For those of you who have been waiting for pictures of the San Diego Comic Con exclusive Professor Zoom, you need not wait any longer. Our very own friendly neighborhood webmaster and Flash historian, Kelson Vibber attended SDCC 2011 and managed to snag an exclusive DC Direct/Graphitti Designs Flashpoint Professor Zoom action figure. Let’s take a closer look:
The new Flash Story begins in September. This time around, there is no speculation about the focus of the book, or who will be behind the mask. It looks like Flash’s new launch will take off without baggage – an all-new Flash for the all-new DC.
Well, sort of.
In the cases of Batman and Green Lantern, it has been announced that the stories and key elements will (more or less) continue. In the cases of Superman and most other properties, the stories are looking more and more like a fresh and somewhat rootsy start. For Flash, it appears the new series will be a pretty hard reset.
Flash: Rebirth featured a number of retcons, some of them explained away by time travel, others explained as new information, and others simply stated with no explanation at all. The most galling one to me was the revelation that the Speed Force is generated by Barry Allen with every step he runs, and that all other speedsters (including those who preceded him like Jay Garrick, Max Mercury, and Johnny Quick) depend on Barry’s existence for their own.
There are two things that bug me about this.
First: it doesn’t make sense. The speed force was introduced to do two things: provide a hand-wave explanation for the impossible physics of super-speed, and tie all speedsters’ origins together. Where do Flashes get their energy? The speed force. Simple, end of story. But now the speed force gets its energy from Barry Allen. So we’re right back where we started: Where does Barry get his energy?
Second: it elevates Barry Allen above all other Flashes permanently.
It wouldn’t be so bad if it were simply a matter of: Barry’s back, and here’s why he’s important now. That would be the same kind of thing Mark Waid did when he had Wally West become the first Flash to mainline the speed force and gain new powers, or that Bilson & DeMeo did when they had Bart Allen absorb the speed force. In those cases, it was still a progression, and you could imagine that whoever came next would follow in their footsteps and become the most important Flash now.
What bothers me is that they didn’t want to take that route. They instead wanted to take the route that Barry Allen was not only the most important Flash now, but that he has always been and always will be the most important Flash ever. It flat out tells us that we’ve been reading about a second-rate Flash for the last 25 years. I know there are people who hold that opinion, but it’s galling for it to be declared canon.
It’s like two kids trying to one-up each other in a bidding war, and one pulls out, “well, I bid infinity!” — and because it’s the author of the series, not to mention the Chief Creative Officer of the company, it sticks instead of getting laughed off.
Comic-book futures are constantly changing. We’ve seen four* major versions of the Legion of Super-Heroes, many different “true” versions of the near future, and a half-dozen variations on the eras that brought us villains like Abra Kadabra and the Reverse-Flash. Given the latter’s newfound obsession with changing history in Flash: Rebirth, it seems highly appropriate that his origin tale rewrites itself repeatedly over the course of the issue. It’s fascinating to watch the twists and turns as his life starts down one path, then stops, backs up, and takes another.
Today’s guest post is by Perplexio.
Perhaps it’s because Geoff Johns has done such a brilliant job writing Green Lantern, or maybe it’s that he did such an excellent job writing Wally after Mark Waid had passed the torch and moved on that many fans are still reserving their judgment on how Geoff has been writing The Flash since Barry’s resurrection.
I’ll be honest I’ve found some of what Johns has done with the Flash title since Barry’s resurrection to be inspired. However, some of the things he’s written have left me scratching my head in bewilderment or nodding my head in chagrined disbelief. Continue reading