Saturday, April 2, 2016

Vignettes Outside Continuity: The Flash: Season Zero Fizzles

The Good: Good "voice," Colors
The Bad: Most of the artwork, Mediocre plots, No real character development
The Basics: The Flash: Season Zero compiles the digital comics to tell more stories set within the universe of The CW's The Flash . . . poorly.

There is something surreal about modern marketing techniques. Television shows are made of comic books and then new books and comic books are made set in the television or movie universe! There is something weird about that, at least for fans of comic books. As a fan of the DC Television Universe (or some of it, anyway!), it seems hilarious to me that with the rich history of The Flash in graphic novel form, new books are being made which feature the CW's incarnation of The Flash. The Flash: Season Zero is the printed anthology of the digital comics released to tie together both the DC Television Universe with those who read.

The Flash: Season Zero is a series of mini-episodes set in the first season of The Flash (reviewed here!) that were never actually part of the television show. Recreating Grant Gustin's Barry Allen and his S.T.A.R. Labs team, Barry Allen is set against various adversaries.

Barry Allen and his team encounter a metahuman circus that is wreaking havoc on Central City. Felicity Smoak is given an adversary, which requires Barry Allen to visit Starling City to save her from drones. King Shark pops up and ends up joining Amanda Waller's Suicide Squad. Dr. Snow is given a chance to shine when she details to the military how The Flash thwarted a metahuman cyborg that was part of a space mission that returned to Earth horribly mutated. Captain Cold and Heat Wave are given an origin story and the S.T.A.R. Labs team combats a giant spider and a half-metahuman.

The Flash: Season Zero has a number of continuity issues with the television version of The Flash. King Shark, for example, pops up in the second season of The Flash, but the story in The Flash: Season Zero is very different than the story of "King Shark" (reviewed here!). Similarly, on Legends Of Tomorrow, Leonard Snart details how he and Mick Rory actually met, which is very different than in the short story "Ice And Fire."

While the continuity in The Flash: Season Zero might be off, the character voices are anything but atypical. Given that the stories come from one of the show's writers and executive producers, Andrew Kreisberg, the characters are written with a very accurate sense of voice. The characters in this book talk like they do on the show.

Unfortunately, the artwork is exceptionally poor for most of the book. Barry Allen looks nothing like Grant Gustin and it's like none of the main cast signed away their likeness rights for the book, given how they do not resemble the show's performers. Ironically, Felicity Smoak in The Flash: Season Zero looks very much like Emily Bett Rickards. While the coloring is good in The Flash: Season Zero, the characters are poorly rendered.

Between the artwork and the lack of continuity with The Flash, what enjoyment there is to be had from The Flash: Season Zero and the moments of voice from the familiar characters in new situations is quickly mortgaged.

For other graphic novels that tie into movies or television shows, please visit my reviews of:
Serenity Leaves On The Wind
Heroes Volume 2
Star Trek Countdown To Darkness


For other movie reviews, please check out my Film Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2016 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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