15 Ways CW’s The Flash Is Different From The Comics 

The CW’s The Flash is one of the most popular CW as well as the most loyal adaptation of the DC comics superhero. 

Even though the series is known to have inconsistency with its quality, it has been running for so long that it outlasted the series from where it is more or less spinned off- CW’s Arrow. 

Grant Gustin playing Barry Allen in the The Flash show has made huge Flash fans whereas a lot of comic geeks are disappointed on a consistent basis as show’s failure to match up to its source material. 

Overall, it is a successful comic book adaptation TV show but what’s interesting here is that even with great accuracy, the show does deflect from its source material. 

If you are a TV show fan, you will be surprised to know in what ways the TV show The Flash is different from the DC comics version of Flash. 

So here you go with all the major differences in The Flash show from The CW and the comics : 

 Barry Allen Of Earth-1 Didn’t Die In The Crisis On Infinite Earths 

Image Source: CBR

Perhaps the most popular comic trivia known for the superhero The Flash is known that he dies in the crisis. 

The show in fact has been teasing that almost forever. In fact, they have shown the newspaper of him going missing in the very first season very early on. 

DC’s most iconic storylines include this story of Barry Allen becoming of a hero who fights and loses everything in the end passing his mantle to Wally West to be the next The Flash. 

It is true that CW’s had their own version of Crisis on Infinite Earth which was much more reserved and restricted to DC TV characters who are already introduced, which to bring together was a big deal in itself. 

But even so, fans were expecting Barry Allen, played by Grant Gustin of Earth-I to die in the crisis, as it was again brought back in the plot. 

But Barry Allen didn’t come out to be the one to sacrifice in the TV show rather it was the Barry Allen from another universe played by John Wesley Shipp who gives up his life to save him. 

The writers played a cute spin on the words that Barry Allen has to die in the crisis but it didn’t say which Barry Allen. Well! Whatever works to keep the seasons going on!  

 There Is No Joe West In The Comics   

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This is something similar to the CW’s Arrow show, where the one of the major differences in the show from the comics was the existence of Captain Lance in the show, but not in the comics. 

In the CW’s The Flash, one of the endearing characters, a father figure and a genuine cop in Central City, Joe West doesn’t exist in the comics. 

The character was completely created for the show but given his arc, and especially his relationship with Barry and Iris, The Flash fans cannot imagine without him. 

He is more of a silent member of Team Flash, helping them from the sidelines but also, often, caught up in the action. 

Sure, the comics does have a version of his character, basically the father of Iris West Allen but nothing like Jesse L. Martin’s version you see in the show. 

Especially in the comics, his character is not big of a deal but his character added to the show for make this more connecting and relative to the audience, and giving Barry’s character, a father-figure.  

Also, he is more or less represents the police department and its role in the The Flash show which has to be something feasible to matter. 

 Barry Doesn’t Have Joe As A Foster Father  

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Joe is not the foster father to Barry Allen in the comics, simply because he doesn’t exist in the comics in the first place, as we pointed out in the earlier difference. 

Instead, in the comics, a man named Darryl Frye raised Barry. And this guy was a police officer involved with Barry’s mother, Nora Allen, romantically in an extramarital affair. 

This plot was obviously not touched in the TV show. And further in the comics, when Nora was murdered under mysterious circumstances and her husband was framed, Darryl took Barry in and raised him as his own son. 

There was even no mention of Joe having any affair with Noral Allen in the CW’s The Flash, considering he was the counterpart replacement of Darryl Frye. 

He Wasn’t Really The Fastest Man Alive In The Universe 

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Every episode of the show in its introduction, begins with Barry boasting how he is the fastest man alive. But is he?

Because almost every season, some speedster comes in and embarrasses Allen to not being the fastest man alive. 

He is consistently out-runned by his enemies. It is not even that his enemies fight him with other tactics, strategies, or experience. It is plainly based on speed which he claims to be fastest. 

In the comics, however, when he says he is the fastest man alive, he pretty much is.  It was taken more accurately in the comics to be said precisely. Whereas in the show, it was thrown very lightly. 

In the comics, only one person could compete with him, and he was Wally West, who also become the one to carry on his moniker and legacy of The Flash. 

And that too after years of practice and training, and also becoming the sole Flash.  

In the show, however, he consistently loses to some evil speedster who can match up with him easily. 

The greatness of the Flash in respect to his speed is not much taken strongly in the series. 

 The Flash Didn’t Get His SuperSpeed From Particle Accelerator  

Image Source: EW

This one is another major difference in Grant Gustin’s The Flash from the comics regarding his origin story. 

On the show, Barry Allen gets his superpowers from the accidental explosion caused by the Particle Accelerator during the thunderstorm.  

Barry was hit by the thunder bombarding him with the energy from the explosion, which hit him to the cabinet of chemicals in his lab. 

When he woke up from his coma, he finds himself gaining superpowers like superspeed. 

So, that was in the show. But in the comics, there was no particle accelerator explosion in the story. Barry was just hit by the lightning bolt in his laboratory which thrown him into a lot of mixed chemicals coming from several broken bottles. 

Well. the main highlight regarding the Flash’s origin is him getting struck by lightning and gaining superpowers, and that is the same in both but bringing the particle accelerator in his origin is still considered to be a major change. 

Savitar’s Origin Story Is Different In The Comics

Image Source: CBR

Savitar’s storyline in The Flash was a good one in the show, especially considering the lack of consistency in the quality. 

But if you are only into the CW’s The Flash show, you would be surprised to know that showrunners didn’t go with the original Savitar origin in the series. 

The actual Savitar in the comics is known to be a completely different character, as in the comics.  He was named after a Hindu god of motion.  

He is known to be a character who has learned his ways to SpeedForce, mastered at the levels competing to Barry and Wally, who are known to be greatest in the comics. 

The character is essentially a god as he has so much power that he is able to bestow superspeed and take away whenever he wants. 

However, in the show, they didn’t go with all of that which could have been interesting to see. 

Rather they have decided to create this Speed clone of Barry Allen, more of an evil version of him as an identity behind the Savitar suit. 

Also, this speed clone character was created to defeat the Savitar whereas he found out him to become one.  

This also begs the question what is the identity of the real Savitar in the first place and where he is. or it was just a vicious self-fulfilling circle where Barry’s alternative evil self was one to become Savitar to destroy one. 

 The Harrison Wells Identity Is Not In The Comics  

Image Source: CT

One of the biggest reveals of The Flash show was the identity reveal behind Dr. Harrison Wells, who came out to be Eobard Thawne, aka The Reverse Flash.

He was introduced in the show as this genius scientist who is building the article accelerator in STAR Labs and even nerdy Barry Allen is a fan of him and his works. He then later became a mentor and a guide to Barry, helping him reach his potential. 

But it wasn’t too late in the show, given the number of seasons, that he is revealed to be actually Eobard Thawne, another speedster who wants to return to his time, using Barry’s speed. 

In the comics, Thawne never uses Harrison Wells’s name or identity. It was completely made up for the show, maybe to change it from the comics, and also not reveal about Thawne early on. 

The name Harrison Wells seems to be a nod to the sci-fi writer H.G Wells, a quick spin there by writers. 

 S.T.A.R Labs Is More Shown In The Superman, Not Much In The Flash Comics  

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

S.T.A.R Labs plays a crucial role in The Flash show, essentially a character in itself, a notable place and even headquarters to Team Flash. 

It was formerly where Particle Accelerator was set up and was in the making to be started by Dr. Harrison Wells along with their associates Cisco Ramon, Caitlin Snow, and Ronnie Raymond ( former half-Firestorm). 

After the explosion, STAR Labs become the place for Dr. Harrison Wells, Ramon, Cisco and Barry as where they train Barry and operate to carry out missions. 

As we go on and one the show, the lab becomes more equipped and important, officially regarded as Team Flash headquarters. 

However, this is not true in the comics. In the comics version, although it does exist and indeed is a place where all the DC heroes more or less visit or get help from in terms of research and all, it still largely remains important to Superman. 

So basically, the level of importance given to the S.T.A.R Labs in The Flash show for the Team Flash, it is same for Superman in the comics. 

Also, to count that there are multiple STAR labs, existing across but the main base of operation is in Metropolis shown in the Superman comics mostly. 

In fact, the S.T.A.R Labs was first appeared in Superman #246 and consistently become more and more significant in the Superman missions or play a crucial role anyway in the storyline. 

 Eddie Does Not Exist In The Comics  

Image Source: THR

Like many other characters that played a crucial part in the series but doesn’t exist in their comics version, Eddie is just another example but certainly a big difference. 

This can be seen in many comic book adaptations on TV or streaming, particularly with The CW network, including the Arrowverse shows. 

Eddie Thawne, played by Rick Cosnett, doesn’t have his comics counterpart. So he is not part of the Flash comics but in the show, there is an extended storyline with him through the season. 

He is the partner of Joe West in the police department, Iris’s father, and Barry’s foster father.  His character was introduced as more of an additional cast which becomes one of the primary supporting cast towards the end. 

Eddie also becomes foil to Barry due to being the love interest of Iris West, who he loves. And then they eventually get on good terms, but later revealed that he is the predecessor of the Thawne family. 

 The Flash Is More Of A Legacy, Not Just A Person  

Image Source: CBC

The Flash is undoubtedly one of the most popular and premier legacy characters in the comic world, especially a best-selling superhero to DC comics. 

There is a long history that backs the saga of The Flash, creating more of a legacy under which the moniker is worn by different heroes at different ages and universes as well. 

However, this difference is not really fair as the Flash show just started airing in 2014 whereas the comics have been around since 1940. So, it could be more of a duration that allowed The Flash to be transformed into legacy. 

The closes the show get was with its multiverse storyline explored through the crisis or crossovers where new Flash from other universes are explored. 

We have seen his sidekick taking over his mantle named Wally West in the future after he gets killed in Crisis on Infinite Earth as well. 

In fact, Team Flash goes beyond The Flash to protect the city and continue the mantle even though Flash is unable to or not available. 

Still, after so many seasons, there could be more to done to establish the The Flash legacy concept which is yet to be seen, so does become a primary difference to count on. 

Barry Allen Is Much Closer To Eobard Thawne In The Show 

Image Source: CB

Eobard Thawn is the main arch-nemesis of The Flash who has been plaguing Barry throughout his life. It is way more like that in comics than in the show. 

This is because of the nature of how Barry Allena and Eobard Thawn meets and interact in the show including their first time. 

In the comics, Eobard Thawn begins to idolize Flash but soon he learned his destiny to become the Reverse Flash putting him odds to his idol. 

And that throw him off driving him mad and obsessed with The Flash in totally freaky way, making him a long-lived nemesis. Actually that’s when he is turned antagonist towards him. 

There is much more room and a arc between the relationship and dynamics of Barry Allen and Eobard Thawn as compared to the show. 

In the show, Eobard Thawn is known to infiltrate his life very early on as Harrison Wells, becoming quite close with him. That changes a lot if you compare it what Thawne from the comics has towards Allen. 

Caitlin And Ronnie Never A Couple  

Image Source: Bustle

In the CW’s The Flash, Caitlin and Ronnie are introduced as a couple when Caitlin lost him in the Particle Accelerator explosion. However, later comes to know that he survived. 

They were engaged before the explosion, however, later re-united after he becomes Firestorm. 

Later, their relationship was put on hold because Ronnie needed to learn to control his powers. 

Moreover, even in the recent season, their relationship was also explored. 

But it will be surprising for fans to know that Caitlin Snow and Ronnie Raymond were not together or romantically involved in the comics. 

When Caitlin’s accident made her Killer Frost, she went on to hunt Firestorm as only his ability to generate heat can cure her condition. 

Cisco Is Not An Engineering Genius In Comics 

Image Source: DC Comics

One of the likable characters in the CW’s The Flash is his nerd buddy cum genius Cisco Ramon who is a key team member of Team Flash. 

He is the one who helps Barry with his suits, all the technology, and anything scientific stuff to combat bad guys. 

But in the comics, he is not an engineering genius. In fact, he is not even a scientist or remotely near anything like that in the comics. 

He is actually a alter ego of a superhero named Vibe. His character was first introduced in Justice League of America Annual #2 where later his name even changed to Paco. 

He was a guy who leaves his street gang, Los Lobos, to join the Justice League in Detroit, turning into a good guy, using his sonic abilities for good. He was also shown to be a good break dancer. 

So you see, totally opposite to the Cisco Raymond we knew from The Flash show. Not just that, his superhero character is mostly ridiculed in the comics community as there is no meat in his character and even being sometimes offensive. 

However, interestingly, his character is upgraded based on the The Flash show now, re-introduced by The Flash producers Andrew Kreisberg and Geoff Johns.  

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