Of all the superhero shows that have come to television in recent years, “The Flash” embraces its comic book roots the most. Anchored by its lead Grant Gustin (“Glee”) as Barry Allen, “The Flash” brought a refreshing optimism when it premiered, unashamedly exploring its source material, including time travel and psychic gorillas. However, the core of “The Flash” was its heart and sense of family among the main cast, as each member of “Team Flash” grew into a better person during the first season.

“The Flash”
B+
Season Two Premiere
Tuesdays at 8 p.m.
The CW

Now, in the aftermath of last season’s finale that saw the sacrifices of Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett, “The Vampire Diaries”) and Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell, “Max”), the group is separated, with Barry fighting crime alone. Barry’s valor continues to drive his decisions as he tries to keep his other friends from getting hurt. But by pushing those he cares about away, Barry puts himself at risk — some threats are too great, as seen by this week’s foe, Atom Smasher (professional wrestler Adam Copeland).

It’s clever to have a gigantic enemy emphasize the need for Barry to seek help from his support team. After all, Barry is at his best with his team assembled, and by extension, so is “The Flash.” Characters, like Cisco (Carlos Valdes, “Vixen”) and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker, “Justified”), work better when they’re allowed to build off each other. With foreshadowing of alternate dimensions and even greater enemies, Barry and “The Flash” will need to keep their friends close.

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