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Flash, Flash, Flash:
The CW Promises The Flash Will Spin Out of Arrow
Racing to television?

At the TCA Press Tour yesterday, CW President Mark Pedowitz confirmed that even if Warner Brothers movie division doesn't have much of a superhero strategy (currently code-named "Operation: Weathervane"), the niche network does.

Pedowitz confirmed that Barry Allen will appear this season on Arrow, and if his origin is successful, then we'll be getting a Flash television series. (Further reports specify that Barry will be in Episodes 8 and 9.)

Apparently the Wonder Woman pilot Amazon is still in development, but not where the CW would like it to be, so don't hold your breath for that one. Yet the exec made it clear the CW would like to have a nice little family of DC-based series that link together in its own CW-Universe.

What about the long-rumored Flash movie? Many had hoped that would be part of Warner Brothers' announcements at Comic-Con (and it was erroneously tweeted by many outlets, including, embarassingly enough, us). If it is happening, Pedowitz sees no conflict between having a cinematic universe and a television one.

And he's right. Nobody seems to mind that there's a (hopefully) live-action continuity, an infinite number of comics continuities, and several animated continuities. We're keeping them all straight. Just set the rules for each playground and we'll be there.

This isn't the first time the network has attempted a Flash pilot -- about eight years ago, the WB (same network, different name) commissioned one based on the success of Smallville. But after an initial announcement, the project disappeared, perhaps because then Warner Brothers did not believe that movies and television could co-exist, and they'd started working with David S. Goyer on an also-scuttled big screen version. (Though that could be coming back to life, as Goyer seems to be the architect of the DC movie universe.)

At any rate, Bart Allen, Barry's grandson in the comics, did appear on Smallville, eventually code-named Impulse but left out of the nascent Justice League that show formed in its tenth season.

As Pedowitz named Barry specifically, it seems that we don't have to feel too confused. It's also a bold step for Arrow, a good action series that producer Greg Berlanti had said would not feature super-powered characters. For the first season, that held true. But Season Two promised to expand out into the DC Universe, and you only have so many non-powered vigilantes before you either have to go up to Bat or just give in and play with super powers.

Later yesterday co-producers Andrew Kreisberg and Geoff Johns confirmed that though they will still try to keep with Arrow's more grounded, realistic (ish) tone, Barry will have powers by Episode 9. Johns explained, "Barry Allen, when he first appeared in Showcase #4 … he ushered in the Silver Age of DC superheroes. In the same way, he's going to usher in some new and pretty insane concepts to the Arrow world. But in a very grounded way."

Here's hoping the character gets better treatment this time around than he got from CBS back in the nineties. That earlier series starred John Wesley Shipp as Barry Allen. Then he had the red suit, lived in Central City, and even fought a few costumed villains, including Mark Hamill as The Trickster and David Cassidy as Mirror Master. None of those villains could take him down; ultimately, it was The Simpsons that did it.

Derek McCaw

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