Tag Archives: Iris West II

Five Years Ago in The Flash…Review of Flash #241

flash 241As part of our SpeedForce.org celebration, we’re taking a look back to the issue of The Flash that came out the same month that this site started. Back in 2008, we were right in the middle of the “Fast Money” story arc. Wally West has seen the people of Keystone City turn against him, pushed by the villain Spin, who has brought Grodd in to help him in the battle. As for the kids…Iris and Jai have been taken captive by people working for “Boss Dark Side”. That brings us to issue #241 of The Flash, with an August cover date but released June 18th, 2008. (NOTE: Thanks to John at Capitol Comics in Raleigh NC for helping me find a spare copy of this issue for the review when I could not find my own copy in my back issues).

FULL SPOILERS AHEAD!

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Surprise Star of DC Digital Father’s Day Sale

I never thought I’d open up an email from ComiXology with a giant banner featuring Wally West with Iris and Jai, but here you go:

DCU Father's Day Sale at ComiXology featuring Wally West, Iris and Jai

ComiXology’s DC Father’s Day Sale features “The Wild Wests” and Flash #237, since they deal heavily with Wally West as a father, as well as the main Flashpoint and Batman Knight of Vengeance miniseries (less for the Flash, and more for the Batman). The Flashpoint books have been up for a while, and are discounted to 99 cents each for the sale. The Flash issues are up for the first time.

I’m thinking this might be a good opportunity to read Batwoman: Elegy or some more Starman. (Unfortunately I can’t remember how far into the series I got when I started – I may have already read all the ones in the sale.)

EVS Talks Flash: Rebirth at Word Balloon

I finally finished listening to last week’s Word Balloon Podcast with Ethan Van Sciver this morning. During the 90-minute interview, he talks about Flash: Rebirth, the personal issues that caused the delays, redesigning Wally West’s costume, bringing back Impulse, the balance of power between writers and artists, and Cyberfrog.

Some points that Flash readers will find interesting:

Last spring, Ethan Van Sciver started experiencing chest pains and was told that if he didn’t do something about his health, he was going to have a heart attack. So he embarked on a complete lifestyle change, which threw off his work schedule, slowing down Flash: Rebirth. The final issue, originally scheduled for September 30 of last year, will be out in two weeks on February 24.

It was his idea to make Iris “Irey” West II the new Impulse. He wanted the character back, and deliberately made Iris and Jai younger than they had been previously because of that (and because he didn’t like them as tweens). He also made an effort to draw Bart Allen as Kid Flash looking a bit more like he appeared as Impulse: round face, big feet, slightly exaggerated features. On a related note: Geoff Johns has plans for Jai.

He had a really hard time redesigning Wally West’s costume. The way he put it was that it’s easy to design a speedster costume, but it’s hard to design a Flash costume. Whereas with Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night he basically had free reign with new designs, this time he kept getting notes and had several designs rejected. The final version was quite literally a composite of other Flash costumes: EVS wanted the straight cowl from the TV series & Dark Flash, to make it look like a knight’s helmet (in line with his Barry = King Arthur and Wally = Lancelot metaphor), Geoff Johns came up with using the animated-style emblem, etc. To this day, Van Sciver isn’t happy with the way it turned out.

There’s a lot more in there — it is an hour and a half long — and it’s worth listening to if you have the time. There’s also a discussion at Comic Bloc that’s gotten into the writer/artist balance.

Related note: Daniel Way interviews EVS in connection with Cherry Capital Con.

Review: Flash: Rebirth #5 — “Mother, May I”

Flash: Rebirth #5

Flash: Rebirth is closing in on its conclusion. Mysteries are revealed, heroes battle villains — well, a villain anyway — and change is in the wind for more than one speedster. The sense of urgency that started building in issue #4 is present in full force here, as Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver build the story to one last cliffhanger before the end.

Let’s get one thing out of the way first: Wally West’s new costume debuts in this issue. If you’ve read it already, or don’t mind being spoiled — or want to be spoiled — you can read my comments and see a scan in my previous post. The change itself is a little forced, but works well enough — and, interestingly enough, isn’t played up at all by the characters themselves.

So: Barry Allen solves his cold case, Jay Garrick demonstrates that super-speed is more than just running, the West Twins reach a turning point, Liberty Belle makes an impression, and Professor Zoom proves himself petty and vindictive as well as vicious.

Purpose

A lot happens in this issue, but I can’t help but feel that it ultimately doesn’t matter. The plot of Flash: Rebirth is secondary to the book’s real purpose:

  1. Rearranging characters to put them in the roles that DC wants for 2010.
  2. Restructuring the Flash mythology.

Along the way, it does a lot of what one of my friends in Star Wars fandom calls “spackling:” patching over rough spots or outright holes in continuity. Last issue we got an explanation of why Barry never learned about the Speed Force in the form of a completely new interpretation of how it works. This issue we get an explanation for why Barry’s flashback has his parents in Central City instead of Fallville. We get yet another layer on why Jay and Joan Garrick look 50 instead of 90, and a new explanation for why Jai and Iris/Irey West don’t have super-speed. We even get an explanation for “hot Iris.”

In that way, Flash: Rebirth is a lot like World War III, which existed solely to explain what had changed between Infinite Crisis and the “One Year Later” books. That this miniseries is the best Flash story since 2005 has less to do with it being a good story than it does with the fact that the comics from 2006 through 2008 were incredibly haphazard.

Well, I’ve reached the point where I can’t say anything more without giving anything away, so if you don’t want any spoilers, stop reading now! Continue reading

Review: Flash #243, “Everything, Always”

Flash #243 marks the last issue of the Tom Peyer/Freddie Williams II run on the series, and the final issue of the “Fast Money” storyline. It resolves a number of plotlines from the past year, leaving other possibilities open.

Artist Freddie Williams II has really hit his stride on this book, which makes it a shame that he’s leaving. It took a while to get used to it, but a few issues ago I started to like it. It seemed to have more life, more energy, than it did at first — and in a book that’s all about speed, that’s critical. (Interestingly, when I spoke with him at Comic-Con, he mentioned that the editor had initially insisted on a slightly different style than his usual, and he’d been allowed to go back to his regular style around the same point that I started liking the art. He also had a page of original art from Flash #241 that I would have been seriously tempted by if I’d had a spare $250…)

Story-wise, I’ve really enjoyed the last three issues (parts 3-5), but I felt that the final chapter fell short. In part, there were three major plot threads to resolve, and only one really got any focus. Additionally, that resolution seemed to hinge on a piece of knowledge which they should already have had.

At this point I’ll have to break into spoilers. You have been warned. Continue reading