First Look – CW’s Flash Costume

With the pilot about to begin shooting, Warner Brothers has give us all the first look at Grant Gustin in his costume as the Flash.

Flash's new look for the CW series

I have to admit I am not overwhelmed.  But I am not discouraged either.   Comic costumes often go through some changes when they are put onto living, breathing, actors.   Sometimes the changes make sense at the time.   When the X-Men movies began in 2000, the decision was made to ditch the yellow and blue spandex for the more functional black leather, which worked out very well for the films.  Other times…  you end up with Halle Berry’s Catwoman costume.  (The less said about that movie the better.)

But what can we say about the Flash’s new look.    It was created by Oscar winning costume designer Colleen Atwood (Alice in Wonderland, Chicago, Sleepy Hollow) who also updated Green Arrow’s costume for his current TV series.  Of course we have only seen the cowl so far, so we can’t really say too much.  It seems  functional, and incorporates elements from his current comic book look (the seams, the chin piece).  blackcanaryflashIt does look like it’s a heftier material than spandex. I don’t think it will be springing out of any rings.  But perhaps it is made of compressed Speed Force? 

I’m not nuts about the modified earpieces.   I get the point,  the classic Flash wings are tactically a bad idea. The lightning bolts kinda look  cool, but  I think the wings could have been done the same way.   The wings are not only iconic to the Barry Allen character, but they are also a link to the character’s long lineage to the Golden Age Flash, Jay Garrick, and to the Greco-Roman myths that inspired the character to begin with.

shippThis isn’t Barry Allen’s first go round at a live action series.  The flash had a TV on CBS in 1990.  The show was actually an admirable attempt to make a superhero show.  The costume, while heavily influenced by the Batman movie,  was fairly true to it’s comic book counterpart.  They didn’t give him yellow boots, though.  There’s something about the color yellow doesn’t sit well with live action superhero costumes.

CBS had high hopes for the show, putting it on Thursday nights. Sadly the show couldn’t find it’s audience, as it was up against The Cosby Show and The Simpsons.  CBS even moved the show to 8:30, an odd time for a one hour show to start, with hopes that it would catch on with families and younger viewers.  But TV audiences were not ready for a Flash series, and it only lasted the one season. It did feature Mark Hamill as the Trickster in two episodes.  ( A role he would go on to reprise in an episode of Justice League Unlimited.)  The Flash almost returned to TV as part of Justice League movie.  It mercifully never aired.

I will reserve final judgement until I see the costume in action.   Even full photos can sometimes be misleading or not a good representation of a costume meant to be seen in motion.  And when superspeed is your power, how things look when they are moving is everything.


The Flash pilot is a proposed spinoff from the CW’s hit series Arrow, and has not officially been picked up as a series by the CW yet, but with the success of Arrow this season, and the growing popularity of comicbook properties, I think the CW will move pretty quick to pick up the series.

About David Vandervliet

Once, King of all these lands, but now I am just an aging nerd. I enjoy talking about my favorite things to geek about, and hopefully I say something to make you think a little too. My favorite things include: Comics, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Star Trek, Science, Astronomy, Math, Music, theatre, movies, writing, baseball, college football (Go Blue!)
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