Guide to the Injustice Roster: Explaining Comics to People Who Don’t Read Comics Part 3

April 3rd, 2013 Posted by Gavok


Alias: Barry Allen?
First Appearance: Showcase #4 (1956)
Powers: Fastest dude ever, heals quickly, can vibrate himself through matter, can vibrate into different realities, with the assistance of the Cosmic Treadmill he can travel through time, is able to lend his powers to others
Other Media: Appeared on many cartoons, had his own live-action TV series in the 90’s, appeared on Legend of the Superheroes (a failed Justice League spinoff of the 60’s Batman show) and the live-action Justice League of America TV movie, was kind of a big deal in Daddy Day Care

Warning: the history of the Flashes involves some time travel fuckery and in a lot of these cases, I’m just as confused as you are.

The Golden Age Flash was Jay Garrick. Maybe five people care about him and they’re all mad I just said this. Moving on.

Barry Allen (you know, from Catch Me If You Can) became the Flash in the 50’s. He was a forensic scientist who got splashed with chemicals while being shocked by lightning. That gave him the powers to run super fast and he decided to be altruistic with it, naming himself the Flash after his favorite comic book hero. He garnered one of the best rogues galleries in comics, got himself a sidekick in Kid Flash (his nephew Wally West, who got his powers in a similar way) and a fiancé in Iris West.

One of his villains was Professor Zoom, who looked identical to Flash except for having a reverse color scheme. Zoom was from the future and had powers and an appearance that were just like Barry’s because he was a huge Flash fanboy who went insane. Jealous of Flash’s relationship with Iris, Zoom killed her by vibrating his hand through her head. Barry tried to move on and later got engaged to another woman, but when Zoom attempted to meddle in that, a threatened Flash ended up breaking his neck and killing him. Flash was put on trial for murder and it got really weird because it turns out Iris was really from the same future era as Zoom and she was alive there somehow, so he ran to the future and spent some time with her.

Flash returned to the present during the big Crisis on Infinite Earths event. It’s there that he faced down the villain Anti-Monitor and ran circles around his big world-destroying master weapon, destroying it via vortex. The stress on running faster than he had ever run and being unable to let up tore Flash apart and caused him to painfully decay as he powered on, screaming that he had to save the world one last time. He ruined Anti-Monitor’s plans, but at the cost of his own life. Kid Flash discovered the empty red tights – the only thing that remained of Barry – and swore that he would take up the mantle and make him proud.

Read the rest of this entry �

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


Brave New World; Bold New Direction: Week 2

September 12th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

DC’s experiment of desperation goes full blast this week. Instead of going out with the old and in with the new with only two comics as of last week, we have thirteen new #1s to play around with. Naturally, I bought all thirteen for my own little experiment. As I stated last week, I used to read a lot of DC only a few years ago, but over time they almost completely lost me. Now I want to give them a new chance and see how their 52 jumping on points fare by the end of six months of story.

Alphabetical order works, so we’ll begin with Action Comics #1 by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales. Couldn’t really ask for a better way to start. A couple years ago I read through a collection of old 1930’s Superman newspaper strips that featured less of Superman fighting robots and more of Superman standing up for the little man. Considering how unbeatable he was at the time regardless of who he was fighting, there was more enjoyment and will fulfillment in those down-to-earth adventures. I like getting to see a modern take and Morrison’s the best choice for it. He’s already said all there is to say about the previous incarnation of Superman with All-Star Superman and now he gets to go at it from another angle.

It’s fresh and it’s fun. Any shadiness from seeing him play interrogator is undone by his absolute glee in everything he does and the “oh shucks” way he interacts with the people he helps. Luthor comes off as menacing, Lois has her trademark death wish for the facts and the only real drawback is the occasional weird Morales eyes.

It’s a new world in the DCU, so time will tell what Superman will develop with and what he’ll develop from. Either way, I’m definitely sticking with this one for the foreseeable future.

Read the rest of this entry �

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


Promise you’ll be merry!

June 30th, 2010 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

I think that, over the last few years, I’ve had the same emotional journey with Oliver Queen as most of his love interests did.  It added a little meta to the experience of reading.  I went from being charmed, to really enjoying the fun, to wishing he hadn’t just done that, to wondering why he kept doing that, and finally it came time to toss his ring on the floor and stride out.

I was pretty much done with the book, despite remarking to David that the funny, magical forest in the middle and Green Arrow as a direct Robin Hood metaphor was right up my alley until I saw the last page of Green Arrow #1.

Read the rest of this entry �

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


Rise of Arsenal: Who Cares?

May 28th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

I wrote up this short piece on how JT Krul and Geraldo Borges’s Rise of Arsenal got the way heroin works wrong. While proofing before posting, I realized that I didn’t care enough to post it. Rise of Arsenal got everything you can get about heroin wrong, including how to freebase and the effects of the drug. It’s lazy and stupid and pointless. My post was going to be called “Rise of Arsenal: Wynken, Blynken, and On the Nod” which is some kind of perfect storm of stupid and amazing, but no–not worth it. Rise of Arsenal is lazy and stupid and doesn’t even have a villain. There’s no conflict beyond “Will Roy Harper shoot up?” I can’t even get mad about it.

Instead, here’s something I posted three years ago. I think it still applies.

Read good comics instead of getting mad about bad ones.

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


Iconic or Generic: The Green Arrow Preview

May 26th, 2010 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

Anyone who has picked up a DC book in the last few weeks has seen the preview for the upcoming Green Arrow series.  It’s technically perfect.

A woman runs alone at night through a moodily-lit, nearly-deserted city.  A gang of men follow her.  They’re wearing outfits that wouldn’t mark them as especially threatening in real life, but in comics are basically thug suits – black leather jackets and boots, with patches of their hair shaved.  This type has been causing trouble for women in moodily-lit cities since the thirties, and will probably continue causing trouble for them in the twenty-second century.

The woman keeps running, coming to a wooded area.  The men behind her shout crude, insinuating, but PG-rated threats, their intent unmistakable.  Eventually one of them catches her.  Escape is impossible.  All is lost.

Suddenly, something knocks him off of her!  A voice calls out in the darkness.  Enter the hero.

Like I said, the technical perfection of the sequence is obvious.  There is even some subtle detail work that clues the reader in on the state of things in the city.  For example, the woman being chased runs right past a police station without even trying to go in.  Clearly, the law isn’t being enforced in that city.

Don’t even pretend that that sequence, older by far than comic books, doesn’t draw in readers.  It hasn’t stuck around because it’s useless.  It’s a situation that is recognizable, horrible, and yet comforting, because any reader knows that it’s a set up for the hero’s entrance.  There isn’t a doubt in anyone’s mind that the hero will make an entrance.  It’s a set up for an iconic hero, and DC does well with iconic heroes.

The trouble is, it’s the set up for any hero.  Any hero at all.  You could paint over Green Arrow on the first splash page and no one would be the wiser.  As previews go, this one is giving us a hero, but it isn’t giving us any hero in particular.

Some readers will have noticed that I’ve been struggling with the Green Arrow book for the past . . . ever.  I think that if I could just accept that the book isn’t ever going to go in the direction I hoped it had, Robin Hood and his Merry C0-Heroes, I might just enjoy the solitary Oliver Queen in his urban forest.  At the same time, throwing away every other Arrow in for this guy, who is interchangeable with any other hero in the DCU, it seems like a bad trade.

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


Tim O’Neil Needs An Eisner

March 19th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

I’m calling it: Tim O’Neil wrote the review of the year with his review of the whole Rise and Fall and Rise of Green Arrow and Red Arrow Merry Christmas crapfest. A quote:

regardless of your best intentions we all get kind of rudderless and wish we could depend on some rock-jawed daddy figure like Hal Jordan to tell us what to do but really Hal Jordan is and has always been a douchebag and his rebelliousness never struck me as particularly principled so much as just erratic and kind of willful

There’s so much more love to be found over there, so click through and read the whole thing. It’s all true.

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


And keep them heels off my whitewalls, girl, dang!

December 28th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Check out this cover by Jim Rugg.


Dope, right? Jim Rugg is crazy talented. He has a comics set on Flickr, so go and look at more of his pieces there.

And tune in this time next week for something special. Gonna kick off 2010 with a bang.

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



November 30th, 2009 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

I keep buying one issue of Green Arrow and Black Canary and then dropping the book for the next few issues, and then picking it up again.

I have a fondness for Ollie.  I like Mia.  I liked Dinah better in Birds of Prey, but, what the hell.  You take what you can get.  And of course I like Roy, who is like Ollie but not quite as much of a jackass, except to Nightwing, who seems to bring out his jackassery.

But the book has been nothing but misery and more misery for years on end, now.  I want to see a happy superhero team having fun in Star City and it’s less and less likely that that’s ever going to happen.  And don’t even get me started on Cry for Justice.

Are there any books out there that you waffle on?  What makes you drop them?  What makes you pick them up again?

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


And Suddenly I Feel Returning Interest in Green Arrow/Black Canary

September 16th, 2009 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

Cut for spoilers. Read the rest of this entry �

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


Fourcast! 06: Character Continuity Clash Comics!

July 6th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Fans of our Continuity Off, or insert your favorite term for the bit where we talk about how dumb certain comics characters are here, are gonna be super happy at us after this Fourcast.

-Theme music? 6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental
-Special guest? Jeff Lester of Savage Critic(s)
-Characters? Green Arrow vs Hawkeye
-What’s it lead to? Marvel vs DC

This is a fun one. Talking about the two premiere archers of the Big Two ended up dovetailing nicely into a conversation about the differences between the two universes, and a few of the similarities. We even get into dorky stuff like geometry.

As an aside– the webcomic I mention at the end of the cast is The Dark Cat’s Batman and Sons. It’s fun, and since I probably sound like a jerk when I mention it, I figured I’d at least link it so you’d know what we were talking about.

Bam! Back in two weeks, folks. Apologies for the short shownotes, too. I’m in Los Angeles taking a vacation from everything.

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