Return of the Origin Stories

The year 2009 saw an age old concept finally catching on to the entire world. The movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine, revamped the concept of origin stories. True, they did exist for quite some time until then in the version of comics and the show Smallville( Superman’s origin story) but failed to capture a global audience until this movie. And now we have three major television shows that narrate the origin stories of various superheroes and their respective villains. Since, Arrow has been on air for quite some time, this article focuses on the two new shows, Gotham and Flash.

The first show to release was Gotham, which is set far before Bruce Wayne’s decision to take the mantle of The Dark Knight. The story starts with the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne and the introduction of James Gordon. Gotham tells not just the origin story of Batman but of the city as a whole. The show has made brilliant connections and mapped out the story really well. It’s inter-looping storylines and introduction of villains has managed to keep the audience gripped. The story does follow a similar format which tends to make the audience lose interest but gets it right back with the plot twists. Each episode does a fantastic job in building the character of Bruce Wayne. At first the criminals and the stories portrayed in the show seem random but then you slowly realize that they help in building the idea of masked vigilante and fighting for justice in the mind of young Bruce Wayne. The character development has been fantastic with special focus on the role of Oswald Cobblepot, who proves to be a key component in the growth of the Gotham Mafia.

The casting has been fantastic with Ben McKenzie(James Gordon) and Robin Lord Taylor(Cobblepot) taking the limelight, The roles essayed by Donal Logue(Harvey Bullock), Jada Pinkett Smith(Fish Mooney) and John Doman(Carmine Falcone) border on cliche with the first two being a bit too over zealous.

The visuals are quite brilliant and the set up of Gotham has been perfect. Overall this is definitely a fantastic effort and a must watch

The Flash on the other hand has been quite the let down. The show depicts the events that lead to the transformation of forensic expert Barry Allen into Flash, a superhero with powers of extreme agility and speed. Though the show is a breath of fresh air as it deviates from the usual DC superhero setting of gloom and darkness, the show goes far too much to make it light. It reminds me of watching the teenage superhero movie Sky High(It even has a common actor) and that is not a pleasant experience

Though the storyline has been followed quite well, Flash goes back to the mistake of making superheroes over excited teenagers who make emotional speeches. The characters seem quite immature and the whole concept looks like they made it for Twilight fans. Since, Barry Allen had already made an appearance in Arrow, they had to make scenes which involve a crossover of both and unless you’ve seen Arrow, it all looks disjointed.

The casting has been good but the characters have been written in such a way that they all seem stereotypical and the effect that previous DC movies and shows have given us is gone. Until now they managed to give a realistic feel to all their works by making the characters look and speak like a normal human being. This is an area where Flash falls. The character and acting of Dr. Harrison Wells(by Tom Cavanagh) has been disappointing as he comes across as Disney movie villain.

The show has made only 4 episodes, but if the trend continues, this is one origin story you can skip

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