Of all the comic book based television series’ currently airing, perhaps none has been more willing to embrace its comic book heritage quite like CW’s The Flash. While others in the genre try to dumb down their fantastical elements, the series embraces them. Over the course of less than two seasons, the show has featured versions of concepts including the time-traversing Reverse Flash, villains including Captain Cold, Heatwave and Rainbow Raider, the abstract nature of the cosmic Speed Force, and even gone full-out alternate universe with Earth-2. Now at the end of its second season, the series may just be setting up for adaption of one of the Scarlet Speedster’s most famous stories.
WARNING: Spoilers for Trial of The Flash and The Flash Season 2 Follow.
Before getting into the show, it would be best to look at the storyline they may be tackling. The Trial of The Flash was a 1980s storyline from longtime writer Cary Bates. As a setup earlier in Bates’s run, the villain Eobard Thawne (the Reverse Flash who was going by Professor Zoom at the time) had murdered Barry Allen aka The Flash’s wife, Iris West Allen. Zoom returned on the eve of Barry Allen’s wedding to his new fiancé to reenact the crime and, in the course of stopping him, Flash inadvertently murdered Thawne. The hero was arrested and put on trial for murder, eventually being found guilty. After learning that the trial was an elaborate setup with jurors paid off by Thawne, Barry fled to the future and was reunited with Iris (who was convolutedly alive), setting him up for his death in Crisis on Infinite Earths and Wally West’s take over of Flash’s mantle.
I couldn’t help but think of the storyline as I watched the penultimate episode of The Flash’s second season. Throughout the hour, Barry is overly confident in his ability to defeat Zoom (a separate character from the show’s version of Professor Zoom, known as Reverse Flash) thanks to his recent experience in the Speed Force. Numerous character try and talk to Barry, but he remains blissfully optimistic until the end of the episode when the villain murders his father, Henry Allen. As one would expect, the previews for this coming week’s finale showed that Barry’s conflict with Zoom is far from over and that he’s considering the option of killing Zoom.
As I watched Barry’s father murdered before his eyes, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Iris’ initial comic book death. I began to think that perhaps Barry would take his anger too far and kill Zoom in the finale. Furthermore, I began to think about Joe West, Barry’s surrogate father on the series, could fill the role of Barry’s later second fiancé being threatened by Zoom in attempt to repeat his first crime. I will admit the concept excited me as Barry being on trial for a portion of Season 3 could lead to some interesting character dynamics. The series has also hinted strongly at both Wally acquiring super-speed and an oncoming Crisis.
While I admit it’s highly unlikely, there are definitely some hints that The Trial of The Flash could be coming to The CW Network.