'The Flash': How "The Trial of The Flash" Compares to the Comic Storyline
The Flash returned from midseason hiatus tonight, and it gave fans a pretty unique spin on an iconic comic storyline.
Spoilers for tonight's episode of The Flash, "The Trial of The Flash", below!
Tonight's episode saw Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) being sent to court, after being framed for the murder of Clifford DeVoe/The Thinker (Neil Sandilands). The title -- and the general plotline -- is a reference to the comic storyline of the same name, which spanned over 25 issues between 1983 and 1984. But how does The Flash's "Trial of the Flash" compare to the comics?
Even going into tonight's episode, there were a few clear similarities between the comic storyline and what has been presented on The Flash. The comic storyline is kicked into motion on the day of Barry's wedding (a day that TV Barry also had trouble with), after he worries that Eobard Thawne/Reverse Flash is going to murder his fiancee, Fiona Webb. Issues before, Reverse Flash had murdered Iris, and it was clear that he wasn't going to let Barry get a second chance at love.
For a few issues, Barry and Eobard engage in a globe-trotting battle, something that was somewhat recreated in Clifford and Barry's conflict in "Don't Run". But when it comes to the actual incident that sends Barry to trial, the two versions couldn't be more different.
In the comics, Barry definitely does kill Eobard, snapping his neck in front of the entire wedding party seconds before Eobard can kill Fiona. This makes the whole framing of Barry's trial a little different within the comics, as opposed to TV Barry genuinely being framed -- and, you know, DeVoe not really being dead.
There also is the whole nature of who is accused of committing the crime. In the comics, Barry commits the act while wearing the Flash suit, which tarnishes Central City's perception of their hero. On the TV side, it's Barry himself who is accused of the murder, and Team Flash attempts to use his Flash identity as a way of helping him out of the trial.
From there, The Flash comics divide into a few separate mini arcs, all while the impending trial looms in the background, which is something that TV Barry doesn't really need to deal with. Comic Barry's life seems to essentially crumble around him; he destroys his apartment, gets voted out of the Justice League, and deals with a pretty weird altercation with Gorilla Grodd and Solovar.
Since everyone knows The Flash is about to be tried for murder, Barry's rogues gallery starts to take advantage of the situation, with Pied Piper using his sonic powers to brainwash certain people against The Flash. This stuff with the rogues gallery continues on for about ten-or-so issues before Barry's trial actually begins.
At the trial, Barry is prosecuted by Anton Slater (who also appears in tonight's "Trial of The Flash"), and is defended by Cecile Horton, who is pretty different from the television counterpart we've seen for the past few years of The Flash. Comic Cecile has a secret resentment for Barry, because she feels that he partially caused the murder of her policeman father.
In the comics, the trial wages on, with Wally West/Kid Flash testifying that Barry could have stopped Eobard without murdering him. Cecile then uncovers Barry's real identity, and is convinced that merging the two will help prove Barry's innocence -- something that, interestingly, happens in reverse on The Flash.
Comic Barry is ultimately found guilty of second-degree murder, while he is found guilty of first-degree murder within the TV show. Thanks to Abra Kadabra brainwashing the jury and some timey-wimey stuff, Comic Barry is able to escape, fleeing to the 30th century, where he finds and reunites with Iris.
When it comes to the television story arc, there's no telling how Barry's guilty verdict will go. But if the 30th century stuff does come into play, it could mean something interesting for a certain "Crisis on Earth-X" theory.
The possibility of "The Trial of The Flash" coming to The CW has been floated around for almost a year now, after the death of Iris West-Allen (Candice Patton) appeared to hang in the balance. And even as the storyline has been hinted at pretty periodically over the course of The Flash's tenure, it's safe to say that it coming to fruition -- especially in this new way -- has taken fans by surprise.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.0comments