Tuesday, April 07, 2009

In a Flash

For once, a clever (I hope) post title. But before we get to the Scarlet Speedster, some other reviews.

Except for Nightwing, BoP, and Catwoman, I haven't read the Bat books for years. A lot of years. I even skipped the Batman RIP issues that weren't one of the aforementioned 3. So, here I am, reading the Battle for the Cowl and related titles (I'm skipping the Man-Bat one and maybe some others). The Gotham Gazette 1 issue was a fairly nice read, giving us glimpses of Vicki Vale, Stephanie Brown, and Leslie Tompkins coping with a much more dangerous Gotham. I did like that the focus was on women.

Batman: Battle for the Cowl 1 was pretty good, too, given that it featured Nightwing, along with Robin and Catwoman and others. Not sure where this is going or where I'd like it to go yet. I'm reserving judgment on this, and just going with the story.

Justice Society of America 25
Wow, I had tears in my eyes. It's sad to see Isis so depraved when once she was a stablizing influence on Black Adam, bringing out the shreds of goodness he still had. And boy was Shazam the Wizard pissed. While I would've liked to see him restore things to what they'd been re: the Marvel family, this was actually better. Wizards don't have to be all good and fair when they're on the side of right. This rang true. I hope Mary is finally "cured" of her dark side, even if she and Billy have lost their powers. But it was the page near the end when it's announced that everyone is staying with the JSA because, as Wildcat said: "You don't give up on family."

And now, Flash Rebirth 1
Disclaimer: I was never a big Barry Allen fan. I read the old Flash comics because back in the '60s and '70s, I was reading pretty much everything superhero that DC published. Atom. Hawkman. Atom and Hawkman. Green Lantern. Lois Lane. Even Jimmy Olson. And Flash was my least favorite. Well, except maybe for the Jimmy Olson book.

I never read Barry's death in Crisis on Multiple Earths. I'd stopped reading an issue or so before that with the death of the original Supergirl. I was a Kid Flash/Wally West fan (and even he wasn't my favorite sidekick/Teen Titan -- that was Speedy/Roy Harper). I read much of the Wally West Flash books and enjoyed them. While I was happy to have Ollie back from the dead and Hal rehabilitated, I was in no rush for Barry to return. What they did with him and the Speed Force in the recent Crisis made sense, or at least, didn't make no sense, so I'm okay with it. I just don't know where Rebirth is going and I'm not sure I care.

I'm trying to care, mostly for Jay and Wally, and Wally's wife and kids, characters I do love. I can understand how Barry feels disoriented, out of place. I can understand Wally feeling a bit displaced. But the whole issue felt kinda flat. The art was stunning, the facial expressions well drawn by Van Sciver, but much as I love Geoff Johns' writing, this didn't grab me the way the return of Green Lantern/Hal Jordan did. I'm gonna stick with it, because I trust Johns, but right now, something is missing for me. I'm just not sure what it is.


  1. I like Barry, so I'm glad to have him back, but I admit that this first issue is a little slow. On the other hand, it did have an awful lot of things to establish, so I'm assuming that the next issue or two will be amazing. At least I hope so.

    Barry isn't a particularly flashy character (haw!) but he's kind and decent and good...and Hal needs somebody like that to bounce off of. It will be interesting to see if Barry and Ollie start fighting over who gets to have Hal.

    Oh, the double entendres are flying today!

  2. Oh yeah, Barry is a great guy, but he's a dull character. ;)

    It will be interesting to see if Barry and Ollie start fighting over who gets to have Hal.

    lol. Now that would be fun to see.

  3. The main difference between Hal's return and Barry's return is that Hal never really left. He was Parallax for a long time, and when he died, he didn't stay gone for long. Within months, he appeared in the "Emerald Knights" storyline, and soon after that he reappeared as the Spectre. Hal then hung around the DCU as the Spectre, appearing in various books for a couple of years, before he was resurrected as a Green Lantern. So it was EASY for readers to maintain a connection, of sorts, with Hal. Other than a few odd (and mostly flashback) appearances here and there, Barry hasn't had that luxury. I was fond of Barry, but I do think they should have left him dead -- especially since he did die a heroic death. However, I'm willing to keep an open mind until the Flash: Rebirth storyline is complete.

    So far, I still think Ollie's resurrection is the best superhero-back-from-the-dead story ever done. And at least everyone acted surprised and HAPPY when Ollie came back from the dead!

  4. Good point re: Hal. I wasn't reading comics during the Parallax storyline, but I was back reading for Hal as Spectre, which was just plain weird and I'd totally forgotten about it. And I agree about Ollie. The whole bit with him not having his soul and the stuff with him and Hal was wonderful.

    And they dealt with the repercussions of his death and return re: Dinah, Roy, and Connor. So far, Barry's been off on his own as are Wally and Iris. It just feels disjointed.