Grant Gustin Vs. Ezra Miller: Here’s Who Played The Best Flash
DC’s Scarlet Speedster is finally getting a solo movie in the DC Extended Universe in 2022, with Ezra Miller starring as Barry Allen in Andy Muschietti’s “The Flash.” He briefly shows up in 2016’s “Suicide Squad” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” before taking a lead role in 2017’s “Justice League.” Although the team-up movie gave fans a better idea of who Miller’s version of the character is, he hasn’t had much chance to show off what he’s capable of.
But when the “Fantastic Beasts” star leads the 2022 movie, there’ll be an emotional core to the story as it’s borrowing from the brilliant “Flashpoint” storyline in the comics. It sees Barry travel back in time to stop his mother from being murdered, but this radically changes the present day — even stripping the hero of his lightning-fast abilities. “The Flash” movie will be a little different as it’ll introduce the multiverse into the DCEU, with Michael Keaton reprising his role as Batman from the Tim Burton movies alongside Ben Affleck’s character from the Snyder era.
While Miller has been playing The Flash on the big screen, Grant Gustin stars as the hero on TV in The CW’s “The Flash” series. The show is currently going into its eighth season, which is a pretty impressive achievement. His adventures have led him to many other colorful characters like Supergirl and Arrow, and he’s also taken part in several different crossover events. But does that mean he’s a better version of Barry Allen? Here’s who plays the best Flash.
The argument for Grant Gustin's Flash
Grant Gustin has played The Flash in live-action much longer than anyone else in any other project — and he first shows up in “Arrow” during Season 2, Episode 8 (“The Scientist”). He initially grasps Barry’s awkward but friendly persona, but once he gets his abilities in “The Flash” pilot, he starts to come into his own a little bit more. But once he has the STAR Labs team on his side — as well as Joe West (Jesse L. Martin), Gustin’s Barry loosens up a lot, and he starts to really have fun with his powers.
The first season takes plenty of time to deepen his character and the heartbreak he feels over losing his mother at such a young age. The series really explores how he finds her killer in his mentor, Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanaugh), who is also revealed to be Eobard Thawne, aka Reverse-Flash. It also takes plenty of time to develop Barry’s relationship with several supporting characters, whether it’s his love interest Iris West (Candice Patton), or his friendship with Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) and Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes).
In a simple debate between the two versions of the Flash, Gustin does have the unfair advantage that serialized storytelling in TV offers more time for the star to explore Barry Allen in a more profound way than the movies.
The argument for Ezra Miller's Flash
Ezra Miller hasn’t had much time to dive into Barry Allen’s character compared to Grant Gustin, but he still brings an exciting performance to the table. We briefly see Barry’s touching relationship with Henry Allen (Billy Crudup) — who is wrongfully prisoned for the death of Nora Allen, Barry’s mother. There’s a genuinely heartfelt moment between the two at the film’s end when the young hero gets a job at the Central City Police Department. It doesn’t offer as much depth as the series, but it’s there.
So far, the DCEU has only scratched the surface of what Ezra Miller’s Flash can do — although “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” offers a much better look at the extent of his powers. He manages to turn back time to save the world during the final battle against Steppenwolf in Russia. It’s an inventive way of bringing some of the hero’s abilities to life, as the team is put back together after a blast of energy, so we see all their limbs reform as The Flash rolls time backward.
So with the effects that come with a big-budget production, it means that Ezra Miller really looks and feels like The Flash fans know and love from the comics. While the action scenes in the TV series occasionally fall flat.
Grant Gustin overtakes Ezra Miller
Because “The Flash” TV series lets Grant Gustin dive further into what makes Barry Allen tick, he edges out Ezra Miller on this one. He’s spent far more time in the role and has been able to explore Barry’s connection to so many different villains and heroes. His friendship with Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) is genuinely quite lovely through the Arrowverse — aside from that time, the archer literally shot him in the back with arrow turrets — but we don’t talk about that.
However, this isn’t to say Miller is a bad version of the character either. He perfectly captures Barry’s awkwardness as well as his enthusiasm for superheroics. Plus, as we already mentioned, he really looks the part in the DCEU — and his new energetic costume in the 2022 movie could be something special. So although Gustin is the better Flash, Miller is pretty great too. And of course, it’s all about your personal preference — we’re in the multiverse now, after all.