Well, that was probably a lot better than anyone could have reasonably expected.

Some quibbles aside, the first long look we've had at the new Flash television show comes with just about everything longtime comics readers would want to see in a modern Flash adaptation: a faithfully depicted origin of his speed powers, his partnership with STAR Labs, his battle with the Weather Wizard, and, most astonishingly, the Flash vs. a tornado.

Actor Grant Gustin may not look exactly like the square jawed, blond Barry Allen as envisioned by creators Robert KanigherJohn Broome and Carmine Infantino, but his performance in this clip expresses some crucial essences of the character. Specifically, he's a cop, he wants to help people, he runs really damn fast, and he's late. And while it's sort of cheating given that the line was written by Mark Waid for '90s Flash incarnation Wally West, it's still pretty cool to hear the words "My name is Barry Allen and I'm the fastest man alive" spoken aloud as the Flash zooms through Central City.

There's some curious mythological elements to this clip as well. It's made fairly explicit that the Flash's powers come from a lightning bolt that was itself part of some kind of cosmic event, one that will presumably provide the show's writers with a helpful device with which to produce more superpowered characters as the series -- or perhaps as multiple DC Comics-based series -- progresses. This also offers the promise of a time travel story, as Barry remarks that when his mother was killed (a reference to the character's modern comics incarnation devised by writer Geoff Johns) he saw a man in a ball of lightning. If the "dark energy" event which gave Barry and other people their powers occurred in the present day, then it seems likely that the murderer of his mother received his powers at the same time, later using them to travel back to when the Flash was a child and screw with his life (as depicted in the Flash: Rebirth comic book).

Or maybe not.

Produced by DC Entertainment, written by Geoff Johns, Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti, The Flash sets off later this fall on the CW network.

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