The benefit of the “Arrow” and “The Flash” two night crossover, is that it emphasizes the contrast between both shows. While “The Flash” is a hit series, and a spin off of “Arrow,” it’s also much lighter, brighter, and action packed than “Arrow” which bases itself on a darker more revenge fueled storyline. Though the Greg Berlanti fueled shows have made it clear they’re one in the same and will crossover from time to time, the contrast between two shows in the crossovers is made perfectly clear in this event. It may allow audiences to ultimately decide which series they prefer, or if they want to stick with both. I’m choosing both, even though “The Flash” has won me over in a season while it took “Arrow” to win me over by the end of season two.
I’m much more of a fan of part one of the crossover “Flash vs. Arrow” than I was “Arrow’s” second half “The Brave and the Bold,” simply because “The Flash” is such an under emphasized superhero in the DC Universe, it’s nice to see Barry Allen and the Fastest Man Alive get their due. In “The Flash,” citizens of the city are being terrorized by a criminal whose flashing red eyes infuriate anyone he comes in contact with. They become very violent and impossible to control prompting many to kill them out of self defense. After Arrow saves The Flash during a mission to investigate the new meta-human, Barry meets up with Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity all of whom are now in the city to investigate a boomerang wielding criminal.
Barry convinces Arrow to team up with him to solve each other’s problems, even though Oliver warns Barry that they have vastly different crime fighting methods. Even worse, Oliver is concerned that Barry is overestimating his speed, which makes him reckless during combat. Barry proves him right when he attempts to confront the meta-human who flashes Barry his red eyes. Barry is seemingly unaffected at first, but soon begins to display gradual rage at just about everyone. It doesn’t help that Iris is leaning more on her new boyfriend Eddie, who is suggesting a task force to stop the Flash. Oliver and the group realize too late that Barry has been affected, and stop him from nearly murdering Iris and Eddie, prompting an utterly incredible battle between Arrow and The Flash.
Considering this is the CW and a television budget, the way the fight progresses between Arrow and the Flash is fantastic, filled with spotlights for both heroes, and ends in a tie. Arrow has experience, and Barry has speed, and for a moment it seems The Flash is about to throttle Arrow in to the ground until a machine involving light strobes allows Barry to come back from his rampage. Though in the end, he’s lost the trust of Iris and is now being hunted by a task force led by Eddie Thawne. “The Brave and the Bold” is much darker than the previous crossover, but it’s a definite crossover now with Dr. Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon visiting Felicity to help deliver the DNA samples to help her solve the murder of Dinah Lance, and incidentally helping to fight Captain Boomerang. I’ve always considered Flash’s rogues to be especially corny, so it’s a feat to see them depict Captain Boomerang as a really bad ass and vicious murderer, who is quick with his boomerang.
He’s after Diggle’s wife, intent on revenge after the whole Suicide Squad fiasco, and Flash intervenes to help Arrow. What’s shocking about the episode is how shocked Barry is at Arrow’s methods of interrogation. He must have followed him for years before becoming a superhero, how did you not know he’d use pain to get answers? In either case, Barry’s enthusiastic help with the case makes for some great moments of action, and the interaction between Barry’s group and Ollie’s makes for memorable moments. This includes Cisco winning over Roy Harper, and Barry assembling the boomerang shards in a minute. All in all with the “Rocky III” final scene, the CW compose a pretty excellent crossover of two damn good DC adaptations. I can only hope Batman v Superman is this good.
And I am glad to see Firestorm make his first appearance. He’s one of my favorite under-appreciated DC characters.