Since the release of the first Justice League footage at San Diego Comic Con, many of the main critiques have fallen on poor Barry Allen aka The Flash.
Some people have focused on the suit – sorry, but it’s comic book accurate (Injustice: Gods Among Us) and shit cool. Some people have focused on his mannerism. Some people have focused on his looks. Others have focused on the sole fact that he’s just not Grant Gustin. You can’t please everybody, but at the same time we feel the need to defend Ezra Miller’s version of the character just a little bit given the context of what is currently happening at DC.
Unlike Marvel (sort of), DC are attempting to balance a TV Universe and a Movie Universe that are entirely separate at the same time. This means that some of the A-List characters such as Batman will not show up in the likes of Arrow. It also means that there will be two versions of some characters – which is exactly what is happening with the Flash having both Grant Gustin & Ezra Miller star as Barry Allen.
Grant Gustin of course, got a head start and now has a pretty big following and The Flash is regarded as one of the best comic-to-TV adaptations on the market at the moment. He plays this version of Barry Allen brilliantly, is an amazing talent & perfect for the role. We’ll openly admit we are among the staunchest of Grant Gustin fans but he is just one version of the character. Unfortunately, this does leave poor Ezra on the back foot just a little.
While in an ideal world, Grant Gustin would be The Flash & Stephen Amell would be the Green Arrow in the DCEU but that is not the case. So instead of bash the DCEU version of The Flash into the ground because he isn’t the DCTV version, why not celebrate that by next year we will have at least 3 versions of The Flash (you forgot Wally West *wink*) on our screens? If you said to people ten years ago you will have two versions of The Flash to enjoy in a live action setting you would be laughed at. But people, it is now a reality.
The main issue from there is, DC need to differentiate between these two versions of the same character in order to not confuse casual fans and also to not have people bored from watching two identical characters. To make this differentiation most effective, there needs to be drastic differences in the two characters. This means that they will both act very differently, they will have different suits and they will have different coloured lightning. But this might well be a very good thing! Each character also needs to fit into the universe they live in. While Grant Gustin’s Flash fits in perfectly within the CW world, he may be a fish out of water in Snyder’s (or Geoff John’s) DCEU. Miller’s Flash on the other hand, already seems like a perfect fit for the DCEU especially in his interactions from the footage with Bruce Wayne.
Remember that one of the greatest aspects about comic books is that of the multiverses. The multiverses, be they Marvel, DC or otherwise allow us to have more than one version of any given character at one time. Essentially this is what is happening with the DC movie & TV universes and while they may not be connected in any way at the moment, they still allow us to enjoy two very different versions of the same character. If you like one and not the other, that’s ok but all we ask is that you give them a fair shot before writing them off. The Flash won’t be the last DC character to be played by two actors simultaneously. In fact, Superman has just been cast for Supergirl and something similar is happening there too despite only one single CGI’d promo shot.
After all, we’ve done pretty well with two versions of Professor X & Magneto, eh?