When the Justice League movie was announced, one of the biggest challenges for that movie that we knew was surely the portrayal of The Flash. Since a version of The Flash was already out on TV and was very well established. In order to top that, Justice League had to deliver something very unique and different, and they almost did.
Here’s why the DCEU version was better than the CW version.
Not As Dramatic
The movie version was fun, and even though he also has the agenda to get his father out of prison, he’s still not as dramatic about that fact or grounded in the reality of the universe. Miller’s version is more outgoing, less emotional about the problems that exist in his life.
While the TV version used to be fun loving and joyful, but as his time passed he became more focused on catching the murderer of his mother and became depressed and dramatic. He is carrying emotional baggage all the time and conveys his deep feelings to his close friends, sometimes his superhero persona comes under the weight of complexity of Barry’s life problems.
The costume of the movie version was an instant hit ever since it first showed up. With a higher budget for the movie, we always expected a tactical, battle ready suit which would help Flash overcome major attacks.
The TV costume, on the other hand, is just simple leather and textures. They could not do better due to the limited budget they had but still, you’ve got to give it to the TV version. In each season, upgrades have been installed by Cisco which increased the efficacy of the suit but also made it vulnerable. For instance, in the current season when Flash went to fight against a meta-human who can control any tech, it ended up giving the control of the suit to the bad guy risking the life of Barry.
Figuring Out His Place In The World
Miller’s Flash is discovering who he is and what he can do. He has not been in any real fights, has little experience being a hero and even working hard to get a CSI’s job. He has got so much time to explore himself, given time, the DCEU Flash has the potential to become the comic accurate Flash we deserve.
Gustin’s Flash was always focused on the ultimate goal, finding out the “Man in a Yellow Mask” who murdered his mother. Everything he did revolve around that, even when he was not the Flash. His only mission in life was to save his mother whatever it takes, but when he did save her, he ended up creating Flashpoint.
In DCEU’s Flash, he is the least experienced member of Justice League in combat. His talk with Batman about saving just one was pretty meaningful and moving, and it helped in his superhero character development.
CW’s Flash sure did have some moving moments, but most of the times the show tried to create something dramatic around Barry’s life, everything fell flat on their face. In terms of emotional aspect, the show is hit or miss. The show has been accused of dragging the narrative as it wants a resolution of Barry’s thousand issues while other characters are mere spectators.
Use of Lightning
The movie version instead was pretty resourceful with lightning. He knew what he could do and used it to charge the mother box while Superman’s resurrection. He used it even for a small thing like lighting a little cracker during the race at the end. So, he seems to think more critically in dire situations and exhaust every possible option.
The TV Flash does not use the lightning he possesses very well. Sure he did learn to throw lightning bolts after a while but he doesn’t even use a lot. He uses his lightning powers only when he is up against a deadly force and runs out of all other options.
Learning What It Means To Be A Hero
Every superhero has to go through their own arc and experiences to learn what it means to them to be a superhero. Miller’s Flash is still not a proper Superhero, but we do get to see him learning the true meaning of being one. He plays the supporting role in all the JL fights and saves innocent people.
Gustin’s Flash seems to have never learned that lesson as he constantly keeps doing things that he know he is not supposed to do. He knew what the ramifications of altering the past could be, but still, he went back in time and saved his mom.
Sense of Speed
Every time Flash is about to run, lightning comes off of him before he zooms off into the distance. We see buildings and scenery zoom past him as he speeds through each scenario, and there is a real sense of power and speed along with it. Time slows down to a halt when he moves, and the payoff was when he would share some of that with Superman.
Well, we cannot blame the TV version much for this because they have done pretty well mostly to showcase the speed of the Flash. But in some instances were God-awful considering the CGI, whereas, with a bigger budget, the movie makes all the difference.
The Flash is always considered to be the jokester in the league, using his speed and high IQ to crack a few jokes here and there. Ezra Miller’s Flash excels in this department and gives us a taste of this more excited Flash who’s just ready to have super friends and save the world from destruction.
The CW’s version is closer to classic portrayal of Flash. Grant Gustin’s Flash started off being the fun loving guy, a cool boyfriend in the beginning but he turned into a very serious person as he lost both his parents and suffered emotional trauma as a result of it. His mother was killed by Reverse Flash while his father Henry Allen was murdered by Zoom in front of him.