Enough with the Fastest Family Alive

I usually read through the Cheers and Jeers column over on Comics Should Be Good! and one of his points this week really caught my eye:

JEERS to Flash’s kids. I’m sorry, Mr. Waid. I don’t mind Wally being married. I don’t mind him having kids, even. But the whole Incredibles riff, while a cute concept, just isn’t working for me.

This struck home with me because it was that very reason that I decided not to read Flash once it was relaunched at the start of the Countdown era. I briefly mentioned this back in August when I talked about dropping the title.

This is not about the classic comic debate whether a family-based character works. I definitely don’t want to fall into that hole. This isn’t about whether the character changes with the aspect of coming home to the wife and kids and the occasional story where a villain puts them at risk. With a mature character like Superman, it really works. With a character like Spider-Man, it (THIS SENTENCE REMOVED BY MEPHISTO).

But what’s going on with Flash is different. Here, the kids are actually in action with Flash. It’s a family-hero book in the spirit of, like the article said, the popular Disney/Pixar movie the Incredibles. The super-powered kids go into action with the hero and together they make a fantastic team. That may work in a stand-alone book, but it really doesn’t fit into modern DC (especially after all the death and destruction of Infinite Crisis/52/World War III/Countdown) and it doesn’t work with a mainstream hero like the Flash. The Flash – especially the Wally West one – should be hero-ing out on his own. With his collection of rogues (quite possibly the second-best in comics, only falling to Batman’s) and a well-populated supporting cast, there’s more than enough to tell with Wally doing it on his own. There is no need for the excess baggage of this idea, and I’m questioning how long the format will last now that Mark Waid will be gone from the book.

Don’t get me wrong – I love Mark Waid’s work, but I just couldn’t get into this format, and that’s why Flash left my list of monthly titles after one issue under the old numbering.


One comment

  1. I agree. Sure, there is a time and place for this type of family story, but the current DC is not yet. And there are already “family” books in the DC that do work. Green Arrow/Black Canary is an example. The Batman titles are another. Sure Wally’s kids are bound to become Kid Flashes, but not yet.


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