The GeeksverseThe Flash (1990)

The Flash (1990)
Published on Monday, October 8, 2012 by

J.W.Shipp is still my favorite Flash actor.  Every time I watch CSI in the past 14 years I think again that these shows could be improved by a lab tech having a freak accident empowering him into superhero levels. 1990 brought the Flash to TV. Since Arrow debuts later this week I wanted to look back at The Flash so I threw it back into the DVD player today.

Conveniently available in a season DVD set this is still a fun show. It can’t be taken seriously. The camp is part of the show. Like Lois & Clark, Flash was a mixture of comic and live action cartoon. Unlike the more successful Lois & Clark, this was a short lived show. It capitalizes on a little bit of story and freak of the week story telling to provide super hero events worthy of the scarlet speedster.

Both Lois & Clark and Flash had an odd visual aesthetic. The Flash’s costume looks less natural than Superan’s cape. The cars and tech are an odd mix of 1940s and 1990s. Discussions of “the networks” to describe the primitive internet is fun, especially on the vintage personal and work computers. The streets are populated by Dick Tracy style cars and modern 90s cars too. It is an odd mix of the comic page befitting Warren Beaty and Madonna as often as possible.

I won’t espouse hyperbole about the story telling of either show especially The Flash. When Barry Allen’s fathers past returns by escaping prison the pair have to team up. It is a nice concept with forced moments between the pair trying to show the older generation accepting modern forensics or police science. Although it was fun.

Like Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation, camp was just part of the fun. Unlike the dark and gritty attempts at superheroes on the small screen, the 90s comic book adaptations seem to reveal in the camp. Perhaps Sabrina the Teenage Witch’s comic was campier than a 90s Ninja Turtle or Flash print versions but on screen they were all having fun.

Comic book shows were still family fun and TV evening entrainment. I have fond members of watching this show with my whole family in the living room at home. Those rose colored glasses need not be taken off as I look back. I know this show is nearly forgotten for a reason. Hardcore fanatic fanboys are bothered by J.W. Shipp’s late night soap opera heroics but it was still fun. With comics needing to draw in new readers and creating such successful comic book movies, perhaps the television would be a great media for family fun comic adaptations to return.

Arrow debuts on Wed evening on the CW. Tune in to see the millionaire playboy return from the supposed grave to save a city like Robin Hood.

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