enjoyed it enough to pick up the comics for the first time, and now I'm a crazy Flash fan. So, thanks, TV people!

    I know Tina had a name equivalent in the comics, but I've never read anything with her. I just wished that there was a bright, cool scientist type in the comics - and hey, that's the role Linda's doing right now, so maybe I got it.

  3. Honestly, I really wish Nightshade made it over to comics too. I watched the episodes when I was really young too, and really the only three episodes I can remember are the origin story and the two Nightshade eps.

  4. But don't forget that Barry's older brother in the series was named Jay!