When Kevin Smith -- the veteran comic book writer and famed superhero fan behind Clerks and Dogma -- finally directed his first-ever live-action superhero story in the form of last year's penultimate episode of The Flash, it seemed tailored to his skillset.
The episode -- titled "The Runaway Dinosaur" -- featured Barry in what Smith calls "the Speed Force version of Heaven," where the seemingly-dead hero talked with his dead parents and came to grips with his loss and responsibility before fighting his way back to the land of the living for his big, final showdown with Zoom.
"The episode this time around was more complicated than 'The Runaway Dinosaur,'" Smith told ComicBook.com about tonight's installment. "I realized when we were making 'Killer Frost' that I had made an atypical episode of The Flash last time, inasmuch as there wasn't a f--kton of action. There wasn't a lot of running around or spectacle. All of it was kind of dialogue exchanges between characters...so it wasn't a typical Flash episode. 'Killer Frost,' there's effects galore in this episode."
Smith praised Armen Kevorkian, who handles the visual effects on The Flash, saying that the VFX contributions to The Flash are so important that Kevorkian and his team could likely be given as much credit as the directors themselves for crafting what audiences see week to week.
For his part, he says, he's glad to have such a support network, because it allows him to tell the kind of stories that he's long claimed he wouldn't be equipped for (but fans often ask about).
"The kind of movies I make don't call for that kind of storytelling, so I got to do that kind of storytelling here and flex that kind of muscle," Smith said. "But thank God I got to do that 'Killer Frost' episode, because then I was a bit more prepared for showing up at Supergirl."
"If I'd just gone from 'The Runaway Dinosaur' to 'Supergirl Lives,' my brain would have broke, and I probably would have quit like two or three days in: 'It's too hard, it's too much, everything's green screen!'" He continued. "But having been on The Flash for a very Flash-y episode -- I'm telling you, it begins right as we left off in the last episode, with Wally in the coccoon, Savitar showing up, Joe and the Central City Police either held captive or killed -- right off the bat, the script says "we come in hot," and boy we do. It's almost like we come back from a commercial break, not a week off, and from that moment forward, it's a pretty breathless episode once we dive into the Killer Frost of it all."
Smith, of course, was pretty impressed by Supergirl's visual effects, posting a Facebook video showing fans how Melissa Benoist flies.
"I cannot say enough amazing things about Kevin Smith," Benoist told reporters during the aforementioned set visit. "I"ve been a fan of his for ages, so I was really anticipating working with him and so excited about it, and he just exceeded all of my expectations." She added that he's "truly intuitive" about superhero fiction and that his feedback is invaluable.
The Flash airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW. Smith's episode, "Killer Frost," premieres tonight.