What if instead of a motorcycle, Hot Pursuit used oh I don’t know, roller blades? Yes, Cosmic Roller Blades. That seems to be the concept behind the very, very hard to find Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Rocket Zoom Flash that I recently procured. Take a look:
25 years ago, Kenner launched a line of DC super-hero action figures under the name Super Powers. Today, Crisis on Earth-Blog unites fourteen sites in celebrating this landmark toy line. In particular, check out Crimson Lightning’s week-long coverage, starting with a review of the Flash mini-comic. (“Mini-comic,” you ask? Read on!)
The Super Powers figures were 6″ toys with a twist — sometimes literally. They really were action figures. Each figure would perform an action if manipulated, usually by squeezing the arms or legs. Squeeze Superman’s legs and he’d throw a punch. Hawkman’s wings would flap. Robin would do a karate chop, and Wonder Woman would lift her bracelets to block bullets. If you squeezed Red Tornado’s arms, his lower body would spin.
Naturally, if you squeezed the Flash’s arms, he would run.
Each figure starred in his (or her) own miniature 16-page comic book, around 4 inches high. To keep things readable they typically had only one or two panels per page. Villains and other heroes were pulled from the rest of the toy line, along with a couple of playsets and vehicles.
The Flash (Barry Allen) appeared in four of the mini-comics.
Some linkblogging for a Monday, first with a couple of general links:
Comics in Crisis is running a series on Cartoon Heroes. The first installment includes video clips from the Filmation cartoons from the 1960s (which I reviewed when it came out on DVD) and Super-Friends.
Toys R Us will have (among other items) an exclusive Flash action figure at Comic-Con International.
The Weekly Crisis wants to know: Will you be buying Wednesday Comics?
Karl Kerschl is running a contest: He’s hidden an image of The Abominable Charles Christopher in a panel of the Flash story in Wednesday Comics (he’s not saying which week). When you spot it, email him a photo of yourself pointing to the yeti, and you’ll be entered in a drawing for an original sketch.
When Worlds Collide’s Timothy Callahan is wildly enthusiastic about the series, and compares it to Solo. He also notes that the reasons he liked Solo and is looking forward to Wednesday Comics — get a bunch of top-tier artists and writers and let them loose on DC’s characters — is exactly why Solo sold so poorly.
Speaking of Solo, I didn’t buy every issue, but I did pick up three or four. I bought the ones by artists I wanted to read. Darwyn Cooke, Sergio Aragonés, I forget who else.
Comics Worth Reading reviews the All-New Super-Friends Hour.
CBR talks with Marc Guggenheim about “Character Assassination” in Spider-Man
Comics in Crisis discusses the Worst-Kept Secret Identities, including Flash Wally West.
Comic Book Kingdom quotes a scene from Middleman in which the two leads discuss comic books, in particular the Flash.
And a bit off-topic, this list of Geek Gods tries to re-imagine the Greek/Roman pantheon with geek icons of today, with Stan Lee as Zeus, Majel Barret Roddenberry as Hera, Wil Wheaton as Hemes, and so forth.
The Flash (or Kid Flash) appears in two DVD sets being released this week, as well as one upcoming release and a whole set of digital downloads.
The review by Comics Worth Reading reminds me that Teen Titans season 5 is out on DVD this week. This features the episode, “Lightspeed,” in which the animated version of Kid Flash goes up against the Hive Five and makes a special connection with Jinx. While it’s never been made clear just how Teen Titans relates to Justice League Unlimited, they did cast Michael Rosenbaum, the voice of the Flash on that series, as Kid Flash.
I’ve got this one on pre-order. At the time it aired, I wasn’t watching the show, but I made a point to watch “Lightspeed” and enjoyed it. I’ve since seen the other 4 seasons on DVD, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the fifth.
The Batman & Filmation
Comic Bloc poster BESTBUY points out that The Batman season 5 (2007-2008) is also out this week, featuring several episodes with the Justice League as well as “A Mirror Darkly,” in which Batman and Robin team up with the Flash against Mirror Master.
He also mentions the upcoming DVD release of DC Superheroes: The Filmation Adventures, set for August 12. These are cartoons from 1967, featuring DC’s classic cast of heroes, the Flash included. I’ve never seen them myself — my experience with DC-based animation starts with the early 1980s and Super-Friends. From what I understand, these originally aired as part of The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure. Update: Check out my review of these cartoons.
Super Friends Go Digital on iTunes
Finally, Blog@Newsarama reports that iTunes now has a number of classic DC cartoons, including Super Friends and Season 2 of Superman: The Animated Series. That’s the season that includes “Speed Demons,” the episode that introduced the DCAU Flash in 1997.
DC Animated Classics
- Speed Demons – Superman – The Animated Series
- Super Friends, Season 1 – Super Friends
Thinking about it, it was probably Super Friends that first introduced me to DC’s heroes. I certainly was watching the show long before I started reading comics. I remember very little of the cartoons now, except for the general tone, and a few moments like Superman trying to pronounce Mxytzptlk, or me getting confused as to why Cyborg’s voice was so high in the commercial (by the time he was introduced, I’d started reading The New Teen Titans) — it turned out they’d run one of Wonder Woman’s lines over a picture of his face. And while I remembered the additional super-heroes like Apache Chief and Samurai, I’d completely forgotten the standard Hanna Barbera additions like Wendy and Marvin, or the Wonder Twins and Gleek, until I started reading commentary about the show online a decade later. I still can’t bring to mind any of their voices, though I imagine Marvin sounding like Shaggy from Scooby Doo