Anticipation has been building for The CW's Arrow spinoff The Flash, and, like clockwork, the first official image from the comic book drama pilot has been released.
In the photo below, a smiling Grant Gustin dons the red Flash suit, marking the first time this iteration of Barry Allen has been seen in superhero form. And like Green Arrow's suit, the Flash has a gritty feel to it. Though the full-body suit has yet to be revealed, the image offers a good preview of the tone for the pilot and potential series.
The Flash costume was designed by Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood, who also helped design the look of the Arrow. Production on the pilot begins next week.
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The CW and WBTV made a similar move last March by debuting first looks for high-profile drama pilots based on properties with built-in audiences: Arrow and Sex and the City prequel The Carrie Diaries. While both shows have surpassed the two-season mark (with Arrow already renewed for a third), the strategy of keeping public interest levels high doesn't always pay off. Case in point: NBC's 2011 reinterpretation of Wonder Woman, which drew criticism.
Flash serves as an origin story similar in vein to Arrow. Barry (Gustin) -- introduced in Arrow's two-part winter finale in December -- is a Central City assistant police forensic investigator who visits Starling City to look into a series of unexplained robberies that may have a connection to a tragedy in his past. Through a freak accident, he is given the power of super speed that transforms him into the fastest man alive.