Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks

Did the Flash Just Take a Huge Swipe at Spider-Man?

In the first episode of the new Flash series, we see that Barry Allen has feelings for his lifelong friend, Iris West (his eventual wife in the comics), but when Iris's cop father finds out Barry is the Flash, he makes him promise to not mention anything about that to Iris, because it could put her in danger. In the second episode this week, Detective West asks Barry if he had said anything to Iris. Barry's response? "No, I made you a promise. I keep my promises."

So, let's think about that in the context of how this show is clearly taking some characterization cues from Spider-Man (we all pretty much agree on that, right?).


In 2012, The Amazing Spider-Man has Peter Parker falling in love with Gwen Stacy, but when Gwen's cop father finds out Peter is Spider-Man, he makes him promise to break it off with Gwen because being in a relationship with a superhero could put her in danger. Peter relents, and then decides it would be more fun to break his promise, because what do dying police captains know anyway? Then, in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the ghost of Captain Stacy haunts Peter, until finally the captain's grim warning is proven accurate, and Gwen dies as a direct result of being in a relationship with Spider-Man.

Spider-Man makes a promise to his love interest's cop father to keep her out of danger, and then selfishly breaks his promise with disastrous results. The Flash makes a promise to his love interest's cop father to keep her out of danger, and when he's asked about it, he says, "No, I keep my promises." I have trouble believing such parallel events could be purely coincidental, or I am just reading into them what I want to see? I've made no secret of the problems I have with them depicting Spider-Man like that, so if the writers of The Flash actually did intend that as a subtle criticism of the Amazing Spider-Man franchise (without being heavy-handed or stepping out of the narrative), it would substantially increase my respect for them.

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