Category Archives: Other Speedsters

Review: Velocity #4 — “Decoys” Conclusion

Well, it took a year, but Ron Marz and Kenneth Rocafort’s miniseries about Cyberforce’s speedster is complete. Was the final issue worth the wait?

Yes! The miniseries as a whole is a fun, super-speed adventure that’s surprisingly new-reader-friendly, and the conclusion delivers.

Velocity: What, you weren't expecting me?As it starts, this chapter seems to ignore the cliffhanger from the end of the previous issue (though it’s included in the recap), until you get to the second page and Velocity literally turns toward the reader and says, “What? You weren’t expecting me?” The conversational, almost playful tone of the series really takes over in this installment.

Kenneth Rocafort’s art is key to that tone. I’ve mentioned before that I really like the style and creativity, and this issue definitely wouldn’t have worked as well if Top Cow had decided to replace him in order to keep the book on a schedule. He does seem to have toned down the sexiness-for-the-sake-of-sexiness that tended to crop up in the earlier issues, to the point where I don’t think I would have been embarrassed to read this issue in public.

There’s a splash page in the middle that at first glance looks like it’s using one of the standard techniques to show super-speed in action, but in context, it means something else entirely. I won’t actually post it, though, since it’s a bit spoilery.

Rest assured, that seemingly impossible escape is explained (though not precisely in the way I predicted), and as the clock ticks down, Carin Taylor takes the fight back to the villain for a final, over-the-top spectacular confrontation with Dr. Paine. The twist reveal comes in about halfway through the issue, and not only plays fair with the audience (it’s all set up well ahead of time), but sets things up for an element in the final battle that takes “speedster vs. robots” to a new level.

The series ends with a nod to its beginning, and a reminder that while this might be a stand-alone miniseries, the lead character continues on as part of an ongoing universe.

A few thoughts that involve SPOILERS: Continue reading

Velocity #4 Preview

Newsarama has a 5-page preview of Velocity #4, the conclusion to the miniseries focusing on Top Cow’s premiere speedster. It may come as a bit of a surprise to those who have been reading the book, but it doesn’t quite spoil the cliffhanger from the previous issue.

Velocity #4
story: Ron Marz
art & cover: Kenneth Rocafort

The Pilot Season Winner is Back!

The clock counts down to zero as the taut, pulse pounding series races to its conclusion. Carin Taylor, the hero known as Velocity, has been infected with a deadly techno-virus. Thus far she has been successful in saving most of her teammates from the same virus, but now the exertion is taking its toil and the fastest girl in the world may not be able to win this race. The issue concludes the creative collaboration of writer Ron Marz (Witchblade, Angelus) and artist Kenneth Rocafort (Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer).

Full Color 32 pages $3.99 limited series

According to Diamond, Velocity #4 ships next week.

Sonic the Hedgehog 20th Anniversary

Video game character and Sega mascot Sonic the Hedgehog turns 20 this year, and his comic book will be celebrating with a special 20th anniversary issue in #225.

Archie Comics’ press release notes that Sonic is “the longest running continuously published licensed comic of all time” and holds the record for the “longest running video game inspired comic.” It’s also the longest running comic book about a speedster not named the Flash. Second place is Impulse at 90 issues (including #1,000,000). (Admittedly, there aren’t many to begin with.)

In fact, since DC has relaunched The Flash several times, Sonic may actually take the #1 spot in a couple of years, measured by number of continuous issues. The current records are:

  • Flash vol.1: 246 issues (#105-350)
  • Flash vol.2: 232 issues (#1-230, #0, #1,000,000)
  • Flash Comics: 104 issues (#1-104)

With #225 coming out this summer, they’re only months away from passing Wally West’s series, and will pass Barry Allen’s just two years from now!

Sonic the Hedgehog #225 hits comic shops on June 1, and newsstands on June 7, 2011.

No Halcyon Days for this Speedster

It took me a while to really get on board Halcyon, the Image Comics–published miniseries about a world in which all crime stops, leaving the super-heroes with nothing to do. Issue #3 has one of those “wham!” moments where it feels like the story sneaks up behind you and hits you with a two-by-four, though, so I’m following this one through to the end.

But there’s something that really bothers me about the premise.

All crime and aggression has stopped, worldwide. Criminals stop attacking people, nations stop fighting wars, terrorists dismantle their own networks, and the world’s most dangerous supervillain not only turns himself in, but devotes his intellect to medical science.

The world’s super-heroes find themselves obsolete, except for one: their speedster, who is the only one fast enough to respond to natural disasters. So while they’re all longing for the bad old days, he’s running himself ragged helping out in the way that only he can.


It doesn’t take a speedster to respond to an earthquake if you’re near the earthquake. It doesn’t take a speedster to help evacuate the coastline ahead of a hurricane or (given proper warning) tsunami, or to divert a flooding river away from populated areas. It certainly doesn’t take a speedster to help out in relief efforts after a disaster hits.

A hero with super-strength or X-ray vision can hop on a plane and arrive within hours to help search for survivors in the rubble left behind by a major earthquake, or industrial explosion, or meteor strike. They can respond even faster to something that hits near their base of operations. If something happens in your city, you don’t necessarily need super-speed to deal with it.

There’s nothing stopping the rest of the world’s heroes from finding something to contribute…unless all they want to do is find someone to punch. This is probably true of Sabre, the Batman equivalent, but the rest of them seem to think he’s a psychopath.

I could overlook it as a form of genre blindness, except that Transom is right there, in each issue, pushing himself to the brink as the world’s only remaining active hero.

Faster Than a Man in Tights

Ad: Faster than a man in tights.Speedster? Check.
“World’s fastest man?” Check.
Skin-tight costume? Check.
Wings on head? Check.
Lightning motif? Check.
Round insignia on chest? Check.
Yellow boots? Check.

I first saw this ad for with 3:10 To Yuma a few years back. You may have seen it. He’s trying to impress his date by running and buying the tickets for their movie while they’re still at dinner. The show’s sold out, but it turns out she’s already bought the tickets online. Amazingly, they’ve got the video clip online…

I haven’t been quite sure what to do with it, since I’m not ready to start in on listing every parody of the Flash to ever appear in media.

Hmm, now that I think about it, the Blur in that Baby Ruth commercial back in the 90s was blue, too.

Originally posted at K-Squared Ramblings in 2007

Quick Review: Velocity #3 — “Decoys” Continued

One of the things I’ve liked about the Ron Marz/Kenneth Rocafort Velocity miniseries is the tone: despite dealing with serious issues like viruses, murder, and human experimentation, there’s a sense of playfulness to it all. This holds through issue #3, in which Velocity goes up against hordes of robots as she tries to rescue her deathly ill Cyberforce teammates in the minutes left before the techno-virus kills them.

While the first issue was mostly setup, and the second issue dealt with a lot of problem-solving, this one is basically two long battle sequences with the speedster battling robots first in the wilderness, then in the crowded streets of Venice. It finishes up with a particularly nasty cliffhanger for the final issue…but as a long-term comic book reader (and sci-fi watcher) I came up with several ways to resolve it in the first few minutes after I finished reading.

I’m developing mixed feelings about the art, though. On one hand, I love the style, the detail, the expressions, and the creative panel designs. The pages often have a fragmented look that makes the story feel more hurried. On the other, some panels are sexualized enough that they distract from the story. Yeah, it’s Top Cow…but sexiness should serve the story, not detract from it, right?

(On a side note, I found it interesting that the issue shipping this week should have a text feature called “5 Things You Never Knew About Velocity.”)

Overall, the book maintains the energy of the first two installments. If you’re out for super-speed action, this is the place to be.

Velocity #3
Written by Ron Marz
Art by Kenneth Rocafort
Velocity #1 (full issue)

Review: Velocity #1
Review: Velocity #2
Review: Velocity #4

A digital review copy was provided by the publisher.