Tag Archives: Stop Motion

Retro Review: The Flash: Stop Motion (Graphic Audio)

I’m not big on audiobooks, but I picked up a DC Comics-related Humble Bundle a few weeks ago and I “read” The Flash: Stop Motion by Mark Schultz. It’s kind of odd listening to a “Graphic Audio” adaptation of a prose novel based on a character who usually appears in visual media, but the full cast, sound effects, and music help to make up for the lack of actual visuals that I’ve found tends to hamper prose stories about superheroes.

I read the book when it came out in 2004, and I’d forgotten enough for it to be more-or-less “new.” It’s set during the Wally West/Keystone City era when the Flash’s identity was still public knowledge and he worked with Detectives Chyre and Morillo. A super-speed killer has been attacking people in the Keystone/Central area. Not only is it faster than the Flash, but every time it strikes, bits of other universes bleed into our own. Wally has to discover the nature of this “superluminoid,” its surprising connection to the West/Allen family, and unlock a potential beyond the speed force in order to stop it.

The familiar characters are handled well, and the concepts behind the superluminoid, quantum warriors and the Seventh Singularity are intriguing. It’s the kind of thing you’d expect from Grant Morrison or Warren Ellis as they take on super-speed, the metagene, the speed force and quantum physics. The ideas still hold up, and I think it would be fascinating to explore them further, though in the long run they would unbalance the Flash’s already over-powered abilities.

There are a few continuity issues that bugged me at the time I first read it. A lot of the story hinges on Iris and Wally being blood relatives, for instance, which they weren’t pre-Flashpoint. Those don’t bother me anymore, partly because continuity has been remixed so many times and partly because I’ve mellowed on that sort of thing. Though I still have trouble with the opening scene where the Flash is treading air to “fly” with the JLA. (And then there are oddities like the fact that the entire Justice League is in several scenes, but only Wonder Woman gets a detailed description. Hmmm…)

The audio adaptation works well. It’s got a full voice cast and sound effects in addition to the narration. Some of the voices work better than others, and some just don’t fit my head-voice for the characters. (Chyre, for instance, sounds more gravelly and world-weary in my mind than this version.) They really make use of effects and music in the battle sequences, though some of them might work better with headphones than listening in a car. I found it hard to pick out the words in the action scenes because there was so much going on. And some of the conversations that work in print go on way too long in audio.

The novel is worth reading, and the audio is worth listening to. Now I’m curious to hear how Graphic Audio adapted Infinite Crisis, 52 and Final Crisis.

I think I’ll skip Countdown, though.

Speed Reading: Reviews, an Homage, Firestorm, and Defining “Definitive”

Some Flash-related bits from around the comics blogging community.

Crimson Lightning has a scan from a Funky Winkerbean homage to the Flash, specifically the cover of Flash v.1 #115.

momoney433 has started reviewing the entire run of The Flash vol.2 (Wally West’s series) over at Comic Bloc. Issues #1 and #2 went up yesterday.

softpixels.net reviews Flash: Race Against Time.

Blogcritics reviews the Graphic Audio adaptation of Flash: Stop Motion.

The Irredeemable Shag of Once Upon a Geek fame has launched a new blog, Firestorm Fan. Firestorm ran as a backup feature in The Flash during the early 1980s.

Rokk’s Comic Book Revolution thinks that Wally retiring is a good idea.

Meanwhile, I’m Just Sayin’ ponders the “definitive” Flash and Green Lantern — and doesn’t come up with Barry and Hal.

Speed Reading: Favorites

Usually I save these up for the weekend, but there’s been a lot more Flash commentary around the net than usual. I blame the new year.

First, some more year-end lists:

The Flash Companion makes the #2 spot on Scoop’s Best of 2008: Publications About Comics, Characters, or Collectibles! (via Keith Dallas)

The Comic Treadmill’s 11th Day of Christmas features the team’s favorite Flash covers.

Grumpy Old Fan (now at Robot 6, along with the rest of the old Blog@Newsarama crew) lists Ten from the old year, ten for the new — items he watched at DC in 2008 or will be watching in 2009. Not surprisingly, Geoff Johns features prominently in both.

Now, on to more general stuff

Crimson Lightning has results of the Favorite Rogue poll. January’s sidebar poll: Who is your favorite regular writer from The Flash (v.2)?

4 Color Commentary profiles John Broome, who helped usher in the Silver Age Flash.

Lying in the Gutters’ Rich Johnston catches up to the fanbase by pondering whether Wally’s upcoming costume change comes along with an identity change, though message-board accounts indicate that EVS said at WWTX that Wally will always be the Flash, “just like John Stewart will always be Green Lantern.” (On the minus side, I remember when John Stewart wasn’t Green Lantern, and they kept trying to find other roles for him, such as joining the Darkstars…)

Comics In Crisis recommends the DC audio books by GraphicAudio, saying “these really are high quality and pretty faithful to the comic characters.” He particularly cites the adaptation of Flash: Stop Motion as “one of the best Flash stories I’ve ‘read’ in a long time.”

Speed Reading for Thursday

A few more bits:

Mark Waid appears on tonight’s LA Ink. Should’ve posted this earlier!

Final Crisis Annotations: Rogue’s Revenge #3 completes the series.

Fortress of Baileytude examines Flash Secret Files #1, which reminds me of a couple of past blog posts: Comic Coverage’s parody of an endorsement in Smoking Superheroes, and my response that looked into the slow process of removing Jay Garrick’s smoke break from his origin.

Next month, Graphic Audio is releasing an audio book of the prose novel The Flash: Stop Motion by Mark Schultz.

Everyone seems to be talking about Richard Donner’s suggestion to give the Superman movie franchise to Geoff Johns. (via CBR, Newsarama and more)

As if two Flash comics on one day weren’t busy enough, there was a third Flash released on Wednesday: the a new version of the web animation plugin, Flash 10.

Incidentally, the last 24 hours have been the busiest yet on this blog. Note to self: write more reviews!