We are finally getting to the story that has eluded us for over two years – the real story behind the New 52 Kid Flash. We’ll try to not be too spoilerish here, but this is a significant issue in every sense of the word. We can finally see what has been driving Bart all this time, and what has been hidden till now…even from himself!
LIGHT SPOILERS ONLY
This issue of Teen Titans gives us the tragic events that drove Bart…er, Bar Torr into the rebellion, and just as important why he turned his back on the very movement in which he played such a critical part. We also see how he got his powers, and what he did with those powers that had him in such deep trouble with the authorities. And, we even get a good understanding of why he wound up in our time, and why he came here without his memories. I know I’m being very general here…but saying anything more would simply be too spoilerish for an issue filled with significant reveals on almost every page. What I will say is that there are no true “good guys” here – not Bart, not the authorities, no one. It is a very dark tale that has brought Kid Flash to the 21st century, and the revelation of his story is bound to have a major impact on his relationships with the members of the Teen Titans.
Scott Lobdell has crafted a highly compelling tale for this New 52 Kid Flash. This isn’t the “old” Bart by any stretch of the imagination – rather than living in a virtual reality world in his childhood, this Kid Flash has lived in a world that is all too real, filled with tragedy and heartbreak at almost every turn. The only humor I found was when Lobdell’s line “Always one step ahead” made me think of a certain Disney character – even though this is far from a happy Disney tale. This story certainly explains a lot of what we’ve been asking since the beginning of the New 52 (I’ll leave the debate about “New 52 Bart” versus “Old Bart” for another time…and another article to come soon from this site). The art team did an excellent job bringing this very sad tale to life – breakdowns were by Scott McDaniel, with pencils by Tyler Kirkham, inks from Art Thibert and Dan Green, and color from Arif Prianto. I will say this…whether you like the New 52 version of Bart or not, I can’t imagine reading this story and not being moved. And, I can’t wait to see how the rest of the Titans react as this story continues.
I’ve been enjoying the Bart/Raven/Superboy story in recent issues more than I have most of the 2 years before that. It seems like the direction of the book is coming together better now, which is great. (SPOILER) It’s interesting that the witness protection group gave Bar Torr the last name of “Allen,” since by that time they obviously knew the Flash’s real identity. But of course none of the Titans know that. Good review, can’t wait for the next ish.
So how badly did they ruin him? Just tell me that.
We’ve got a new post up detailing the new origin.