Tag Archives: Bart Allen

So Long, Farewell…Review of TEEN TITANS #29

teen titans 29 coverIt has finally come to this…the trial of Kid Flash, and now Solstice is complete and they are preparing for transport to the prison planet.  It’s a time of goodbyes, of thinking about what might have been and what might yet be…

LIGHT SPOILERS ONLY

We start issue #29 with Solstice’s story, and why she cares so much for Kid Flash.  There are some sad goodbyes here, as Tim Drake not only says goodbye to Bart and Kiran but to his vision of the Titans.  His words for Bart are a bit surprising, but what he does after saying goodbye to them is an even bigger surprise…won’t spoil it here, though.  In the end, the remaining Titans make their way back to their own time, and what they find leads us into the upcoming final battle with Harvest so hold on to your hats!

Scott Lobdell has written another excellent script for this series.  I’ve said it before but it bears repeating – your opinion of this story and this series will depend in no small part on whether you can take this New 52 Titans group at face value.  If you are looking for the pre-FLASHPOINT Bart, he isn’t here.  But, if you are looking for a well-crafted tale this is definitely worth the read.  The artwork is exceptional – Scott McDaniel handles the breakdowns, with Tyler Kirkham taking the artwork from there and Arif Prianto on colors.  There is a bittersweet quality to much of this issue, with some interesting twists as well.  There is just one more issue left in the series…that’s a sad note as well, but I am looking forward to the big battle with Harvest next issue.

The Explosive Trial! Review of Teen Titans #27

Teen Titans 27 coverBart Allen…er, Bar Torr is on trial in the bleak future that he left, a prisoner of the Functionary that had sent him to our time as part of their “Witness Protection Program”.  The other Titans are there, having learned just how far Kid Flash had gone in his earlier fight against the rulers of his time.  Now, the Titans seem helpless as they watch the lead-up to a massive show trial…and that’s where we pick up to Teen Titans #27.

LIGHT SPOILERS ONLY

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Secrets Revealed! Review of Teen Titans #26

teen titans 26 coverWe 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

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The Origin of Kid Flash Starts Here! Review of Teen Titans #25

teen titans 25 coverThe New 52 Bart Allen has a dark secret, one that is finally coming to light as we prepare for the “Trial of Kid Flash” in Teen Titans #25.  But, just what DID he do…and how did he end up in our present time?  There’s a LOT more to this story, and that’s where we pick up with the latest issue of Teen Titans.

LIGHT SPOILERS ONLY

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Flash Personalities: The Breakdown

Four Flashes (Flash Companion cover)

A character is more than his or her code name, costume, and power set. He’s more than his civilian job, or external circumstances. A compelling character must have a personality, and similar characters must have different personalities.

I’ve tried to distill a core personality set for each of the major Flashes at DC Comics, in a way would set them apart from each other even if you put them all in the same outfit.

Jay Garrick: The Gentleman Adventurer. In his younger days as the Flash, Jay Garrick was a bit of a practical joker, toying with the criminals whose plans he foiled. He never lost his humor, but it evolved into more of a dry wit as he began to face more challenging villains and superheroics became a lifelong career. Eventually he grew into the role of elder statesman, mentoring younger heroes and serving as an example to a new generation.

Barry Allen: The Methodical Scientist. Long before he became the Flash, Barry Allen trained as a forensic scientist. His police training means he approaches super-crime as an investigator, not just a fighter, and his scientific approach allows him to come up with new and creative ways to use his speed. He discovered time travel, vibrating through objects, creating whirlwinds, and more in his time as the Flash. Barry is also a lifelong comic book fan, who maintains his collection with the same meticulous care that he uses in the crime lab.

Wally West: Living the Dream. All his life, Wally West wanted to be a super-hero like the Flash, and once he gained super-speed, he reveled in it. Barry might have felt embarrassed by things like the Flash Museum, but Wally welcomed the attention and fame.* (Exception: When Wally’s speed was killing him, he avoided everything related to it when he could.) This lends him a bit of a temper when things don’t go his way. While he doesn’t take Barry’s experimental approach to his powers, he’s quite willing to seek out experts when he needs to, incorporating knowledge and techniques from such varied sources as Max Mercury’s zen philosophy, Johnny Quick’s speed formula, and Savitar’s knowledge of the speed force.

Bart Allen: The Impulsive One. To Bart, super-speed is normal. He’s never known anything else.  Growing up in a virtual reality left him with no sense of danger. Combine the two, and you have someone acts at the speed of thought without considering consequences. When consequences do hit (Carol’s disappearance, or the death of one of his scouts), they hit him hard. He struggles to keep himself from tearing off at the speed of light, but most of the time, he just doesn’t worry about it.

How Does it Track?

It fits quite well for all the comics and cartoons up through Flashpoint. Looking at animation: For Justice League Unlimited you drop Wally’s specific fandom for the Flash, but everything else fits. For Young Justice, you actually enhance it (he deliberately recreated Barry’s origin), and you drop the VR/danger non-sense from Bart. Jay, especially, in the Flash episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

Live action shows have changed things a bit more. The Flash TV Series from 1990 offloaded a lot of the scientific approach to Tina McGee in favor of just having Barry punch people really fast, though he did retain the detective mindset. Smallville’s version of Bart Allen was a bit more mopey, and of course skipped the origin entirely, but he still had the careless attitude more typical of Bart than the other speedsters.

As for the New 52: Barry Allen is more like his old self now than he was under Geoff Johns’ pen, but Jay Garrick and Bart Allen are different enough that I gave up trying to reconcile them and just stayed with the pre-Flashpoint versions. Bart has incorporated the haunted-past element from Smallville, though it’ll be interesting to see how much that lasts after his history is explored over the next few months. And, well, there is no New 52 Wally West yet to worry about working in.

*Nightwing once speculated that Wally West deliberately draws villains’ attention to keep them focused on himself instead of the general public.

Image: Cover of The Flash Companion.