Oct 21, 2014

The Flash: Gay Characters and Subtexts in a DC Comics Reboot

The Flash is one of the primal characters of the Golden Age of Comics, appearing in 1940 and rebooted several times as DC consolidated universes.  Flashes include Jay Garrick, who gained super-speed after accidentally inhaling "heavy water" in 1938; Barry Allen, who got splashed with chemicals, and named himself after his childhood hero; his nephew Wally West; and his grandson Bart Allen.

The new tv series returns to Barry Allen (Grant Gustin, left), who experienced a Batman-like trauma early in life, when his mother was killed and his father was framed for the murder.

Raised by the kindly Detective West (Jesse L. Martin), he has grown up into a police investigator and paranormal specialist, a moody Fox Mulder.  Then, after being doused with chemicals and hit by lightning, he discovers that he has become a "metahuman" with special powers.

The accident created other metahumans, too, with various powers.  Some are good, some evil.  And there's an Agency with a sinister interest in them.  And Barry's dousing with chemicals wasn't really an accident.  It has something to do with who killed his mother....

Sounds like there's going to be a lot of Batman-X Files - X Men mythology included with the mutant-of-the-week.

Will there be any gay content?

Lots.  Even a couple of gay characters: Barry's boss, Captain Singh (Patrick Sabongui, left), is gay, although this fact hasn't been mentioned yet, and his boyfriend Hartley (Andy Mientus) will become a super-villain, the Pied Piper.

Barry is played by Grant Gustin, who played a gay character on Glee.  

Iris West (Candice Patton) was Barry's girlfriend, then wife, in the comics, but here the two were raised together, so a romance between the adopted brother and sister might not be on the table.

Barry has a buddy bond relationship with Eddie Thawe (Rick Cosnett), a coworker with a dark secret who will eventually become his arch-enemy, Professor Zoom.  They may have a Superman-Lex Luther thing going on.

And there will be ample beefcake.  Many superheroes and villains will be dropping by, including The Arrow (Stephen Amell), Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller), and Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell).

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