Abbie Bernstein’s The Art and Making of The Flash is a colorful romp through the world behind CW’s superhero show, one that offers the same, fun energy of the best episodes of this series we love. It opens with a three-page foreword by The Flash executive producer and co-creator Greg Berlanti, who walks us through the conception of the series and the origin of his own love for the character.
One of the ways The Flash was born was at a comic stand in the back of a flea market in the mid-1980s in Port Chester, New York. I would save up for comics all week and the cantankerous owner, provided I didn’t talk to him, would allow me to read whatever comics I couldn’t afford. That’s when I first fell in love with the Silver Age Flash, Barry Allen, the fastest man alive.
That lifelong love for the character is an integral part of The Flash’s unique alchemy, and it’s admirable that Barry and Berlanti’s positivity feel adequately represented in the pages of Bernstein’s book. The Art and Making of The Flash is a brisk read that barrels us through Barry Allen’s team of sidekicks and gallery of rogues.
We get concept art, screen stills, writer, star and producer insight and costume galleries for all of your faves (including multiverse versions!) and plenty of characters you might have forgotten about: Barry, Cisco, Caitlin, Harry, Harrison, Joe, Iris, Wally, Patty, Team Arrow, Captain Cold, Plastique, The Trickster, Reverse Flash and many, many more.
There’s also plenty of scoop on The Flash’s locations, like STAR Labs, CC Jitters, various lairs and CCPD, and a whole section on weapons, gadgets and vehicles, of which The Flash boasts quite a wealth. Production designers, costume and makeup professionals and practical effects supervisors all weigh in, along with the writers, producers and directors who make up The Flash’s talented crew.
The art is terrific – the eight-page spread on Gorilla Grodd is frame-worthy in addition to being filled with useful trivia and a fascinating examination of the making of the character – and each page is adorned with speed lines and The Flash’s lightning bolt symbol to make the very turning of that page feel like a comic book coming to life. Fathwoom!
For a Flash obsessive, The Art and Making of The Flash may feel a little light on new information, especially in a world where every new series gets its own carefully fan-curated Wiki. But the book looks so darn great, and the exclusive quotes from the obviously enthusiastic cast and crew are so fun to read, that any Flash fan would be proud to place it on his or her coffee table.