The Flash and Arrow teams had a lot to explain when they took the stage at Comic-Con on Saturday afternoon, with both shows having ended their most recent seasons on massive cliffhangers.
Though the casts and producers on the DC superhero dramas didn’t provide any tangible answers for what will happen to Team Flash following Barry Allen’s disappearance into the Speed Force or the island explosion that seemingly left everyone -- except Oliver Queen and his son, William -- dead, they did release sneak peeks for the new seasons that offered some big hints.
For The Flash, Barry’s decision to leave fiancée Iris West and enter the Speed Force means the team will have a de facto new leader, who just so happens to be Iris herself. In the first look at the fourth season, Iris takes the control board in Flash headquarters and becomes an even more assertive presence.
“Iris has focused her energy on being a leader of Team Flash. She steps up and leads the team which is really, really cool,” Candice Patton said, adding later that her character “to a degree” is the catalyst for bringing Barry back. “She’s kind of [the] boss lady on Team Flash now, so she’s an active force in getting her man out of the Speed Force.”
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Though the new footage didn’t include Barry (and for good reason), Grant Gustin assured fans that he’ll be seen soon enough. “I thought I was going to show up midway through the season, but I’m on the show guys!” the newly-engaged actor said to cheers.
As for the overall tone of the season, showrunner and executive producer Todd Helbing teased they have intentionally “lightened the tone a little bit.” “Last year, it got a little dark and we’re going to get back to the jokes,” he said. When asked if there would be a musical episode this season, Helbing confessed there are currently are “no plans” and revealed that there is “no time travel in season four.”
Check out the first season four footage from The Flash Comic-Con panel:
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Arrow followed The Flash panel and was ripe with small nuggets for the upcoming sixth season, which follows the game-changing explosion on the island, Lian Yu, which left many characters’ fates up in the air. While the panelists didn’t address who did or didn’t survive, the first official look at the sixth season offered clues as to who survived (see: Deathstroke, Black Siren and the new Black Canary).
“We always said that season five would end as a culmination of the first five years, really the first 10 years of Oliver’s life. We’re not rebooting the show,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim shared. “We’re going to double down with the things that resonate with people in [the new season]. We’re going to see a different kind of Oliver Queen. The last couple of years have changed [him], particularly season five.”
Some of that is credited to Oliver’s son, William. Stephen Amell addressed Oliver's journey as a father, which will become a larger arc for his character in the coming season.
“He’s not the best dad,” Amell confessed, admitting that he was “legitimately nervous” about filming his scenes with his TV son because it was a different shade to the character. “To start on episode 116 and to be able to do fun, new stuff as Oliver [is great] -- but he’s a sh*t dad.”
Katie Cassidy, who returns as Black Siren, opened up about returning to the show -- this time as a completely different take on Laurel.
“It feels like I never left. It feels like home and we’re a family,” Cassidy said. “It’s been pretty easy, getting back to the swing of things. It’s interesting the dynamic between Black Siren and other characters, Team Arrow, whatnot, the different points of view that has been completely opposite of Laurel, which is how I’ve been thinking about it.”
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As for the overarching vibe of the new season, Amell said they “took the momentum of season five and carried it into the first few episodes of season six.”
“The first three scripts, they’re really tight, they’re really action-packed but it feels like we’re taking our time, which I think is something we’ve earned,” he previewed.
And last but not least, Amell asked Ballroom 20 to sing a special birthday song for Emily Bett Rickards -- who celebrates her 26th birthday on Monday -- as an early present. Watch the sweet Comic-Con moment below.
Watch the first season six footage from the Arrow Comic-Con panel:
The Flash premieres Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT and Arrow premieres Thursday, Oct. 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
Comic-Con 2017: 'Flash' Stars Dish on WestAllen Wedding & Iris Becoming the 'Leader' for Team Flash in Season 4