Since the launch of the New 52 reboot in 2011, DC Comics has seemingly gone out of its way to find new ways to make its superhero darker. Its current Futures End weekly comics event is one in which everything has become even more dour and depressing in the span of five (narrative) years, for example.

But there's one character that DC writer Geoff Johns simply can't view as dark, however: The Flash. In an interview with Nerdist, former Flash comics writer Johns answered a question about the lighter tone of the new The Flash TV series by saying that Barry Allen simply can't be a gloomy character.

Here's his full quote:

One of the things I always thought when Francis Manapul and I started the Barry Allen run is that even though Barry had all this tragedy in his life he was still the Flash. He was still interacting with people, he was still cheerful, and it was still a bright book. It’s just who the Flash is. He’s not a dark character. He’s a blue-sky character. He runs around during the day. It’s just intentional. Obviously we want to celebrate superheroes and this is a way to celebrate them.

As DC Entertainment's Chief Creative Officier has been deeply involved in all of the superhero-focused DC Comics TV projects of the past few years. He told Nerdist he co-wrote the fourth episode of this season of The Flash, which features Captain Cold.

He talked to Nerdist about some other TV and comic projects, too. Here are a few highlights.

On what Gotham is all about:

We’re exploring the very beginnings of characters that we’ve never really known before. Like Penguin – who is Oswald Cobblepot? How did he become the Penguin? We’ve never, ever seen that in a comic. The same with the Riddler and other characters like that. So some of that is the origins of these great villains will unfold and we’ll also see the impact the Waynes have on the city in their death.

[Note: We've definitely seen Penguin origin stories in comics.]

On adding Lex Luthor to the Justice League:

Just crack him open, and get inside him, and make him experience things, and put him in scenarios that aren’t typical. That’s why he’s in Justice League – to make an atypical book.

On the next Batman: Earth One graphic novel's focus on Harvey Dent:

Harvey Dent is in there and he’s a DA who’s at the end of his rope and he’s frustrated by what’s happened, but he sees the opportunity to clean up the city and he’s willing to break a few rules to do it. He’s got to cut a lot of deals with a lot of people he doesn’t want to, but he thinks it’s for the greater good and he’s involved with uncovering a bigger conspiracy within Gotham that will send him on a crash course with Batman.

For more from the interview, go check out the whole thing at Nerdist.

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