This Week: Flash #14 and Impulse vs. Grim ‘n’ Gritty

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This week sees the release of The Flash #14, part two of Gorilla Warfare, by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato. Preview at CBR.

Gorilla Grodd’s more powerful than ever, and the Flash is completely outmatched! Who will give their life defending Central City against the ape invasion?

ComiXology’s digital backissues have paused in releasing the early 1990s Flash, but Impulse is still going, with issues #37-38 by William Messner-Loebs and Craig Rousseau.

Impulse #37 parodies the grim-and-gritty 90s excess as Bart encounters the Glory Shredder, a vigilante who takes his anti-crime crusade too far.

In Impulse #38, a rising river threatens to flood Manchester, Alabama. Can two speedsters and a handful of quirky villains make the difference as the townspeople struggle to save their home?

8 thoughts on “This Week: Flash #14 and Impulse vs. Grim ‘n’ Gritty

  1. Collected Editions

    This was not my favorite era of Impulse. Mark Waid’s Impulse stories were funny, but generally moved along the Flash mythos: bits about Max Mercury, bits about Bart’s parentage, Bart learning to use his powers, etc. By this point, with all the silly villains, Impulse had become a comedy title only — it’s something we lack these days, but I remember back then feeling the title wasn’t quite hitting its mark.

    1. Kelson Post author

      I don’t think it’s that the book got sillier at that point. If anything, it started adding a lot of social commentary: toxic dumping near small towns, the positive and negative impacts of psychology, mental illness and child abuse, flooding treated as a community disaster rather than a 2-page opportunity for the hero to show off before he fights the villain, behavior correction camps, etc.

      Sure, it was all wrapped in comedy, but so were most of the mythos elements during Waid’s run.

      The other thing that changed was that Manchester went from being an ordinary town to one with a long history of weirdness. Under Waid, the town was a foil for the silliness of the hero, and under Messner-Loebs, there was a lot less contrast. There were times Bart seemed more normal than the rest of the town.

      Waid makes some interesting remarks about the series concept in The Flash Companion. He says that it was designed to be a sitcom first, superhero book second, but that later editors lost sight of that and made it more primarily a superhero book. That makes it a lot more similar to The Flash and a lot harder to justify publishing as a second speedster book.

      A lot of Todd Dezago’s run is pretty much straight-up superhero adventure. Inertia, the mad scientist from the 1800s who tries to kill Max, the dark future story. All this from the guy who writes The Perhapanauts. (Wow, can you imagine Bart meeting Choopie?)

  2. Kyer

    I never thought I’d miss that wild mop of hair. I mean, before I thought he looked too much like an 80’s rock singer….but seeing him this way….erg.

  3. CraigM

    Impulse with a shaved head was a bad idea. It’s like Batman without the pointy ears. It just doesn’t work.

  4. Kyer

    Why am I still checking out CBR Previews? *sigh*
    Animal Man newest preview has him and various other DC52 characters at Central City, but it didn’t show Barry or Bart. Is this going to be a true crossover event or just one of locale? If only locale, I hope Flash 14 or 15 explains where Barry went that he missed Justice League Dark and so forth.

    1. Kelson Post author

      If this is part of “Rotworld,” it’s a possible future that Animal Man & Swamp Thing have been trapped in and are trying to prevent.

      1. Kyer

        Well….I guess if anyone should be an ally of the ‘red’ it would be Flash. After all he IS wearing the team colors. 😛

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