While The Flash went into this season as that rare animal — a live-action superhero adaptation that didn’t use its hiatus time to reinvent the main character’s costume — that might not last if series star Grant Gustin has his way.
Late last night, Gustin tweeted that Barry Allen is “past due” for a new suit.
Given the recent bump in speedsters on the show — Jay Garrick, Jesse Quick, and Wally West have all received their first costumes in the relatively recent past — it might seem like Gustin has a little bit of costume envy…but in reality, it’s a little more simple than that.
When a fan responded by asking him if the old one “smells that bad,” Gustin responded with a simple “yes.”
That’s not a new complaint: superhero actors in general have often said that the worst part of the costumes isn’t how they fit, how you move in them, or seeing yourself relatively exposed on camera, but the fact that they tend to absorb moisture and odor.
Classic The Flash actor John Wesley Shipp said that he would never be a superhero again after the 1990 series was cancelled and he was rid of the costume, about which he’s had horror stories for reporters and fans at conventions for 25 years.
That said, if Gustin’s wish comes true, we have to assume that the series and costume designer Maya Mani will take the opportunity to reinvent the look a little bit: in promotional art for season 3, The Flash’s costume was depicted as brighter in color, a shade of red closer to the original comics — but it turned out just to be the lighting and coloring choices in the promos.
Of course, the midseason finale provided Barry with a look into the near future, and right around the time of the season finale, he’s still wearing the same suit (or at least the same color). That likely would create a problem for the show creatively if they were to change anything too significantly.
Arrow reintroduced sleeves this season after having last year abandoned them to look closer to the comics, with Mani and series star Stephen Amell both acknowledging that it’s nearly impossible to shoot at night in the Vancouver winter while wearing no sleeves, unless you want your muscle-bound hero to constantly have goosebumps.