Suit Up

Profile view of Grant Gustin in the Flash cowl/mask/helmet with lightning bolts over ears

We got a (nearly) full look today at the suit Grant Gustin will be wearing as Barry
Allen in the upcoming CW Flash series.

Grant Gustin in costume as The Flash, left arm and left leg lurched forward touching the ground with right side of his body moved back


The awkward pose — our hero looks like he’s stumbling — concerns me. Perhaps it shouldn’t be judged too harshly, in that it’s only a promo shot, yet that’s exactly what a promo shot is for: setting the tone and whetting the prospective audience’s appetite through a single image (or few). One assumes that considerable effort would be made to — in this case, literally — put the project’s best foot forward and get the big reveal just right. Among other problems, however, nobody runs or prepares to run with their arm etended forward on the same side as their forward leg; ditto, if not ergo, the limbs that extend behind.

While changes to a character’s established comic-book costume inevitably get some devotees riled, I tend to welcome them with the understanding that what works in print as simplified or exaggerated line art doesn’t necessarily work in real-world, live-action production. The key, as with other aspects of an adaptation, is to find a proper balance in keeping the spirit of the source material and making adjustments for the needs of the new medium. Superman’s lack of red briefs in 2013’s Man of Steel was a topic of debate, although I’d argue that neither that film nor this new TV series reinvent the classic outfits any more than DC itself did in 2011 with its “New 52” overhaul. I expect to hear fan pushback on the red boots at the very least, but I mind these even less than those worn by John Wesley Shipp for the 1990-1991 Flash on CBS.

How do you like it? What do you expect from the series, to be set in the universe established on Arrow (where Gustin debuted as Barry earlier this season, capped off
by a teaser “origin” moment)? Does Grant Gustin not sound like an old-school comic-book name itself, especially for a guy who runs at super-speed and can kick up one heck of a whirlwind when he wants to?

I watched most of Arrow’s first season out of a sense of duty, but the second was pretty darned good. Hopefully I’ll get a review of the series up here before too long.

Photos: Jack Rowand / Warner Bros. Entertainment © 2013.

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