Tag Archives: Chain Lightning

This Week: Earth 2 and Cobalt Blue

Out this week is Earth 2 #14: The bells of war ring loudly as Green Lantern, The Flash and Doctor Fate attack Steppenwolf head on— with the future of Earth 2 hanging in the balance!

Written by: James Robinson
Art by: Nicola Scott, Trevor Scott
Cover by: Juan Do

Also, the digital rereleases start up again with Flash #149, Part 5/6 of Chain Lightning. In the future, Wally West and Barry Allen must fight a thousand years of possessed speedsters, including their own friends and family.

This Week: Chain Lightning Continues in Digital Flash #146

Flash #146: Chain Lightning Part Two

It’s a slow week for the Flash, with no new comics or collections and only one digital re-release:

Flash #146: Chain Lightning Part 2

Wally West, Jay Garrick, Max Mercury, and Jesse Quick run into a variety of speedsters as they travel the time stream looking to save the lives of future Flashes.

Written by Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn. Art by Paul Pelletier, Vince Russell, Tom McCraw. Cover by Steve Lightle.

This Week: Digital Chain Lightning Begins

No new Flash comics this week, but ComiXology is adding to their digital back catalog.

Flash #145

Flash #145: “Chain Lightning” Part 1 of 6: Wally West, Jay Garrick, Max Mercury, Impulse, and Jesse embark on a thousand-year time-spanning journey to help future Flashes against those who wield the Cobalt Blue gem. It’s Allen vs. Thawne for generation after generation. Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn, Paul Pelletier, Vince Russellcover by Steve Lightle.

Impulse #70: Bart’s friends have decided to make a movie about Impulse! Of course, Bart gets cast as…the villain? Todd Dezago, Carlo Barberi, Juan Vlasco, cover by Ethan Van Sciver.

Also, I missed this one a few weeks ago:

Green Lantern #40: A tie-in to The Return of Barry Allen: “Hal is surprised to find that his old pal Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash, has apparently returned from the dead–but the speedster’s actions are less than civil. If Green Lantern is unwilling to stop this seemingly evil Flash, then his rival, Darkstar, will!” Gerard Jones, Claude St. Aubin, Romeo Tanghal

This Week: Earth 2 and Cobalt Blue (Plus Black Bat)

New Flash comics this week:

Earth 2 #12: “The drums of war begin to sound as the heroes of Earth 2 rally behind Dr. Fate—and a threat from Apokolips becomes all too real!” James Robinson, Nicola Scott, Trevor Scott. Preview at ComicVine

Also worth a look: Flash co-writer Brian Buccellato is writing the revival of pulp hero The Black Bat for Dynamite comics. You can check out a preview of The Black Bat #1 at CBR.

Tony Quinn is a brash Defense Attorney to the mob who compromises his ethics for financial gain. When he refuses to cross the line and commit murder, he is tortured and blinded by his gangster employers. But when a fortuitous meeting with a covert agency gives him a chance to make amends, Tony transforms into the Black Bat and embarks on a redemptive quest to right the wrongs of his past.

Digital Flashbacks at ComiXology this week include…

Flash #144: No! It Can't be...YOU!

Flash v.2 #143-144: An attack on the Flash Museum leads to an encounter with a mysterious villain from the Flash’s past…with a surprising connection to Barry Allen. These two issues feature the origin of Cobalt Blue and lead into the time-spanning “Chain Lightning.”

Yes, that’s a bit of a jump, since last week they released #129. However, Flash #130-141 had been published digitally for a Grant Morrison sale, and Flash #142 – the interrupted wedding of Wally West and Linda Park – was already available as well (though I forget when).

Impulse #69: Bart Allen, Kyle Rayner and Adam Strange battle a menace on the alien planet of Rann in the second half of this Green Lantern: Circle of Fire epilogue.

This Week: Impulse in Smallville (in print!) plus Digital Flashbacks for Wally West & Bart Allen

Smallville Season 11 #9 Cover by Scott Kolins

The print edition of Smallville Season 11 #9, the first part of a story guest-starring Impulse (Bart Allen), arrives in stores today. If you’ve been reading online, this contains the same story as the digital edition Smallville Season 11 #25-27. (Confused yet?) Written by Bryan Q. Miller; art by Jorge Jimenez with a cover by Scott Kolins.

Also in digital back-issues at ComiXology, we have four new issues from the 1990s:

Flash #90: Wally West has realized that his whole trial has been manipulated by Abra Kadabra…too late to stop an injunction against using his powers within city limits. Now he has to stop Kadabra and clear his own name while on the run from the law. (Mark Waid, Mike Wieringo)

Flash #91: Determined to never leave anyone behind again, Wally West adds Johnny Quick’s speed formula to his own super-speed…and finds himself trapped in a single moment of time. (Mark Waid, Mike Wieringo.) This issue was included in the Flash: The Greatest Stories Ever Told trade paperback collection.

Impulse #45: “Bart’s mom comes back from the future to see her time-lost son, but not everybody is imbued with the spirit of the Christmas season. The odds of there being peace in Manchester are slim!” (William Messner-Loebs, Craig Rousseau)

Impulse #46: As the Flash family of the late 20th century prepares to embark on the time-spanning mission in “Chain Lightning,” Impulse imagines meeting his grandfather Barry Allen…and how different his life might be with this living legend as his mentor instead of Max Mercury. (William Messner-Loebs, Craig Rousseau)

Impulse #46

Cobalt Blue, Classic Rogue?

“Chain Lightning” (Flash #143–150, including the lead-in) is a polarizing Flash storyline. Some fans love the look into the future of the Flash legacy. Others can’t stand that it hinges on Barry having an evil twin. (I’ve never been entirely sure how much of the objection is to the evil twin trope in general, or to the fact that Cobalt Blue is Barry’s evil twin.) Even Mark Waid admits that it didn’t work, though he maintains in The Flash Companion that the idea was sound, he just screwed up on the execution.

But then I had a thought: What if Cobalt Blue had appeared during the Silver Age instead of the late 1990s?

The evil twin trope hadn’t been discredited yet, so there would have been few objections on that basis. And with Barry as the new, current Flash rather than a fond memory, there would be no sense that DC was tarnishing a cherished hero’s legacy.

Consider: The Flash’s opposite number, who could have had his life but for a twist of fate, who fights against the law instead of for it, who uses magic instead of science. There’s some solid appeal there. And being a conceptual opposite makes him fill a different role than the Reverse-Flash, who is basically the Flash, but evil. (Sort of like Savitar vs. Zoom)

Obviously the big 6-issue epics didn’t exist back then, but I can imagine Chain Lightning as a recurring type of story, where once a year or so, the Flash has to go into the future to help another future Flash fight that generation’s Cobalt Blue.


Is Cobalt Blue that much worse a name than Captain Cold, Professor Zoom, Pied Piper or Abra Kadabra? (Admittedly, Waid says in the same interview that he wanted to use the name Wildfire, but DC nixed it.)

Is a literal evil twin that much harder to swallow than a clone (Inertia), a mimic who has been known to alter his appearance to match the original (Professor Zoom), the product of an imperfect duplicator ray (Bizarro), or an alternate universe version (Ultraman)?

Is the concept that much more hokey than a gang boss who dresses as a clown (Joker), a talking telepathic gorilla (Grodd), a villain who spins (The Top), runs around in a parka and snow goggles in the heat of summer (Captain Cold), or throws trick boomerangs (Captain Boomerang, of course)? Look at the reactions to Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge from people who don’t read The Flash. They were surprised to find that the Rogues were compelling characters. Readers outside the Flash fanbase look at the Rogues’ names, costumes, and powers and figure that they’re nothing but lame jokes, but when used properly, they transcend the cheese factor.

What do you think? Am I totally off-base here, or could Cobalt Blue have worked as a classic Silver-Age villain?

(Originally posted October 2008. Expanded from a remark I posted on Twitter earlier, itself condensed from a post on Comic Bloc in response to Heatwave the Rogue’s assertion that Cobalt Blue is the Mopee of the modern era.)