Tag Archives: Noble Causes

High-Speed Déjà vu: Race Noble & the Flash

A repost from 2005.

I’ve never really considered Noble Causes’ Race Noble to be a reference to the Flash beyond sharing the speedster archetype—especially since the Nobles owe a lot to the hero family concept pioneered by the Fantastic Four—but a scene from Noble Causes #6 has me ready to change my mind.

The Nobles are both heroes and celebrities. Race, the middle child, shocked his parents—and the world—by marrying an ordinary bookshop owner instead of another super-hero. At this point, Liz has become completely overwhelmed by the life she has chosen, and needed to take some time off. Continue reading

Also This Week: Noble Causes and Irredeemable

There are a couple of other milestone releases coming out this week along with Flash: Rebirth that I’d like to highlight: The first issue of Irredeemable and the final issue of Noble Causes.

Irredeemable #1 Noble Causes #40

Noble Causes

Jay Faerber‘s series about a wealthy but dysfunctional family of super-heroes wraps up with #40. The first miniseries opened with the family’s speedster, Race Noble, being killed on his honeymoon, as the narrative focused on his non-super-powered widow Liz. Eventually they brought Race back*.

The series went through a major change last year, jumping ahead five years and dropping Race and Liz from the cast to focus more on super-heroics. The revamp wasn’t the hit they’d hoped for, and the series has been moving toward a resolution over the last few issues. CBR has a preview (beware spoilers). One of the selling points for long-term readers is the return of Race and Liz.

It seems appropriate that Noble Causes should be bringing back a speedster on the same day as Flash: Rebirth!.

I’ve really liked Noble Causes, and in fact everything I’ve read of Jay Faerber’s that he’s done at Image has been excellent. If you only know him from his disastrous run on The Titans a decade ago, it’s worth checking out some of his creator-owned stuff. The first Dynamo 5 trade is only about $10, so it’s a good place to start.

Noble Causes #40, Image Comics. Written by Jay Faerber, art by Yildiray Cinar.


Long-term Flash writer Mark Waid’s new ongoing series about what happens when the world’s greatest super-hero becomes the world’s greatest super-villain. It’s been compared to Kingdom Come and Empire. The first issue comes out tomorrow. CBR has a preview and video trailer, and Major Spoilers has an advance review.

Empire and (more recently) Potter’s Field have shown that Waid can definitely write dark when he wants to, so this looks promising.

Irredeemable #1, BOOM! Studios. Written by Mark Waid, art by Peter Krause.

*To be more precise, they brought Liz back, as she traveled to an alternate reality in which he had survived, but she had died. They wisely never mentioned this again until another storyline required it.

An End to Noble Causes

Noble Causes ends in a few months with issue #40. Apparently the “Five Years Later” relaunch didn’t bring in many new readers, and on top of that, series writer and co-creator Jay Faerber “started feeling like [he] didn’t have much else to say about the characters.”

It’s disappointing news, but hey, it’s always better to leave on a high note than fade into obscurity. And it’s been a pretty solid run: three 4-issue miniseries, two specials, and a 40-issue ongoing.

Noble Causes is about a super-hero team as a dysfunctional family. There are elements of the Fantastic Four, but with personal secrets, double-crossing, affairs, family feuds, cover-ups, and celebrity scandals. The series initially focused on Liz Donnelly-Noble, an ordinary woman who married the family’s resident speedster, Race Noble, and found herself immersed in their bizarre world. (Every once in a while there are some interesting Wally/Linda parallels.) Over time, the scope broadened. A few months ago, the story jumped forward in time five years, and the former viewpoint character has been conspicuously absent.

If you only know Jay Faerber from his disastrous run on The Titans, it’s worth taking a look at some of his creator-owned books. The first Dynamo 5 trade is a good introduction to that team (and it’s pretty cheap), and Gemini is only two issues into a five-issue miniseries.