A lot has happened as far as the Flash is concerned. Some of it good, some…questionable at best. Either way, I’ve decided to compile all my thoughts on the matter in one place (been commenting on this on various blogs) and basically get all my thoughts online.
So, anyway, let’s begin with Flash #13, shall we?
Didio really hated Bart for failing to sell as a book didn’t he? I mean it’s practically like no one ever wants to to see him alive again. There is no visible out for this death. Bart was beaten to a pulp and died of injuries and blood loss – that isn’t something you can come back from…even for comics. Of course, that doesn’t mean there is no possibility of a return. It could be a Bart dupe (he had hundreds running around during the Impulse/Young Justice days and they were apparently all returned, but its easy to say that one just stayed in the speed force. This could even be used to return him to Kid Flash age if DC wants to go in that direction. Also, and I will say more on this later, the face in the lightning rod in JLA #10 could easily be Barry or Bart. Either way, Bart has a lot of outs waiting for him. Also, I really liked Jesse, Jay and Robin’s reactions. I’m not made of stone here. But what about the fakeout, you ask? Well…that was just stupid.
Steven Grant talks about this in far greater detail than I would like to and basically says it’s not the proper way to run a business. Withholding information is one thing…outright lying about it is another. This just continues a long line of lies and misleads that the Didio-led DCU has been employing since the days of at least Identity Crisis. And it’s very off-putting as a fan, I have to say. Makes me feel like I’m being used.
Anyway, I for one don’t for a second believe that DC had planned this from the beginning. People are citing this Dan Didio interview as an example of the forethought. But look at the first issue of Flash closely. The first Flash we see is Jay Garrick. He’s the only Flash in the first issue actually. Bart doesn’t officially accept the mantle until issue 2. That is what I believe Didio was referring to. Of course the fanboys will lap up the explanation and good for them. But its obvious that DC wanted this direction to work. It didn’t and they recanted…remarkably quickly I might add. If it hadn’t failed as horribly as it did, then I can guarantee that Bart would not be dead right now and Wally would be nothing more than a memory. Like a friend said (edited for size):
“I can kind of see some truth to DiDio saying there was a plan. What I mean is… if it was planned to make a Flagship title for a new character absolutely fail.. then yeah.. it seems planned. I can totally see the idea of a plan to create a book that, shoehorns a controversial character change, given to writers and artists that aren’t that experienced, fails. With all the changes and really bad story directions in it I can’t help but think they intended this relaunch to fail. So if they did so… why take out Bart in such a fashion… well.. from what I understand the only thing they didn’t do was to chop him up into tiny pieces and feed him to pigs to ensure he wasn’t going to come back. I can’t for the life of me understand why the hell someone would want to create a book that fails… and then replace it with a book that was cancelled over a year ago to make room for a relaunch. It might have been their plan sure… but it makes no goddamn sense and is an insane business idea for a company to make!”
And I think that covers that perfectly. No company would pull a stunt like this…none. Didio is talking out of his ass if he says this was all planned from the beginning.
Moving on to JLA #10 and Wally and Family. I won’t go into how bad this issue was in places (and I mean this was really, really bad in various bits) but I have to say…I had a huge smile on my face when Wally came back. I’m sorry, but I’ve been feeling victimised for being born after 1980 in the present DCU. All my characters are being shoved aside for characters that had been relegated to mentor status or whatever. And its annoying. I’m not sure I want to support a company that does it. I still will of course…I’m a comic fan…we don’t really abandon anything. But I do hate DC’s current “Everything is the 1970s Again” schtick and hope it ends sometime soon.
Anyway, a couple of things. First, the age of the twins. Based on the fact that female Flash-kid has boobs and they’re both reaching Wally’s shoulder in height, I would guess that they’re approximately 14-16 years in age. Thus they are now in Robin etc camp. Now if they have powers…and no reason to believe they don’t…we actually have both a readymade Impulse and Kid Flash. DC can literally have its cake and eat it too. You have Jay Garrick Flash, Wally West Flash, Iris West Kid Flash and Barry West Impulse. It works and well…I wouldn’t really mind. Flash has always been a heritage title and I would love to see a family deal with regards to everything crime-related. It could add the required tension to the Park-West marriage that everyone is so obsessed with these days. And it could definitely give us Flashes of all ages. It would be cool.
Finally, Waid on Flash. This could potentially be very good or very blah. I actually kind of liked his last return to the title, so I’m more inclined towards the good, but after all the horrible Flash material in the past year, I’m kind of cautious about the whole book. Also, I trust Waid with the West family far more than I trust anyone else. Wally and Linda are Waid’s babies. He knows them better than anyone else and will never do anything to potentially hurt them. And I love him for that. Also, he would use the legacy aspect really well. Really hope Iris and Barry are used effectively.
I think that covers everything Flash. Will probably be doing another Butt-Shots soon (new issues of JLA almost always equals a new Butt-Shots 😉 )