Tag Archives: Savitar

“The Present” Review of THE FLASH S3 Ep9

THIS is what a Christmas episode should be. Just enough sappy fun to evoke the season, but not so much as to take away from what makes the series work. We see some significant reveals about the backstory of Alchemy…some serious danger…and foreshadowing of events that will have us waiting with bated breath for the next episode in late January 2017. Want to know more? Just follow us after the jump!

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Killer Frost…and MUCH more! Review of THE FLASH S3 Ep7

Kevin Smith gave us a season’s worth of highlights in one episode. It’s not just the full-on Killer Frost appearance, nor that foreshadowed fight with Vibe, nor the follow-up to that battle last episode with Savitar. No, this episode packed everything but the kitchen sink in an action- and emotion-packed feast for the eyes and ears. If you can’t rate this episode a 10…I’m not sure what more you can expect from THE FLASH. Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!

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“Shade” – Review of THE FLASH S3 Ep6

This episode is unique in a lot of ways…with some significant developments in both the personal and heroic lives of Team Flash. And, for once there is no epilogue…and I don’t think that has ever happened in any episode of the Flash in any season so far. What we get instead is…something pretty important, and you’ll have to follow us after the jump to find out more!

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A Brief History of Zoom and the Reverse Flash

The main villain for Season Two of the Flash TV show is Zoom … but who is Zoom, and how does he differ from the Reverse Flash?

As with Reverse Flash, they appear to be taking inspiration from a couple of sources in the comics, though Zoom’s true identity on the show is being kept mysterious for now. I’m including a few other villainous speedsters whose stories or designs may be relevant.

Reverse Flash a.k.a. Professor Zoom a.k.a. Eobard Thawne (1963)

Flash #139This 25th-century criminal reverse-engineered Barry Allen’s powers from one of his costumes, beginning a centuries-spanning rivalry as the two speedsters traveled through time to battle each other over and over. Thawne developed an unhealthy oobsession with taking over Barry’s life, particularly with his wife Iris.

Thawne eventually killed Iris, and years later tried to kill Barry’s new bride Fiona — but Barry killed him while protecting her. This led to a lengthly trial for the Flash, which ended just before Barry’s death in Crisis on Infinite Earths.

The Blackest Night crisis brought Thawne back from the dead, and he proceeded to start running back in time to mess with Barry’s life earlier and earlier, culminating in Barry’s mother and framing his father for the murder. [Full bio]

Savitar (1995)

SavitarA cold war test pilot whose plane was hit by lightning. On gaining super-speed, he became obsessed with the speed force, learning more than anyone else about its secrets. A battle knocked him forward in time several decades, during which his followers became a powerful cult.

Savitar’s greatest desire was to become one with the speed force, and to do it he meant to block — or eliminate — all other speedsters. It took a full coalition led by Wally West and featuring every other speedster hero active at the time to take him down. [Full bio]

Black Flash (1998)

The Black FlashUpdate: As Lee H. points out in the comments, it looks like the show has drawn visual inspiration from the personification of Death as it comes for speedsters. The Black Flash is a force of nature, pursuing speedsters whose time has come and ushering them across the threshold to death.

It was later shown in Flash: Rebirth that an actual person could become the Black Flash, more like the New Gods’ concept of the Black Racer: An ordinary person takes on the role, whether they like it or not, and they have a job to do. This happened to Barry Allen briefly in Flash: Rebirth, and in an interesting bit of timing is happening again in Darkseid War right now. [Full bio]

Zoom a.k.a. Hunter Zolomon (2003)

ZoomA criminal profiler with the Keystone City police who became friends with Wally West during his time as the Flash. An attack by Grodd left him unable to walk, and he tried desperately to convince his friend to travel back into the past and fix his mistakes. When Wally refused, Zolomon tried to activate the cosmic treadmill himself.

The accident gave him time-based powers that simulate super-speed. He became obsessed with making the Flash a “better” hero…by making him experience more personal tragedy, so that he would be more willing to risk altering reality for others. [Full bio]

New 52 Reverse-Flash a.k.a. Daniel West (2013)

Flash #23.2 - Reverse Flash #1The younger brother of Iris West, a juvenile delinquent who got out of jail around the time a disaster hit Central City and linked him to the speed force. He gained the ability to travel back in time for short hops, and went around killing others who had gained the same connection in order to use that power to go even further back in time — to kill his own abusive father.

New 52 Future Flash a.k.a. Barry Allen (2014)

Flash Annual 3Two decades from now, an older and angrier Barry Allen would discover that the speed force had been damaged by the Reverse Flash’s time travelling, and he started heading backward in time to seal the breach when it was still small enough to repair. On the way he killed a few villains and stopped a few disasters, until he came face to face with his past self.

Note the dark blue costume with glowing trim…

New 52 Professor Zoom a.k.a. Eobard Thawne

Flash Annual 4We don’t know his background yet, but we do know he really hates Barry Allen, and he’s traveled throughout history collecting people who have gained various powers from the speed force and convinced them that the Flash is a monster disguised as a hero, someone who needs to be stopped.

Notes

There you have it! Zoom, Professor Zoom, and the Reverse-Flashes, plus two speedsters who (judging by previews) may have inspired the TV show’s take.

You can read about some of the Flashes’ other opposite numbers in our Guide to Rogues and Reverse Flashes.

(Incidentally: In the process of re-reading the New 52 stories, I was reminded how much I love Francis Manapul’s and Brian Buccellato’s art and layouts.)

This Week: Flash #12, Digital Dead Heat

This week it’s The Flash #12. The regular art team returns as all the individual stories of the Rogues come together, leading into next week’s Flash Annual #1.

  • Setting up The Rogues as a team as the next major storyline for the series begins!
  • Glider takes center stage!

Written by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato
Art by Francis Manapul

In the digital realm, ComiXology is releasing four issues of “Dead Heat”, the Flash/Impulse crossover from 1995. Flash #108-109 (Mark Waid and Oscar Jimenez) and Impulse #10-11 (Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos) cover chapters 1-3 and 5 of the 6-part story, and I’m sure we’ll see chapters 4 and 6 next week. With any luck, they’ll jump back and release Flash #50 soon as well, since they left of with one heck of a cliffhanger in Flash #49 last week.

Savitar, an old enemy of Max Mercury’s, has returned. Obsessed with speed, he has found a way to divert all of the Speed Force’s energy to himself and his followers. But there’s one speedster still in the running, someone who recently connected himself more closely to the speed force than even Savitar: Wally West. Jay Garrick, Johnny Quick, Jesse Quick, Max Mercury, Impulse and XS team up to stop Savitar, but more than one speedster won’t make it out alive!

Flash (1987-2009) on ComiXology
Impulse on ComiXology

Full Review: Flash: Rebirth #2 — “Dead Run”

Flash: Rebirth #2

I’ve re-read the first issue of Flash: Rebirth so that the setup is all fresh in my mind, and I’ve gone over Flash: Rebirth #2 again. To follow up on my first impressions: Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver continue to deliver a well-constructed story, though some of the pieces it uses strike me as ill-chosen or a waste of material.

Art and Story

Van Sciver’s art is, as always, excellent — and incredibly detailed. There’s a flashback sequence to Barry’s life before gaining his powers, and you can clearly see how some characters have aged over the years. There are also some nice symbolic images, such as Sam Scudder (the future Mirror Master) and his reflection (and props to the colorist who gave him an orange and green striped tie). At one point Barry and Wally get caught up in a battle with a villain, and half of Wally’s mask is ripped away. This not only makes it instantly clear which Flash is which (it does get confusing in the pages leading up to that point), but gives us a very clear view of his facial expression on the second-to-last page.

And then there’s the cover, an homage to Showcase #4 and Barry Allen’s first appearance.

The story picks up on the appearances of Savitar and the Black Flash from last issue, and the unexpected consequences, framed by a painting ceremony in Gorilla City. It follows through on Savitar’s appearance more than I expected (at least before DC posted the preview pages last week), though I get the feeling that DC and/or Geoff Johns is seeing this miniseries not just as a way to set up new pieces, but an excuse to throw out old pieces, even the ones that have been sitting unused in the back of the closet for years.

Pacing

Oddly enough, I’ve had no problems with the pacing of this story, even though the general consensus online (at least among people who aren’t long-term Flash readers) is that it’s too slow. This is especially odd because my biggest criticism of the last two relaunches — Flash: The Fastest Man Alive’s “Lightning in a Bottle” with Bart Allen as the Flash and The Flash’s “The Wild Wests” with Wally West and family — was that they started with big six-part stories that were paced too slow for someone whose main claim to fame is speed. I still maintain that if “Lightning in a Bottle” had been condensed into three parts instead of six, fans would have responded much better to Bart as the Flash instead of rejecting him so thoroughly that DC turned around and killed him.

Maybe it’s because of the emphasis on Barry Allen, who has always been slow and steady in contrast to his alter ego of the Flash.

That said, I still don’t understand why they felt it necessary to explain Barry’s bow tie instead of just treat it as an artifact of when the original stories were produced. Modern retellings of Superman’s origin don’t make an effort to explain away Clark Kent’s anachronistic hat — they just leave it out.

I think that’s about as much as I can cover without giving anything away, so keep an eye out for spoilers after the jump. Continue reading