Archive for the 'Flash Facts' Category


Barry Allen: So Flash and So Clean, Clean

January 21st, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Barry Allen was one of the most optimistic men I’ve ever known. A forensic scientist who looked at life differently than most in his position… Working at the crime lab — Barry saw his job as protecting the innocent rather than damning the guilty. I wish I could’ve understood that.

-Batman, on Barry Allen (Flash #205)

Sometimes, when I’m feeling mean, I call the Justice Society of America a team of guest stars. I pretty much mean that about everyone on the team but Jay Garrick. Jay Garrick is a Flash, and I love Flashes.

They each have their own flavors. Jay is the elder statesman, the guy who’s been around the block and who may not be the best around, but is definitely the most seasoned. Wally is the rookie who made good in being a hero and a man, and has the Justice League status and family life to prove it. I’ve talked about Wally often enough that I think my fondness for the character can go relatively unstated. Barry, though, is something else entirely. I’ve written about the guy before.

One thing that Johns established in his run on the Flash is that the Rogues respected Barry. They didn’t like him, but they respected him. It may not have been fun and games, but it certainly wasn’t made up of death threats and tortured girlfriends.

The phrase that I associate with Barry the most is “Flash fact.” He’s the classic hero. Clean-cut, square jaw, a little goofy in his social life. He’s the Saturday morning cartoon guy. If you wanted to directly translate the Flashes to cartoons, Barry would be your best choice. Wally has the (entertaining) baggage of a family, Jay Garrick is really kind of too boring to lead a show. Barry, though, Barry has everything you need. He has the intrepid girlfriend who knows his secret, even though he doesn’t know she knows, so you have the bonus of both a romance and a capable and funny female cast member without falling into annoying Lois Lane drama. He has villains with really, really dumb and entertaining gimmicks, and the Flash costume is already pretty much one of the best visuals in comics. It’s the perfect Saturday morning cartoon.

So, Barry, to me, represents a different era of hero. Back when heroes were heroes, investigative reporters were dumber than entire bags of bricks, and dudes thought that being so angry about being colorblind made it okay to leave your house and call yourself “Rainbow Raider.”

Jay is the wise Flash, Wally is the accomplished Flash, and Barry? He’s the happy Flash. He has fun.

Here’s the solicit for Flash: Rebirth #1, the post-Final Crisis return of Barry Allen:

The Flash: Rebirth #1

Written by Geoff Johns
Art and covers by Ethan Van Sciver

Through the decades, many heroes have taken the mantle of The Flash, but they all ride the lightning that crackles in the wake of the greatest hero the DC Universe has ever known, the man who sacrificed himself to save the Multiverse: Barry Allen!

Following the events of Final Crisis, Barry has beaten death and returned to a fast-paced world that a man out of time wouldn’t recognize. Or is it a world that is only just now catching up? All the running he’s done before was just a warmup for the high-speed race that he and every other Flash must now run, because even though one speedster might have beaten death, another has just turned up dead! From Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver, the visionaries responsible for the blockbuster Green Lantern: Rebirth and The Sinestro Corps War, comes the start of an explosive and jaw-dropping epic that will reintroduce to the modern age the hero who single-handedly birthed the Silver Age of comics! DC history will be made, and the Flash legacy will be redefined!
On sale April 1 • 1 of 5 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

I love the Flashes, I really do. But, I’m tired of heroes being fueled by tragedy. Reintroducing a classic Silver Age hero with a newly dead one just sounds lame. I realize that I’m judging it by the solicit, but that’s what solicits are there for. It’s a story summary so I can decide if I want to buy it. Right now, I don’t want to buy it. The man out of time aspect could be interesting, but the murder mystery? I’m tired.

Barry Allen cures Iris of the Anti-Life Equation with a kiss. That’s Barry in a nutshell for me. He’s bright and shiny and hope and fast. He’s above all the muck and grime and garbage that superheroes tend to get put through nowadays.

Barry could never be a Marvel character, and I love that about him.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Infinite Crisis: The Graphic Audio

August 31st, 2008 Posted by Gavok

Can you believe Infinite Crisis only ended a little over two years ago? It feels so much longer. At the time, it was an exciting time to read DC. A lot was going down, 52 was on the horizon, One Year Later was starting up, among other things. The miniseries did come off as a letdown, but considering how hyped it was, how could it be anything but? By the time the seventh issue landed, with its rushed art to meet the deadline, I couldn’t be happier to be done with this whole storyline.

Sometime after, author Greg Cox wrote a novelization of Infinite Crisis. Such an odd concept, isn’t it? A novelization of a comic book? It’s like the literary version of hearing a country singer covering a rock group’s hit song. I guess I shouldn’t talk, since years back, before I was even into comics in the first place, I read the novelization of Knightfall. Plus there’s the whole movie novelization thing I do for the sake of getting site hits.

I didn’t read Cox’s take on Infinite Crisis, but through chance, I discovered an interesting piece relating to it. A company called Graphic Audio had done a book on CD version of his take. That’s right, an audio book based on a book based on a graphic novel. What an insane concept. Too curious, I ordered the two sets and spent a couple weeks listening through them. Yes, weeks. The entire story is told with twelve discs over the course of thirteen hours. Thirteen hours to tell the story of seven issues.

Well, that’s not fair. It’s more than just the seven issues. Cox chose to cherry-pick tie-in issues to help pad out the story to differing success. This includes the end of Crisis of Conscience where Superboy Prime attacks Martian Manhunter, the Spectre vs. Shazam fight from the end of Day of Vengeance, the part of Gotham Central where Crispus Allen got killed, an issue of Aquaman and parts of the Rann/Thanagar War Special.

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Barry Allen, King of the Third Verse

June 30th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

I’m a big Flash fan. I love Wally, Barry, Bart, and Jay. I love the way the laws of physics crumble around them. I love the relationships in the book, from Rogues to loved ones. The Flash is easily one of DC’s best heroes, and I wouldn’t mind if they turned the JLA into “Flash and Batman, plus those other guys.”

One thing I realized the other night, though, is that one of the coolest things about the Flash franchise is that they are a bunch of legacy characters that I actually care about. Two Wildcats, a bunch of Hawkmen, a Dr. Mid-Nite or three, and a family of Starmans? Ehhh, that’s okay, I guess, but give me the Flash any day. Jay’s the most interesting character in the JSA, Barry seems like one of the more fun dudes from the Silver Age, Wally is one of the most well-rounded characters in the DCU, and Bart is that young kid trying to live up to not one legend, but three.

Seriously, think about it. Wildcat’s son just has to live up to “being the son of a guy who dresses up like a cat and hits people really hard.” Hawkman has to hit things with maces. Wonder Woman’s mom was basically so much like her daughter that she replaced her on the JLA and I didn’t even notice. Who cares that there’ve been like six Atoms? He shrinks. Who does Stargirl have to live up to? A slacker, a dead man, a blue alien, and a scientist. That lineage is so square you could use it as cool repellent. Bart’s got it rough, man.

I’ve often joked that the JSA is a team of guest stars. Generally, they’re (Wildcat) the kind of characters (Wildcat) that make me go, “Oh, man! It’s Wildcat from that one comic! That’s pretty cool!” It’s not that I don’t like them, it’s just that I’m haven’t really been sold on most of them. I’m down with Black Adam, Jay Garrick, and sometimes Mr. Terrific, but the rest? Ehhh. They’re all right. They’re like the DC Comics version of the Secret Defenders. “Hey look! It’s Darkhawk, Dr. Druid, and what’s her name with the shadow powers!”

Being a guest star isn’t all bad, though. In the past few years, Barry Allen has put in enough work to become the best guest star that ever did it. Every time he’s appeared lately has been rocking.

The first one that comes to mind is during the tail end of Geoff Johns’s run on the Flash. He’s wrapping up loose ends, having the Rogues go wild, and letting Zoom run free. Zoom ends up going to get Professor Zoom, Barry’s nemesis, and uses his speed powers to use the time treadmill to force Wally to relive the worst day of his life over and over.

“It’s a bad day, Uncle Barry,” may well be one of the best lines of Geoff Johns’s career. It is exceeded, however, by the next one.

In Infinite Crisis, Superboy Prime has gone nuts and is just dismembering Teen Titans left and right. He’s screaming how they’re making him just like them, it’s their fault he’s pulling off their limbs, and what’s the deal with this rock and roll music kids listen to these days, anyway? The Flashes grab him and try to get rid of him. Jay Garrick hits the wall early, Wally pushes too hard, and only Bart’s left to keep fighting. Superboy Prime taunts him, causing Bart to freak out. Mid-freakout, a voice comes out of the ether. “Bart. You’re not alone, either.”

“Grandpa?” beats “It’s a bad day.”

The next one is much more recent. In Final Crisis, a New God is dead, John Stewart is arrested, and J’onn J’onnz is dead. Jay and Wally are investigating the death and locate the place where he died. Coincidentally, it’s in the same place that Jay first met Barry.

Look at that. Barry is the busiest dead man alive.

Zoom is a pretty awesome guest star, too.

“I’m fueled by tragedy!”

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


A Flashy Dynasty Like No Other

June 25th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

Hey, who remembers Bart Allen? Impulse? Kid Flash? Flash? Yeah, that kid. Remember when he died and DC restarted the series with a back-from-limbo Wally West?

Oh. That was just a year ago.

Flash’s mid-stride reboot, courtesy of Mark Waid and friends, has not been all that well received.

From an interview:

I don’t know. You know, I just think, in retrospect, the stars were not in alignment in a lot of ways. I kind of knew we were in trouble right off the bat when I so loved Daniel Acuna’s artwork. I so loved it. And I was so unprepared for the insane volume of hatred from the online community about how much they just despised his work on the title. I knew at that point, I thought, “Oh god, we’re in trouble.” Once more, the online community has me questioning what I thought was good. Which I shouldn’t let happen, but it’s hard not to do when the volume is that loud.

And at this moment in time, I just … in terms of superhero work, I feel frozen. I kind of… I feel like I’m momentarily out of step with what fandom wants because I don’t get it. The same voices that are screaming that we gave Flash a wife and kids and family, because they say that’s not what Flash is, are the same people who are screaming that they’ve broken up Mary Jane and Peter Parker. “How dare you take his family away!” I’m like, wait! Wait! What? Which way is it? So… growth and change good… or growth and change bad?

That’s about it in a nutshell. Waid helped put the Flash back on the map back in the day. He’s one of the biggest writers in comics. DC is still strip-mining Kingdom Come. He’s put in a lot of work writing exactly the kind of stories that DC fans enjoy. I mean, for a while, they’d do a thing at cons where you’d try to stump Mark Waid on DC trivia. He’s a fan’s fan.

I’m not sure why his Flash didn’t work. I bought the first few and pretty much enjoyed them, even though I thought the Inertia imprisonment was creepy. It was an interesting twist on the Flash series, but I didn’t exactly jones for the series.

The question is, however, who wants to read a book about Flash, his wife, and his twin kids who keep aging at superspeed?

I dunno, but after Flash #241, it turns out that I do. Of course, I would realize this the week that what’s probably going to end up being the last arc for this creative team is announced.

I read the latest issue and turned a corner. Waid is off the book and Tom Peyer has taken over. Freddie Williams II is still the artist, and he’s doing a pretty good job, I think. I like the way he shows superspeed. But, I realized this issue that Tom Peyer really gets Mark Waid’s Flash Family idea. Waid called him “probably the best writer out there that no one knows about” and I think that he’s absolutely right.

A couple of things turned me around on Peyer. Not that I disliked him or anything, don’t get me wrong– if I didn’t like him, I would’ve quit buying Flash. But, I didn’t love his work on Flash.

The first thing that made me turn was when I realized that he did a really fun Jack Kirby homage in #241. When looking to pay tribute to Kirby, most people go for the typical– Kirby Krackle (or Dots), a guest appearance by a Kirby creation, or something like that. Something really obvious and unmistakable. What Peyer did in #241, though, was something entirely new to me– a Kirby dialogue homage. See for yourself:

A lot of Kirby’s dialogue was clunky and cluttered, but he did one thing that really stood out to a lapsed English major like myself. He used quotation marks like they were going out of style. Peyer bringing that back for a page, plus the Kirby-style dialogue and terms (Negatonin? Brother Drive?) were really nice to see. It’s the kind of thing that’s unobtrusive if you don’t get it, and dorky fun if you do.

The other thing is less of a one-off gag and more of a theme for the series. Basically, it’s about the terror inherent in starting, and maintaining, a family. From what I’ve seen, parenthood is pretty much equal parts joy and sheer brain-curdling terror. Your kid smiles and it makes your day. He busts his lip and you’re suddenly thinking about maybe buying a cushioned bubble, organic food, and a bodyguard.

I’m big on family in comics. This should be old hat by this point, honestly. I love seeing it done well and have an irrational hatred of it being done poorly. I have straight up stopped reading books because of a character doing something stupid with regards to their family. I will write endless paragraphs about how characters are jerks for being jerks to their family. Maybe I have a complex, I dunno, but it counts for me.

Peyer’s Flash gets it right in a few short pages. Flash has always had a strong element of family to it, and now it’s been cranked up to eleven. The best parts of this issue aren’t the fighting, which there isn’t a lot of, anyway. It’s the dialogue between Iris and Jai about their shortened lifespan and their shared moment. It’s Wally’s pure terror at the thought of losing his kids, and willingness to put that aside to let them live the life they deserve. It’s the Flash Family racing to go do good. It’s the uncertainty of a man who has fought the worst mankind has to offer and still worries about his kids. It’s of a parent having to put on a happy face when he’s gripped by fear.

In a way, isn’t the fear that your children will grow up too fast a common one for parents? That you, and they, won’t get to enjoy their childhood before they enter the terrible world of adults? That’s this, but filtered through a superheroic lens.

It’s even more interesting since it’s been filtered through Wally. We’ve had the benefit of actually seeing him grow up over the years, from Kid Flash to Flash to Father. He’s easily seen the most character growth of the big name characters in the DCU. Sure, Dick Grayson went from Robin to Nightwing, but the biggest difference there is that he lives in a different city now, he wears pants, and he’s six inches taller. A super-family means super-problems, and Wally’s got to deal with that.

Look at all the changes Wally went through in comparison. He went from being the kid sidekick to the hero with no self-esteem to the petulant hero to the seasoned hero to the stuck-up hero to a hero with kids. It’s been an interesting evolution, and I kind of hope that Barry coming back isn’t just going to leave him by the wayside.

I like the kids. I like the conceit of them randomly aging. I like Wally suddenly having a very real weakness. I like Linda having to become an overnight expert in high velocity biology. I like the Flash Family. It’s interesting and engaging.

It’s a very un-DC comic, I think. DC Comics about imperfect heroes tend to be about mind-bogglingly huge things. Superman in For Tomorrow, John Stewart in Mosaic, Hal Jordan and Coast City, Green Arrow and his stupid city getting invaded by demons or whatever… all very large scale and very enormous. They are more like challenges, rather than continuing imperfections. After Barry died, Wally was the hero who felt he was owed the world. It’s nice to see that Peyer is continuing the trend of Wally being very realistic in a certain sense.

So, yeah, Peyer has me on the hook. What sucks is that Peyer has two issues left before the (very capable!) Alan Burnett comes onto the book for “This Was Your Life, Wally West.”

Better luck next time, I guess. Hopefully I’ll get a nice trade out of this arc to go along with the Mark Waid HC in August.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


7thletter! is in effect

May 2nd, 2007 Posted by Gavok

As you may have noticed, David “hermanos” Brothers is off finding a place to live in San Francisco. As I type this, I wonder if I should go for the more classic Northstar reference or just keep it current with something about Wiccan and Hulkling. It’s too late now.

With hermanos gone and Wanderer on a never-ending quest to find a soundtrack that perfectly syncs up with the movie the Stupids, that leaves me in charge. Sure, I could post a series of crappy Photoshops or talk about some comics you don’t care about, but it isn’t that simple. With hermanos’ absence, I have to fill in the void. It’s like the latest She-Hulk arc, “Planet without a Hulk”, only I wouldn’t deny sleeping with the Juggernaut. Think of all the media appearances you can make with that on your record.

Now, then. Here are some posts I figure hermanos would make if he was here:

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Flash Fact: Absolute Cool

November 18th, 2006 Posted by david brothers

I’m not much of a DC fan. Not in comparison to Marvel, at the very least. I’ll admit this readily. However, Flash is one of the coolest heroes they have, sometimes even edging out Batman for the top spot. Flash is honestly one of the greatest heroes ever, full stop.

I think that the finest complete DC story is DC – The New Frontier. It oozes cool from front to back. I ordered the Absolute edition of it for my birthday, and it showed up yesterday. I haven’t read it yet, though I did skim the backmatter and annotations. I also skipped directly to one of my favorite spots in the book, a scene featuring Barry Allen springing into action. The first half of this scene is reproduced below.

dcnfpg40.jpg dcnfpg41.jpg dcnfpg42.jpg dcnfpg43.jpg
dcnfpg44-45.jpg dcnfpg46.jpg dcnfpg47.jpg dcnfpg48.jpg

(One of the annotations for this scene simply says “One of the biggest secrets of New Frontier… Captain Cold is Grant Morrison!” I am seriously loving that redesign, too, from the rings on down. Sharp work.)

I don’t like a lot of the Silver Age heroes. Jordan bores me to tears (though Gavok does have a very interesting take on him being Superman without a cape that he needs to write up), and after that, who’s left? Aquaman? Please. Red Tornado? Don’t even.

Barry Allen, and by extension Iris West/Allen, is pretty awesome, though. I can’t put my finger on why. He’s a forensic scientist with an investigative reporter girlfriend. He doesn’t play up the Clark Kent stumblebum garbage. Instead, he’s just late to things. What better alibi does the fastest man alive need? “Barry can’t be the Flash, he’s been late to every one of our dates!”

Funny bit of trivia: In New Frontier and the proper DCU both, Iris figured out his ID before he told her and just humored him. Barry talks in his sleep in the DCU, and, well, she’s an investigative reporter in NF. She’s no idiot.

If Barry is cool, Iris is, too. She’s the glue that holds the latest Flashes together. Barry’s wife, Wally’s aunt, and Bart’s grandmother. She gave Barry a reason to continue fighting the good fight, she gave Wally confidence, love, and support back when he needed it most, and she saved Bart’s life. Each of them would willingly die for her, and Barry even went so far as to kill for her.

She’s smart, she’s loved, and Iris Allen is, without a doubt, what Lois Lane dreams of growing up to be. Lois wishes she were this cool. She may be the most powerful man in the world’s greatest weakness, but she’s got nothing on Iris West, first lady of the Flash legacy.

Barry and Iris are one of my favorite comics couples. They work. There’s none of that stupid slapstick that pervaded the premarriage Lois & Clark relationship, nor any of the playboy drama that Bruce Wayne brings. Not to mention the blatant or implied infidelity that Ollie brought to the Arrow/Canary partnership.

I think my favorite part of the scene above is the bit where Barry defrosts Iris’s hand. “She’s okay! Just unconscious. I give her hand a quick thaw… I grab a little sugar… and now for the tough guy who shoots at women.”

“I grab a little sugar.” That’s dope. That’s actually better than the bit that Johns had in his run on Flash, where Jay Garrick tips his metal hat and smiles at each person he saves.

Flash Fact: Barry and Iris are cool as ice. So is New Frontier.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Publisher for a Day: DC Comics

October 13th, 2006 Posted by david brothers

I’ve seen this in various places (specifically BSS and Newsarama) and I figure it’s worth a bit of wider notice.

You’re publisher at DC for a day. You can change three creative teams, create three new books, and cancel three to make room for the new ones. What do you do? Show your work.

New Teams

Wonder Woman

Heinberg isn’t working for me. In fact, I hate it. His book reads like he’s finally got a chance at the character, so he’s going to throw in every stupid trope ever. The Dodsons are pitch-perfect, however, so they can stay. The new team would be Joe Kelly and The Dodsons. Kelly was the one writer on JLA who made me genuinely and truly like Diana, so he deserves another crack at her. His Diana was a warrior and generally awesome. I’d like to see his treatment of her post-Crisis. If the Dodsons are unavailable, I’d love for Doug Mahnke to take another shot at drawing the Maid of Might Princess of Power Thunder from Down Under— does WW have a catchy subtitle? Mahnke’s “wet-hair Wonder Woman” (so-called by one Thomas Wilde) is the best version of her I’ve ever seen. It worked.

Teen Titans

This book has been crazy downhill for ages and DC needs something relatively childsafe. Put Daimon Scott and Skottie Young on art and let Ty Templeton write. Ty’s old work on Batman Adventures was better than a lot of the more mainstream bat-stories. He can bring kid-friendly stories with adult sensibilities to the table, and Scott and Young bring some hyper-expressive and awesome art… let ’em go wild.


Meltzer’s run has been wack, just like Heinberg’s on WW. Replace Meltzer with… hm. I’d say replace him with Dwayne McDuffie. He definitely knows the JLA well enough to do a rocking job. Give him Doug Mahnke on art because I love Mahnke. If not Mahnke, make it Justiano for some bright and shiny superheroics.

New Books


The creative team would be David Brothers and Gavin Jasper Geoff Johns on words and Karl Kerschl on art. The idea came from something that Mr. Gavok and I bounced around one night over IRC. Here’s the angle:

Bart Allen, Flash, is in trouble. Gorilla Grodd not only has him on the ropes, but is inches away from killing him. He’s groggy, and Grodd has telepathically turned off his access to the Speed Force and the calming words of Grandpa Barry, Wally, and Max. In short, Bart is in trouble deep. His heart sinks as he hears a voice begin speaking.

“Barrrrrrt Allen. Flaaaash.” The voice pauses. “Fastestmanalive.”

It’s Zoom. Wally’s worst enemy and a man who gave Bart nightmares. He flashes into and out of visibility and time. He is directly in Bart’s face, at his side, and below him, studying him. Grodd laughs and welcomes his comrade. He doesn’t even see Zoom turn before Zoom is right in his face.

“GorrillaGrrrrrrrrrodd,” Zoom says. “Monkey.” Grodd’s face falls and twists in anger.

What happens next can only be described as a dismantling. Zoom takes Grodd apart, shattering almost every bone in his body and putting him out like a light. He turns back to a shocked Bart.

“Hunter Zolomon. Zzzzzzoom. Fastestmanalive. Show me how tobeabetter herrrrrro.”

(I swear, I didn’t do this blog post just so I could post that. Well, not totally.)

After the Crisis and Rogue War, Zoom realizes that he has no one to blame but himself for his troubles. He was not the hero he thought he was, and he lost his wife because of it. He turns to the one man left alive who he can connect with, Bart Allen, Flash. Zoom is going to become a (better) hero and he’s going to learn at the feet of a man who is tied to a heroic legacy, whether he wants to teach him or not.

Fourth World

The team is Grant Morrison and Walt Simonson trading back and forth on writing chores, while Jamal Igle and Walt Simonson handle art chores. I think that working from a Morrison or Simonson script could push Jamal, an already incredible talent, into the stratosphere. Morrison and Walt are the only two who have shown themselves able to properly handle the Fourth World, anyway, so give them the book, let them go wild, and keep Byrne away from it. I see this as a kind of antholgy title, with an A story and a B story, both of which are 16 pages long and written by either Grant or Walt. I want some bright and shiny and incredible Kirby, and those two are the ones to do it.

Gotham Confidential

This would be another anthology, this time starring Slam Bradley, Jason Bard, Eel O’Brian, and Harvey Bullock, or perhaps Montoya depending on how 52 shakes out. In short, the supporting cast of Gotham City. The writers would be Brian Azzarello, David Lapham, Darwyn Cooke, and Will Pfeifer. I’d like to see a rotating team of artists, from Cooke to Lapham to Eduardo Risso to Kano to maintain the noirish feel. Total vanity title here, guys.

Cancelled Books

Outsiders: Wack.
Green Arrow: Wack.
Flash: The Fastest Man Alive: Just so-so, but my idea is better and builds out of this series, so it has to go.

(DC, seriously, I would write ZOOM for free holler at a brothers man c’mon)

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Flash Fact: JLA #89

September 3rd, 2006 Posted by david brothers

Your Flash Fact for today comes from JLA #89, with words by Joe Kelly and art by Doug Mahnke. For context, Fernus the Burning has sent a nuclear bomb into North Korean airspace. The city of Chongjin is about to catch a bad one… but the JLA is on the way. More specifically, The Fastest Man Alive.

JLA89pg01.jpg JLA89pg02.jpg

There’s a lot to like about this two page scene. I think my favorite touch is that the gold on Flash’s outfit glows and smokes different from the red. It’s just really cool, and fits with the red and gold blur that he gives off when he’s speeding. The cracked and glowing ground is also good, as is his speed lines on the first page.

Flash running these folks to 35 miles out is a good idea. That should be far enough away that you aren’t blinded by the blast, though some eye damage is definitely probably, and you’re also out of range of the deadliest radiation.

To be fair, though, him having done this in .00001 microseconds puts him so far beyond the speed of light as to be utterly ridiculous. Wally traveled 70 miles, round trip, at least 250,000 times. That’s the equivalent of 17,500,000 miles, also known as a hair over 3/4 of the way from the Earth to the sun. He ran a total of 17,500,000 miles in one hundred-thousandth of a microsecond. Multiply that by one hundred thousand to get the distance he can run in one second, and then that by sixty by the distance he can run in one minute, and then that by sixty again to get his mph. I got 6,300,000,000,000,000,000,000mph. 6.3 sextillion miles per. That’s 34,054,054,054,054,054 times the speed of light. And that’s if I lowball it and say he always carried two people at once.

That’s a little suspension of disbelief stretching, but I still love this scene. It’s a great show of what Flash can do, and also of how to keep your mind open when you’re reading superhero comics. People are going to do impossible things. Spider-Man would rip whole chunks out of buildings, Superman would suck all the oxygen out of your lungs when he zooms by, and Batman would get shot in the face and die. Comic physics let them get away with these things. You’ve got to keep an open mind. Is Flash overpowered? Probably, but if we can get scenes like this, I’m all for it. I bet that before I explained how fast he was going, 90% of you thought, “Wow, that’s cool!”

That’s tights’n’fights. That’s the Flash.

Flash is awesome. That’s a Flash Fact.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon