Tag Archives: Robin

Of Robins and Flashes…Endangered Species?


Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out just what is more dangerous in the DC Universe – to be a Robin or to wear a lightning bolt on your shirt?  There seem to be a lot of beloved characters falling by the wayside lately, and it bears some examination.  After all, Jason Todd, Stephanie Brown, and now Damian Wayne have all died while wearing the symbol of Robin.  It hasn’t been the safest role to take on in the DCU…although I would make an argument that running fast seems to attract even more trouble.

In the latest print issue of  Smallville Season Eleven we find the conclusion of the story arc that features Bart Allen, the Impulse of the Smallville-verse.  In this story, Clark and his good friend Bart are reunited in a globe-hopping battle against the Black Racer, the enemy of Flashes past and present.  In the end, Bart saves the day…but sacrifices himself to do so.  All we are left with are Clark’s plans to build “a big statue” to Bart, and another Flash that has left some form or other of DC continuity.

This adds to the demise of the Wally West of Earth 16 in “Young Justice”, and the deaths and disappearances of Flashes over the years.  Let’s take a partial toll here:

  • Barry Allen died saving the Earth in Crisis on Infinite Earths, remaining basically “dead” until Flash Rebirth.
  • Jay Garrick and the rest of the JSA died over and over again soon after CoIE while in a continual time loop, fighting the battle of Ragnarok.  This is where they stayed for several years until they were brought back into DC continuity.
  • Wally West has been in and out of the Speed Force, presumed dead more than once, killed in the Flashpoint series without ever having taken on the mantle of Flash, and now does not even exist in the New52.  He was killed once again on Earth 16 in Young Justice as noted above.
  • Bart Allen was pummeled to death by the Rogues while serving as the fourth Flash, being brought back to life some time later.  And, as noted above, his Smallville-verse self just took a one-way ticket (presumably) into the Speed Force.

This doesn’t even start to list other dead or missing speedsters like Johnny and Jesse Quick, Max Mercury, or Wally’s kids.  It really doesn’t seem safe to run fast these days.flash tfma 13

The toughest part of all this for me is the way the actual deaths are being handled lately.  Bart’s passing in Smallville felt forced…it wasn’t truly necessary.  Yes, he got rid of the menace…but how did that help Clark and the rest of the Smallville gang?  Believe it or not…exposure to Speed Force energy somehow cleansed Clark of the tracking radiation Luthor was using to follow Superman’s every move.  This allowed Superman to resume acting as Clark Kent without being found out by Luthor.

In other words…Bart’s sacrifice was made so that he could act as a “spot-remover” to some radiation that was creating an inconvenience for Clark.

I have supported (and continue to support) the New52 volume of The Flash, as it represents some of the finest scripting and art in the DC lineup today.  I’m not the guy that would ask “Where’s Wally?” for the thousandth time to Dan Didio at a con.  I do like most of what I see from DC – I’m a DC guy and have been for over 40 years of collecting.  I’m just sad to see the plot device of killing off speedsters used so much.  It seems that being a Robin or a Flash means you are wearing a red shirt in the metaphorical sense as well as in the literal sense…and both roles are simply too valuable to the history of the DC Universe to continue to be treated in that way.

Thoughts on the New DCU – Part 3: Batman and Company

Continuing our series reacting to the news of DC’s September relaunch. Previously we’ve looked at the Justice League and Green Lantern books. This time: Gotham City!

Batman · Detective Comics · Batman and Robin · The Dark Knight · Batwoman · Catwoman · Birds of Prey · Batgirl · Nightwing · Red Hood and the Outlaws · Batwing

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Young Justice Flashback: “They Canceled My Comic”

Impulse ran for 90 issues (including Impulse #1,000,000) until it was canceled in 2002. A month later, Young Justice #49 opened with this scene in which Bart laments to Superboy that his comic was canceled.

Ordinarily I wouldn’t make a post that was mostly scans and not much commentary, but this scene is short, and (for the most part) stands on its own. Two pages after the cut.

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Kid Flash to be featured in New Young Justice Cartoon!

Exciting news coming down the pipeline. Announced at Cartoon Network’s Annual Advertising Upfront Presentation and confirmed by DC Comics’ Official Blog, The Source, Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. Animation will be bringing “Young Justice” to the small screen for their 2010 Cartoon Line-Up.

The show is described as:

In Young Justice, being a teenager means proving yourself over and over—to peers, parents, teachers, mentors and, ultimately, to yourself. But what if you’re not just a normal teenager? What if you’re a teenage super hero? Are you ready to join the ranks of the great heroes and prove you’re worthy of the Justice League? That’s exactly what the members of Young Justice—Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Superboy, Miss Martian and Artemis—will found out, whether they have what it takes to be a proven hero. This all-new series is produced by Warner Bros. Animation and based upon characters from DC Comics. Sam Register (Teen Titans, Ben 10, Batman: The Brave and the Bold) is the executive producer. Brandon Vietti (Batman: Under the Red Hood, Superman Doomsday, The Batman) and Greg Weisman (Gargoyles, The Spectacular Spider-Man, W.I.T.C.H.) are the producers.

Not a bad little combination although very little reminds me of the Young Justice that I remember and loved. Not only with the presence of Aqualad but also with him randomly being Afro-Atlantean. I guess from a young african-american kids perspective it’s nice to be able to relate to characters, but you should have just thrown Static in there or something. But on the plus side this hopefully means that we will be seeing tons of different versions of Kid Flash action figures. Which will hopefully make up for never getting a Teen Titans one. Not surprised to see Sam Register on this instead of Bruce Timm, as Register is red hot on the TV animation scene, while Timm’s focus has been on the DC Animated Movie front for some time. I’m definitely hoping they tone down the animation this time around though. Teen Titans was almost obnoxious at times. But I guess it’s apples and oranges.

This is the first promotional picture released.

The design for Kid Flash looks a little busy with the random padding and armor look, but I guess it makes a little sense. The goggles I actually kind of like. They are practical for a speedster and a nice little nod to Impulse, although the red hair makes me think this might be Wally like in the Teen Titans cartoon. They may end up avoiding the secret identity thing completely though. It’s anyone’s guess. I wish they would have kept Bart’s original boots though. They would look great visually, especially with the new pseudo-armor look they have going for him. Robin, Miss Martian and Superboy barely sport any differences from their comic book counterparts. Except for Superboy’s random cargo pants tucked into his boots. Arrowette now known as Artemis (are they trying to go for a dual association with Green Arrow and Wonder Woman maybe?) looks kind of fugly as far as the suit goes. I have no more words for Spike…er Aqualad. Except for “Ugh”.

By the way, did I miss an announcement or something? I was pretty sure that DC wasn’t allowed to use the Superboy name in anything while the legal stuff was being sorted out. For those that have been living under a rock for the past few years, DC Comics was sued by the estate of Jerry Siegel over the rightful ownership of the Superboy character. Honestly I haven’t been following the case that closely myself since I really don’t have that much invested in the character. Especially now. Something obviously must have changed though, with the recent return of Conner to comics and now his inclusion in “Young Justice”

Needless to say I’m anxiously awaiting this series and any announcements as far as action figures go especially. We will keep you posted.

Devin “The Flash” Johnson