Dark Nights: The Flash #33

Flash 33 cover

cover by Ethan Van Sciver and Jason Wright

The second of the Dark Nights tie-in crossovers, “Bats Out of Hell,” begins in The Flash #33.  We last left off in Metal #3 with The Flash helping Superman get to where Batman is being held, while the rest of the heroes have split up to find deposits of the Nth metal, as that seems to be able to defeat the Dark Batmen.

This issue actually picks up a little bit before the end of Metal #3.  The Flash and Superman are running to gain energy to open the portal.  The Flash is very hopeful that this is going to work.  Superman thinks he can save Batman, and The Flash believes in Superman.  Of course, anyone who has read Metal knows that things go horribly wrong.  But The Flash doesn’t know, so it builds a bit of anticipation in that, we know the plan has already been shot all to hell.  So, how else will things go awry?  (more…)


The Button – Bruce & Barry’s Excellent Adventure

Back in May 2016, the DC Rebirth initiative was started with the release of DC Universe Rebirth Special #1.  The important thing about this book was that it brought back the original Wally West into continuity.  Not by just re-introducing another Wally West into the universe, but instead, by bring the pre-Flashpoint back into the fold.  The message Wally carried with him was that someone was actively stealing time, changing their histories.  The end of the book saw Batman fine the smiley face button from Watchmen in the Bat-cave.

I don’t read everything, but nothing I know of had really dealt with that since that single issue.  So, here we are a year later, and finally we are getting something more regarding this plot in a 4-issue crossover between Batman and The Flash.  That’s right, just a crossover.  No special event.  Not yet, anyways.  (more…)

Justice League trailer

So, here we have a trailer for the upcoming Justice League.  There’s a lot of stuff shown, but I don’t think you can really tell from the trailer if Warner Bros. has really changed their ways.  Sure, the movie looks good, but visuals aren’t what people have complained about in Zack Snyder movies.  I’m probably over-thinking it, but it definitely seems like WB wants us to think Justice League will be a bit less grim.

First thoughts are that I really think Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman are going to determine if this movie is any good.  Does the movie get bogged down introducing those characters, or do their appearances flow naturally with the pace of the movie?  Also, where’s Superman?  Yes, I know what happened at the end of Batman v. Superman.  But really, is anyone expecting him to not show up in Justice League?  Personally, I don’t think you should put Superman in any of the marketing.  If/When he shows up, let it truly be a surprise.

A fighting game for the New 52

I’m not normally the type of person to post trailers for movies or games, but I came across this trailer on the blog Joystiq for the game Injustice:  Gods Among Us, and just had to post it.

To me, it looks ridiculous.  The Flash’s armor highlights the worst of the New 52 redesigns.  On the comic page, I haven’t really minded it being armor, because all it has added are a few lines for seems, but here, it’s a bit over accentuated.  And oh yeah, Wonder Woman is wearing pants.  It looks kinda like what was supposed to be in the Wonder Woman TV show.  Guess the developers were planning on that show still being around.  Or have been around to begin with.

I’m not much of a fighting game fan, but the thought of having two different classes of fighter, power and gadget, sounds somewhat interesting.  These classes determine how the character interacts with the environment.

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.

Fare thee well, Flash.

It’s not often that I drop one of my monthly titles (not since New Excalibur stunk in up for five months), but it’s time for me and Flash to part ways. I originally picked up the title because I was a big fan of Bart Allen (stemming from my time as a Young Justice reader), but when he met his end in Flash: Fastest Man Alive #13, I wasn’t sure where to go from there. I saw that Wally West was back, but in the preview pages for the upcoming Flash book, it seems that the story will be focused on Wally and his family – something that doesn’t at all interest me. I’ll take my Flash doses in the pages of Justice League of America and part ways with Flash upon the new series.

Of course, I have started reading The Order by Matt Fraction and Barry Kitson, so it’s not a total loss.

Flash: Fastest Man Alive: Full Throttle (9-13)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one…but the Flash is dead. That’s right – dead, gone, kaput. A full 13 issues after Flash was relaunched with Bart Allen in the suit, the character is killed by the Rogues and the title ends, with the older title restarting with it’s old numbering. It was a touching, unexpected ending for Bart. Sure, it had been said that he had permanently lost his powers, but since when has permanent meant anything in comics?

The only question that rages through my mind is how long has Bart’s fate been planned? Surely when the book was relaunched following Infinite Crisis, this was not the plan. Why all the buildup with Bart? Why give him his own setting and his own characters? Surely this much effort wasn’t made purely for the bait and switch. With the book’s original team taking off after the first six issues, perhaps that’s when the plan was made – halfway through 52 when Countdown was being planned.

Of course, there’s DC Editor in Chief Dan DiDio’s comment that the Flash on the promotional picture of Countdown was long-dead Barry Allen. That got the rumor mill turning, and cut the surprise of Bart’s death down for some people. I expected Bart to hang back in the DCU, but not to die. Then, of course, saw the finale of the Lightning Saga crossover between the JLA and the JSA, which brought back the missing Wally West, and you knew something was coming. But since both books came out on the same day, it was really a matter of which one you read first. Maybe not everyone saw Wally coming back, but it would have been ridiculous for the Legion to travel back to bring back Lightning Lad.

Now all the rampant speculation starts. With DC’s continuity shifting (courtesy of Infinite Crisis), it would be easy to say that it wasn’t really Bart Allen who came back, but rather an alternate Allen from another timeline. That leaves the door open for Kid Flash to come back to the role he was much better suited for. I’d like to see that, because I think they wasted Bart’s potential in running his up into the Flash suit so soon after becoming Kid Flash. But I’m not betting on this thing. Bart’s death seems to be a Flash milestone, and I’m thinking that this one’s going to stick.

The curious part of this is why DC delayed the title two weeks. The book had been doing fine with schedule thus far, and it seemed that the ending had been planned months in advance. So was the book pushed back to coincide with the final part of the Lightning Saga over in JLA and JSA? Was it schedule? The whole thing just seemed pointless. DC’s not nearly as bad with their schedule as Marvel (All-Star Batman and Robin doesn’t count), so it seems like the reason was intentional. I guess it doesn’t really matter.

The Flash is dead, long live the Flash. Time for Wally to run!