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When you think of the most perfect superhero costumes of all time, there’s really only a handful that truly deserve the term “iconic” attached to them. They’re the ones that were so perfect right out of the gate that they’ve survived almost completely unscathed throughout their history, the ones where any attempt to change them drastically always ends in failure, and the core elements of the design always remain, whatever little tweaks need to be made to accommodate modern sensibilities. We’re talking about character designs like Superman, Batman, Captain America, Spider-Man…and The Flash.
When DC Comics decided to revive The Flash in 1956, they didn’t want to bring back the Mercury-helmeted Jay Garrick Flash of the 1940s. Instead, they chose to completely reinvent the character as police scientist Barry Allen. Writer Robert Kanigher and artist Carmine Infantino made a Flash suitable for the jet age, and Infantino designed a sleek costume suitable for a speedster, all smooth lines and aerodynamics, primarily scarlet but with bolts of lightning adding yellow highlights, and golden boots to accentuate the running motion of his speed powers on the page.
It’s a striking design, and one that stands the test of time alongside all the other greats. And like many superheroes in the modern world, Barry Allen has achieved his greatest fame not on the comics page, but on the screen, having been brought to life on TV by first John Wesley Shipp and now Grant Gustin, and on the big screen by Ezra Miller. The Flash costume is a natural for live action, not overly-ornamental, immediately striking, and with plenty of color and contrast.
And yet, through the years, folks haven’t fully embraced all of the costume’s design elements. Other than the regrettable Legends of the Superheroes TV specials in 1979, and the only-slightly-less-regrettable 1997 Justice League of America TV pilot, the Flash has never had his yellow boots in live action. They were left off of John Wesley Shipp’s otherwise terrific 1990 TV Flash costume, and through the first seven seasons of the CW’s The Flash. Ezra Miller’s big screen Flash also left the iconic gold accessories off in Justice League.
But that’s finally changing with The Flash Season 8. Barry Allen will get his gold boots (and like most costume changes on this show, there will probably be an in-story explanation for it), and The Flash finally will see his costume full and complete in live action.
Grant Gustin said at DC FanDome that “the final element that’s been missing. I’ve loved all the versions of The Flash suit we’ve had on the show, but the suit we have now is the closest to the many iterations you see in the comic books—with the exception of those gold boots! I’ve always felt that those boots would be the final touch.”
Check out this awesome first look…and if you look closely you can spot a slightly redesigned logo and other bits of flair, too!
Here’s a closer look at those boots…
The Flash Season 8 arrives on Nov. 16 at 8pm.