Sometimes it isn’t the best episodes that are the most entertaining, but the ones filmed with the best ideas. The Superhero Crossover may not be the most original of concepts but it is one of the most satisfying, especially when the two characters have such a strong connection.
The Flash capitalised upon the success of Arrow which The CW used as a gateway drug to get television audiences into Superheroes again. Arrow is a TV budget Batman, a safe bet with the casual crowd who don’t necessarily go in for the fantasy of super powers. Flash is a TV budget Superman, a bigger risk despite all the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Where Arrow modernized, The Flash embraces its Silver Age roots. The costume is awash with comic iconography. It’s got the mask, its skin tight rubber and, most importantly, it has a distinctive symbol. Arrow suggests superhero rather than screams it. It is this clashing of styles that makes this episode so interesting.
It’s in the contrasts you find the entertainment. Flash is new to the game, Arrow is an old hand. Flash is geeky, easily excited and highly enthused. Arrow is jaded and stony faced. Flash wants to team up, but Arrow wants to go it alone. Flash is who the audience can relate to. Arrow is who they want to be. These are the strengths the episode plays to. It shows a real understanding of the source materials traditions.
The episode itself consists of Arrow coming to town to solve a mystery involving a deadly boomerang, but gets side-tracked into helping Barry to track down a bank robber who has the power to make people lose control of their emotions. Yeah, plot isn’t exactly the strong point of the twin series. And it’s funny how the guy who makes people go crazy only shows up when two superheroes are in town. But, as contrived an excuse to fight as this may be, it’s still an excuse to fight.
The fight itself doesn’t disappoint. We can see the action from the perspectives of both heroes, how the world slows down for The Flash and how Arrow sees him whiz by. Even better though is how their respective team mates start arguing about who is going to win. They are having the conversation we’re all having… but on the screen! Yeah it’s almost groan inducingly self-aware but it does produce a few smiles.
Speaking of self-aware, the next crossover is on in Starling City and will be called The Brave & The Bold. And you’ll find the review on Vulture Hound soon.