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'The Flash' Solidifies DC's Play for Comic Book TV Shows

TheCW's pilot for The Flash could also star of one of the speedster's most dangerous adversaries. Source: DC Comics.

After months of waiting, TheCW has greenlit a premier for The Flash. Grant Gustin will play the DC Comics superhero in a pilot that, at least according to one report, promises to further expand the scope and style of the DC Cinematic Universe.

Deadline says the network -- which is co-owned by CBS and DC Comics parent Time Warner (NYSE: TWX  ) -- has cast Rick Cosnett and Danielle Panabaker to play opposite Gustin and Jesse L. Martin. The wrinkle? Cosnett is apparently set to play Detective Eddie Thawne while Panabaker is to portray bioengineer Caitlin Snow. Both names should be familiar to comics fans, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video. Thawne, for example, appears to be a reference to Eobard Thawne, otherwise known as Professor Zoom or the Reverse-Flash. (Depicted above.)

Thawne is a longtime and lethal foe of the scarlet speedster who also played a central role in last summer's animated epic Flashpoint, which debuted to an enthusiastic crowd at San Diego Comic-Con. Snow, on the other hand, might be better known to readers as a later incarnation of the supervillain Killer Frost.

Of course, it's too early to do anything other than speculate. And yet a rash of new villains and super-powered plot twists in Arrow lend credence to Deadline's reporting while giving Warner the justification needed to expand the TV side of the DC Cinematic Universe, Tim argues.

Marvel hasn't been as willing to experiment with super-powered protagonists in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which instead serves as a lens through which worried humans view a rapidly evolving world. Agent Carter -- a period adaptation in development now and featuring Hayley Atwell's spy from Captain America: The First Avenger -- appears destined to serve a similar purpose for Marvel and Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) , which thus far has confined its biggest heroes to the big screen.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you believe Warner's efforts to develop the TV side of the DC Cinematic Universe will pay off in the TV ratings wars? What about at the box office? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take and then leave a comment to let us know where you stand.

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Read/Post Comments (6) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2014, at 11:58 AM, deacgiv45 wrote:

    my thing is that CBS has always had great success with tv shows featuring comic book the 70's and 80's spider-man, wonder woman (which actually tanked on ABC) was a huge hit on cbs and what about the incredible hulk. and now the trend continues on it sister station the CW, with great shows like Smallville which ran for ten seasons on the WB/CW,and now the tradition continues with Arrow, which was a great series from day one and now the flash is coming....I am so hyped for this!

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2014, at 1:05 PM, TYPEONEGATIVE wrote:

    Finally, a character played by an American.

    I'll fully support this show

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2014, at 5:59 PM, coachcondon wrote:

    Let me tell you something I don't like. Whether it is DC or Marvel the tendency to immediately add a villain with the same power or suit as the hero. It totally takes away the hero's uniqueness . Add a me too villain down the road and its fine but don't me too out of the box. I hate this !

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2014, at 6:24 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:


    >>Whether it is DC or Marvel the tendency to immediately add a villain with the same power or suit as the hero. It totally takes away the hero's uniqueness.

    Are you referring to the Reverse-Flash? If so, OK, but understand that we've had that character in the DC universe for a *long* time.

    Also, remember how Barry (Gustin) reveals his real motivation in episode 8? He says he's searching for someone with extraordinary power who killed his mother, and the way it's described -- how he was moved from one spot to 20 blocks away in a matter of seconds -- sounds like a dead-on reference to the Reverse-Flash.

    I could be wrong, of course. But in this instance I think the creators have set-up the premise for The Flash and his foes quite nicely.

    FWIW and Foolish best,



    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2014, at 8:52 PM, scrotuc wrote:

    @hbk72777 please leave your teabagger politics at home or one of the hate pages you frequent.we are trying to have a peaceful, intelligent discussion here.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 8:52 AM, PAJohnDoe wrote:

    Agents of SHIELD has introduced Deathlok now, and while he's certainly no A-Lister, he's better-suited for a television show, while Flash should really have had a movie by now. When did things change so much so that getting a show on the CW is considered a major win? Ironically, this is something that I usually bring up about Whedon shows, not the competition, but no matter how many people watch a show on the CW, no matter how big of a hit it is for them, it really isn't that impressive overall. Big fish, small pond. The top show on a small network like that will still always have less viewers than a middling show on one of the big 4, or even a lot of cable stations. Granted, expectations are different depending on where you are, but when it comes down to it, more people watch SHIELD than Arrow, period. You might not think so because one's fan base might be louder or get more positive support in the media, but it is true. And again, even if it wasn't, TV isn't Marvel's bread and butter, and I think they'd be OK if they only had their multi-billion dollar film franchises to fall back on. Yeah, they'd be just fine.

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Tim Beyers

Tim Beyers first began writing for the Fool in 2003. Today, he's an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova. At, he covers disruptive ideas in technology and entertainment, though you'll most often find him writing and talking about the business of comics. Find him online at or send email to For more insights, follow Tim on Google+ and Twitter.

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