Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

I'm back! And reading! And maybe even blogging! No promises!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Thoughts on Flash.

Hmm, I'm trying to get into the Flash, but it's doing nothing for me. I'm not sure why as I really want to like it.

I suppose a lot of it is Bart. Honestly, Bart Allen as a character does absolutely nothing for me. It has nothing to do with him not being Impulse. In fact, I'm the only person I know who simply *hated* Impulse. Yes, even during Waid's run. I'm sorry. The character just grated on my nerves. He was so gimicky. Yes, he's born in the future and yes he grew up in a VR environment and is all cute and impulsive and impatient and reckless. Sorry, does nothing for me.

It didn't help that his "funny antics" took valuable panel space in team books like Young Justice that could have gone to a more interesting character.

Kid Flash was mildly more tolerable to me. I still thought he was taking panel space from more interesting or deserving characters (especially Cassie, who'd really suffered since the end of Young Justice and is only know getting some of her spirit back). Still it was nice to see a bit of added depth. He seemed like he was actually growing up a little, and I approve of that. (For the record, I liked how Kon/Superboy was maturing into Conner. Superboy was awfully cartoonish, but Conner felt a lot more real and relatable to me. A poor lost kid trying to make sense of who he is and what he's supposed to be doing. Yeah, he dwelled on the Luthor thing a bit much and was inactive a bit too long, but as Superboy Prime shows, there are worse directions to go in.)

Maybe they overshot it a little for my taste. Impulse to Kid Flash was a bit quick of a transformation, but I could see the seeds for it in Young Justice, the Flash, Graduation Day and very early Teen Titans. But now that he's returned as an adult, it's taking me off guard. I don't know how he got to this point. It was too instant for me.

It might just be that I liked the cousin, (Xs?) better. She was adorable in Legion of Superheroes...

It might also be the legacy element. I love legacies usually, especially when the successor has emotional ties to his/her predecessor. But right now Bart becoming the Flash seems to have little to do with Wally or even Barry, suit aside, and that bothers me. Reluctant heroes are a dime a dozen, but Bart's finally replacing Wally and his Grandfather in a grand tradition that he's been working toward, if subconsciously, since he became Kid Flash. I'd like to see more nods to the role he's filling and less, "Ooo, scary Speed Force!"

Jay and Joan were wonderful though at least. I love Jay and Joan.

Still I'll give it another issue or two. Sometimes series do start off slow. No pun intended.


  • At July 21, 2006 12:06 PM, Anonymous Ununnilium said…

    I'm disliking it for a different reason; I liked Impulse. Making him into a generic angsty oh-poor-me-I-have-super-powers late-teens-early-20s hero is like... turning Hal Jordan into a fiendish cackling supervillain. Or turning Cassandra Cain into a fiendish cackling supervillain. Or turning Leslie Tompkins... well, you get the idea.

  • At July 21, 2006 2:11 PM, Blogger Centurion said…

    I've never been much of a Flash fan. I suppose I've always seen him as a supporting character in most of what I watch. That said, I know little of the history of the character.

    The first issue did nothing for me, and was hard to read in my opinion. The second issue finally felt like the series was getting direction, so it is starting to interest me.

    I'm not sure how long I'll stick with it, but I'll at least stay through this plot arch.

  • At July 21, 2006 3:38 PM, Blogger Zaratustra said…

    Don't forget that as soon as he finds his footing, they'll kill him and replace him with someone else because now it's TRADITIONAL.

  • At July 21, 2006 4:16 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    ununnilium: I think I can guess. :-)

    centurion: This issue at least got things moving but honestly, for a Flash comic, it still seems a little slow.

    zaratustra: How is it traditional?

  • At July 21, 2006 4:24 PM, Anonymous Martin said…

    It seems to me that they're making him very much a Marvel-style hero, i.e. a young twenty-something with vast power that costs him terribly to use, that he doesn't want, but that he will use anyway because it's the right thing to do. It fits with Dan Didio's stated aim that superheroics in the DCU must have some kind of downside to them.

    I think I liked this a lot better when Stan Lee and Steve Ditko did it forty years ago or so.

    What's even odder is that they've not only removed everything that made Bart interesting, they've made him a less interesting version of early pre-marriage Wally, from the reddish hair to the token minority love interest to lying to his friends and family. He's even got the McGees and the Garricks as his primary supporting cast and his best friend going villain. ;)

    I think the only thing that's different about this new Bart from Wally is that he's not married and doesn't like girls.

    I'm giving it until the end of this arc, and if they don't get past this whole "ZOMG, the Speed Force will kill me if I use it," I'm done.

  • At July 21, 2006 9:03 PM, Blogger notintheface said…

    Wally had at least 5 or 10 years left in him. This transition seems too (speed) forced.

  • At July 21, 2006 9:16 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Martin: There'd be many ways to give being Flash a downside that isn't this though.

    I mean, heck, keeping Bart, you've got a kid who grew up in VR, and pretty much lives life on a temporal level different from everyone else. He's from the future, and he can read a whole library, but he's got no real experience and it must be hard trying to connect to people.

    I don't really see why *this* direction.

    Oh well.

    notintheface: Yeah, there's that too.

  • At July 22, 2006 2:40 AM, Anonymous Ununnilium said…

    Yeah, that's the thing. I don't mind having Bart mature and change. But, like...

    Well, for example, look at how he originally started "maturing" and became Kid Flash. While fighting Deathstroke, he got shot in the kneecap, shattering it painfully, and couldn't run for a while.

    Certainly, having such a painful, dangerous experience would change a person. The thing is, he already did; he *died*. Or, rather, experienced his own death due to his short-lived power of creating "scouts", copies of himself that he could see through the eyes of and that could travel through time. He went into a coma for a while, and was deeply affected by it after.

    But he didn't let it get him down; he was more mature, but still *himself*, not this odd doppleganger that's been running around wearing Wally's old costume for the past several years.

    So, yeah. I think I've ranted far too much on this. ^^;

    On another note, I do like some aspects of the new series. It acknowledges what's come before. It uses the old supporting casts, but isn't trying to copy the writers who used them first. If the writer can get away from the monotonous angst, then it might develop into something quite interesting.

  • At July 23, 2006 9:44 AM, Blogger Scipio said…

    I agree with Ununnilium completely.

    "Sometimes series do start off slow. "

    The Flash series starts off slows. Remains slow. Since Barry's departure, the Flash has the Slowest Stories Alive. And apparently that hasn't changed.

  • At July 23, 2006 8:12 PM, Anonymous Ununnilium said…

    Apparently, though, it was said at Comic-Con that Bart'll be less morose once the "evil Speed Force" story is over. So I keep my hopes up. ``v

  • At July 23, 2006 8:16 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Ununnilium: There might be a difference though between "dying" and that sort of debilitating injury. Especially as that injury would keep him unmoving. It's longer than simply death.

    That said, there are lots of stuff in the new series that seems promising.

    scipio: Poetic irony, I guess? Flash being the slowest book around?

    ununnilium: That could be promising. :-)

  • At July 24, 2006 2:01 AM, Anonymous Ununnilium said…

    True, but it still seems oddly out-of-porportion. Ah well.

  • At July 24, 2006 4:00 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    I can see what you mean. The only way I can really see to rationalize it is something like the "straw that breaks the camel's back" sort of thing. It's the one thing that's too much on top of everything else.

  • At July 24, 2006 9:08 AM, Anonymous The Thing That Walks Like A Man said…

    I'm a huge Flash fan (going back to the Barry run), but I'm avoiding this book like the plague, because I'm sick of Flashes getting replaced for no good reason.

    Wally's own solo series had big chunks where the star of the book was missing and replaced by scabs like John Fox and "Dark" Flash. Now we've got Bart stepping in (who I, like you, never liked), and it feels not only forced, but like a bad repeat that just won't stop.

    This marks the first time that I've not collected a Flash book since, well, EVER.

  • At July 24, 2006 4:08 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    thing: Yeah I could see that getting frustrating. I really want to like the's just...

  • At July 26, 2006 9:21 PM, Anonymous natlyn said…

    I just read the first two issues. I wanted to see what was going on with Bart, because I loved Impulse. I thought the story was slow, but was settling in to give it a chance when it was stated that Wally was Bart's best friend. Uh. No. Not at all. They did not get along.

    Which was one of the things I found intriguing about having Bart replace Wally. How would Bart see it? Would he ignore Wally's contribution to the Flash legacy? Would he appreciate his work while continuing to think Wally was a jerk? Yet, none of these issues will be explored because suddenly they were one big happy family!

    This? in additon to all the Kid Flash changes and evil!Speed Force changes? is not my Bart.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home