Back in September 2011, newcomer Grant Gustin burst onto the scene as Glee’s newest villain. His character, Sebastian, had the potential to break up beloved couple Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Blaine (Darren Criss), so we were determined to hate him. Then he appeared on screen: charming, dapper, and full of snark. Grant blew us away with his stellar vocals, and we quickly fell in love with this “Smooth Criminal.”
Now, it’s just over two years later, and the guy Glee’s Kurt once mocked for having “obnoxious CW hair” will soon become a bona fide star on The CW. Grant’s just had his first of three episodes as Barry Allen (aka The Flash) on the channel’s superhero drama, Arrow, and he’ll soon be filming a separate TV pilot centered solely on The Flash.
Whether or not The CW picks up Flash for a full season has yet to be seen, but if Grant’s debut on Arrow’s December 4 “The Scientist” is any indication, we think Flash definitely has a chance at being a hit for the network. Based on that first episode alone, here are our top seven reasons that Grant Gustin's new character is the perfect superhero.
1. He’s whip-smart and super-skilled.
Every superhero needs a hidden talent or secret ability. And while Barry hasn’t gained his super-speed quite yet — that will come later, after a random encounter with a shelf of chemicals struck by lightning — the geeky crime scene investigator is extremely intelligent. Not only is he skilled with technology, but he’s managed to figure out more about Arrow’s closely-guarded secrets than anyone else simply by looking at police reports.
2. He’s an underdog.
Barry is not your traditional superhero. He’s timid and often afraid to stand up for himself. Oliver constantly jokes that he looks more like a high school kid than a CSI agent. But do you know who else was deceptively mild-mannered and unassuming? Clark Kent. When Barry makes his transformation into the confident, powerful, brave Flash, his change will seem all the more impressive.
3. He’s charming, likeable, and totally adorable.
Confession: We’re secretly in love with geeks. Grant as Barry is sweet, well-meaning, and totally adorkable and it’s really just our favorite. Right now, he’s sort of like a puppy: sweet, super-enthusiastic, loyal, and adorable. He’s not really intimidating and doesn’t seem to pose any sort of a threat. And you just sort of want to cuddle with him. All of the time.
4. He’ll do anything to get justice, motivated by a painful past.
Of course, the cuteness of a puppy will eventually wear off. We’re definitely looking forward to the day when Barry proves that he’s much more than the harmless pushover people see at first glance. Everything Barry Allen does is driven by an overwhelming desire to catch a criminal who destroyed his childhood and ruined the lives of those he cares deeply about. Inside of him beats the heart of a superhero; we just haven’t got to see that side of him quite yet.
5. His chemistry with Felicity is Smoak-in’ hot.
Over the course of the episode, Barry shared a number of scenes with Arrow’s resident tech goddess, Felicity Smoak. Their chemistry was palpable, though nothing ultimately ended up happening between the two. But can we just take a moment to talk about how cute it is when Barry and Felicity awkwardly attempt to flirt?
He was clearly nervous. The whole thing was socially awkward to the max, but in a sweet, endearing way. Towards the end of the episode, Barry and Felicity were just inches away from locking lips. But then Barry backed off. C’mon, dude: Just kiss the girl already.
6. He’s already a ratings success.
For his Flash pilot to become a CW hit, Grant will need to be a hit with both the female-skewing CW audience and the superhero-loving male demographic. But if ratings from his debut on the December 4 episode are any indication, the 23-year-old is poised to do just that. His Arrow premiere gave the series a tie for its highest ratings to date, and scored well with the male demographic. If he can keep it up, the Flash just might be a huge success.
7. Three words: Tight. Red. Spandex.
Let’s face it: It’s really fun to look at attractive men. And looking at attractive men who just so happen to be wearing tight red spandex? That definitely doesn’t suck, either. Grant’s said that he’s already stepping up his fitness routine in preparation of donning The Flash’s scarlet bodysuit. So if you’ll allow us a moment to be really, blatantly superficial, seeing him in costume is definitely a reason to tune in.
Do you think that The Flash has what it takes to be a success? Does Grant have all the makings of a good superhero, or are there some areas you think still need improvement for The CW to have a genuine hit on their hands? Head down to the comments and share your thoughts.