Why the Second Season of The Flash Will Be Better Than the First
It’s not like season one of The Flash
on the CW was perfect by any means. There were a number of things that didn’t work: underdeveloped “villains of the week,” making romantic interest Iris West into a pseudo-sister for Barry Allen, and then having most characters perpetually lie to Iris. Still, it did enough things right to be an entertaining show and got progressively better throughout the season, ending in a pretty thrilling and unpredictable last few episodes. Additionally, there are some reasons to expect that the second season will be even better.
I’ll just come out and give my number one reason right now: Jay Garrick. If you don’t know, Jay Garrick was the original Flash, created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Harry Lampert in 1940 during the Golden Age of comics. During the Silver Age, Jay Garrick was a comic book character for that world’s Flash (Barry Allen). One of the most important comics of all time was Flash
#123, “The Flash of Two Worlds,” when the Silver Age Flash meets the Golden Age one. It created a multiverse in DC Comics and re-established the viability of the Golden Age heroes (often grouped together as the Justice Society of America).
Lest we think that Jay Garrick (whose Mercury-inspired helmet appeared as an Easter egg in the season one finale) is just an addition in name only, the producers of The Flash
recently released a promo poster for season two that is essentially a recreation of the cover of Flash
#123 with Teddy Sears dressed in a pretty accurate version of the Golden Age Flash costume. This tells us that the Jay Garrick Flash will be an actual Flash and that Earth 2 could continue to become an even bigger part of the CW/DC Comics shows. A multiverse on these shows could be very interesting, and even more important, it’s “comic book-y” in a way that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
and even Arrow
seem to avoid.
Jay Garrick isn’t the only reason to be hopeful for season two of The Flash
. Keiynan Lonsdale will star as Wally West, an important character in the Flash comics. He was originally Teen Titan Kid Flash and graduated to Flash after Barry Allen died during Crisis on Infinite Earths
. This version of Wally West seems to be more in keeping with the "New 52" version than the wise-cracking redhead from before the reboot. Still, it's significant if Wally West becomes part of the "speed force" and the Flash legacy during the second season of The Flash
I’m hopeful that we also get to see more of Cisco Ramon’s powers. In the comics, Cisco is the superhero Vibe, part of the infamous Detroit Justice League. However, apart from some cringe-worthy racial stereotyping, Vibe was a pretty fun character. Carlos Valdes has done a great job as regular Cisco, so I’m eager to see what he could do as Vibe. Tom Cavanagh will return as Harrison Wells, which seems to open the door for more time travel/dimension-hopping stories. I’m intrigued to see what regular-guy Harrison Wells will bring to the series and how Cavanagh, who nicely played up the sinister Wells/Eobard Thawne (nearly to the point of mustache-twirling), will approach what I assume will be a more kind-hearted Harrison Wells.
The Barry-Iris romance was one of the weaker parts of season one of the Flash, in part because it felt inherently creepy and in part because Grant Gustin and Candice Patton didn’t seem to have a lot of chemistry. It was made worse by having it be a love triangle with Eddie Thawne. With Eddie out of the picture, things would seem to be open for a Iris-Barry courtship. Since the show seems determined to make this happen, it might work better without the forced conflict.
Although I was initially a bit skeptical of the sunny approach of The Flash
, it eventually won me over. Building the Reverse Flash storyline and introducing Grodd and Firestorm added depth and texture to the show. With the main characters already established by season two, I’d imagine we’ll get more texturing as well as more character growth. When the show returns on October 6th
with an episode called “The Man Who Saved Central City,” I think it has the potential to be a great season.