THE FLASH Season One Races Onto Blu-Ray

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The Flash Season One Blu-Ray Grant Gustin Tom Cavanagh CW

His name is Barry Allen. And he is the fastest man alive.

When CW's SMALLVILLE began to introduce additional DC Universe characters, the trend was to stay away from anything that looked like a costume if a hoodie could suffice, finally giving way to the traditional Superman costume in the final episode. When ARROW debuted, it was, to a degree, still the hoody look, with some leather armor and facepaint added. It seemed the super-suits were definitely a no-go area for the network. So when they announced THE FLASH was coming, I was wondering what the new outfit would look like. I was ecstatic to see that it looked very Silver Age -- and that Grant Gustin was able to pull the look of Barry Allen off without it appearing to be a convention cosplay (which I love, but not in a television show).

Week after week, fans were drawn into watching THE FLASH to see which new villains would appear, and to theorize over the unfolding drama of whether Barry's mentor, Dr. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh), was a good guy or a bad guy. Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Geoff Johns succeeded over and over at not only making Flash fans giddy, but also at pulling in the non-geek audience, earning it a number of nominations such as the Kids Choice Awards and Television Critics Association, and victories in arenas like People's Choice for Favorite New TV Drama, a Behind the Voice Actors Award for Morena Baccarin's voicing of Gideon -- you know she's Dr. Leslie Thompkins in GOTHAM, right?) -- and this little token award!

Gustin and Cavanagh are joined by Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow and Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon, both scientists working with Dr. Wells at the defunct-but-somehow-still-operational S.T.A.R. Laboratories after the catastrophic accident that gave The Flash his powers as well as spawned a number of other super-powered people in a world where they had previously never existed. However, THE FLASH is more than just a "villain of the week" showcase. In true CW-form, the show focused on relationship and triangles, most notably being the one between Barry and Iris West (Candice Patton) -- his lifelong secret crush and best friend, whom he was raised with as a sibling when her dad, Detective Joe West (Jesse L. Martin), took him in when Barry's mother was killed. Barry's father, Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp, who played the speedster in the first live action series fo the hero), was jailed for the crime, but Barry has always sworn that his mother was killed by a man in a yellow suit who moved too fast to see clearly. Longtime fans of The Flash immediately knew this to be the Reverse-Flash, Eobard Thawne, an time-traveling enemy from the future.

While Barry pines after Iris, Iris is in a secure relationship Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett), who also happens to be her father's partner. And, yes, the fact that he shares the same last name as the aforementioned Eobard Thawne is intended to fuel speculation as to his character and motives.

THE FLASH is a binge-watching delight. The episodes are fast-moving (no pun intended), and the special effects are top notch. The show quickly goes from a man learning how to deal with having super powers to learning how to use them uniquely and effectively, and ultimately toward how to use them to save the world. There's a ton of DC Comics Easter eggs in this series to enjoy, and now with the release of the first season on Blu-ray, you can pause those scenes and examine them in loving detail thanks to the 1080p high definition format.

This season includes the first appearances of classic Flash villains like Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller), Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell), and Weather Wizard (Liam McIntyre). And in a brilliant choice of casting, Mark Hamill (STAR WARS) reprises his role as The Trickster from the original FLASH series, serving as a mentor to the new Trickster, and delivering the Star Wars line he's probably waited nearly 35 years to say. Also returning from the original series is Amanda Pays as Dr. Tina McGee, a contemporary and rival of Dr. Wells.

With the debut of the second season just around the corner, you'll want to rush out and get this release right away to refresh yourself on everything that went on before, right up to that cliffhanger ending and the appearance of a helmet that made the entire Flash fanbase emit a squee of anticipation.

Bonus features on this release include "Behind the Story: The Trickster Returns" which focuses on Hamill's return to the role after twenty years. Other specials look at creating the visual effects of THE FLASH, a screen test between Gustin and Panabaker to test their on-screen chemistry, the DC Comics Night at Comic-Con 2014, and the obligatory gag reel. Additionally, the pilot episode includes an optional commentary track with series writers Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Geoff Johns.

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0