Saturday, June 16, 2007

Back in a Flash!

While Flash enjoys some sweet sweet alien octopus love, let's chat about the latest instance of my being really really right. Smug, too, but that's a different subject.

As I mentioned here, I've thought for some time that the Lightning Saga (the Legion's current visit with the JLA and the JSA) is about bringing the Flash back to life (by that I mean Barry Allen).

What is nearly confirmed in this interview with Mark Waid?

Those who pick up the last issue of Flash: The Fastest Man Alive next week will get a big part of it there, and those who pick up the end of the Justice League/Justice Society team-up the same day, when it ships, will get another gigantic part of the puzzle right there too

I see! So the Flash, and the end of the title Flash: the Fastest Man Alive, and the restart of Flash at 231, all ties in to the Lightning Saga, eh? Well, whaddaya know.

When I heard about the new numbering and the return of Mark Waid to the Flash, I was worried that I was off the beam, that it was Wally that DC is bringing back.

Until I talked to Devon Who Erreth Not.

Devon reminded me that after Waid left the Flash, he said he "had said everything he felt he wanted to or could say about Wally West". Doesn't sound like he'd leap at the chance to write Wally West again, does it?

Ah, but writing Barry Allen... that would a different story. Many different stories, in fact. And it would explain why Waid had continued what other writers started, the thing that ruined Wally West as a character: tried to make him as much like Barry as possible. For me, it seemed no more believable than a boy wearing his father's clothes looks like an adult. The Wally West on the JLU was his own man and an interesting and loveable character; the one in the comics wasn't and he had left behind any hope of being that version of Wally West many years ago.

I'm no Barry Allen fanatic, nor a Wally-hater. This isn't one of those Hal-is-Great/Kill-Kyle-the-Pretender sort of things. But Wally got ruined by Linda Park and the Speed Force. Barry's been away for so long, he's got two huge and seemingly irreconcilable advantages: he's got great iconic and history power and he's a blank slate.

Barry Allen was a character before his time. Forsenic science wasn't sexy in the 1950 and '60s; nowadays it's half the shows on television. DC tried to turn Wally into Barry: the reporter wife, the freakish power level, the police job. They tried to turn Bart into Barry: the Allen name, the bookishness, the police scientist thing.

For pete's sake, just bring back Barry already. Then he can be the Flash and maybe, just maybe, DC can let Wally and Bart be themselves again: unique individuals whom we enjoy because they are different from Barry not because they are like him.

Then we might be able to enjoy the Flash Dynasty, in the same way we can enjoy the Superman Dynasty, the Batman Dynasty, the Green Lantern Corps, and the Aquaman---

Oh, that's right. Well, one thing at a time...


Yonatan said...

Did you notice also, there are going to be changes in the lineup of the JLofA!!!
Red Emos, Black Lightning and GeoForce might leave.


Siskoid said...

What was that about Flash? I'm sorry, I was distracted by the cosmic vagina/tentacle rape picture.

Oh yeah, Barry.

Your dynastic models have really influenced me, Scip. If I had to reboot the DC Universe (and I would have after Infinite Crisis... no more crossovers and in-continuity multiverse returns and whatnot, just a cold reboot), all the icons would have been returned to glorious dynastic purity. (And I'm a huge Wally fan.)

That would have meant Barry in the Flash role along with everything that made him iconic (late for dates, CSI, Rogue's Gallery, Central City, etc.) But I'm not gonna spend it all here, I think I'm gonna work on a post of my own on the subject.

Still, whatever I come up with, it will owe a lot to the dynasty concept.

Anonymous said...

Just throwing this out... what if they bring all the Speed Force dudes back... Barry, Wally, Max, and Johnny Quick? And they all merged together into an uber-Flash... kinda like that Mark Waid-penned megastory that has caused so many echos in current continuity?

That would kinda suck, wouldn't it?

Scipio said...

Very much so.

Rob S. said...

Merged characters are no fun.* No one can relate to them. You can't have a personal history if you're more than one person.

*Firestorm being the exception.

MaGnUs said...

I'm glad Mark Waid is coming back to the Flash, but I hate cancelling series after 13 numbers to begin a new #1....

Siskoid said...

A mini-series in disguise?

Scipio said...


"the restart of Flash at 231"

As I mentioned, Flash is not being restarted at #1.

TotalToyz said...

I'm no Barry Allen fanatic, nor a Wally-hater. This isn't one of those Hal-is-Great/Kill-Kyle-the-Pretender sort of things.

Just to go a bit off-topic here, I don't think Barry/Wally and Hal/Kyle can be compared at all. The situations were utterly different.

Barry Allen died as he lived, fighting the good fight and protecting the innocent, and his role naturally passed to the protege he had been training for years.

Hal Jordan started acting exactly opposite to 35 years of established continuity (so much so that DC eventually had to back-pedal on it), just to get him out of the way so that a younger, hipper dude could be given the ring.

Siskoid said...

That Hal was a Skrull though, so it doesn't count.

Nick said...

I think '_____ was a skrull' should be the new catch all explanation for out of character moments. 'A wizard did it' has run its course.

As for flash, I fear my 'flash multiball' theory I've been babbling aabout for months at my LCS is the right one, though I've been wrong in the past.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Reboot old, beloved heroes...what an amazing idea!

How do they come up with this stuff?

Scipio said...

By reading Aquaman.

Sleestak said...

Kingdon Come Flash? All the Flashies merged into one? DC seems to love the KC stuff all of a sudden.

Anonymous said...

I just want Barry back. Wally was always a pretender to the throne. The charcterization of him that I always got was an arrogant little brat and I never could shake that. And Bart, ugghhh.

I want nerdy Barry back just the same way I want my vicious Carter/Katar and my stupidly left-wing Ollie.

Anonymous said...

The announcement of "All-Flash #1" has me especially excited. Sure does sound like a couple of Flashes will be running around.

Wally is my personal favorite, just because I started reading when he was really coming into his own. I'm hoping to see him back, but we shall see.

Christine Smith said...

I do love Wally as Flash. And as Silver Age Kid flash. But really, why would the Legion of Earth-1 bring back Wally? He didn't have a relationship with them, did he? Whereas Barry went to live in their future, as I recall.

I'm a believer, Scipio. And I'm excited as hell to see him return! Jay will always be my favorite Flash, just as Alan is my favorite Green Lantern, but hell, how can I resist the silver age lineup on the JLA?

I'd actually prefer Wally stay MIA, and see Bart de-aged to Kid Flash, never to have his time in the red pajamas mentioned ever ever EVER again. And without any angstful trappings

Bill Reed said...

I loved Wally because of how Waid and his colleagues wrote him-- as a dude growing into his mentor's boots.

Barry was never interesting, so I'd hate to see him return-- which I'm sure he'll be doing. Bah.

Josh-2 said...

I don't think Bart should die, nor do I think he should be de-aged. Can't they simply send him into the future? I'm sure there's a version of the LOSH who would welcome a chance to work with a speedster on Bart's level.

Just get him out of the modern DCU. Now.

As for Barry... it's a dumb idea. Bringing him back basically kills the entire idea of the 'Flash legacy,' which was always something about The Flash that I could latch onto and enjoy.

What if this resurrected Barry Allen is from an alternate Earth, and not the one who we all know and feign interest towards? It's one thing for Wally or Bart to try and grow into their mentor's boots. Imagine if you really were a mediocre Barry Allen from Earth 27 (or whatever) and everyone around you expected to be the Barry Allen? Talk about pressure!

I trust Waid. I don't think they would bring the character back unless they had something genuinely interesting to do with him.

acespot said...

Magnus, you've been doing this a lot lately. A friendly word of advice: You need to start reading what people are ACTUALLY saying before responding to what you THINK they're saying.

Christine Smith said...

I just want there to be a Kid Flash, I suppose. This may sound contradictory after my defense of the New Teen Titans, but DAMN, do I love the Silver Age Titans!!!! I mean.... they fought a Killer Named Honey Bun in order to save a blond and blue eyed german boy from prosicuation from American brown shirt wearing racists! Robin lectured the kids of today about how the TRUE rebels respect their authority. And Wonder Girl grooved to a LOT of records, while being both the only girl AND the heavy-hitting powerhouse. Does it get better than that? So, I want there to always be a Wonder Girl, a Robin, a Kid Flash, a Speedy, and an Aqualad. So if not Bart as Kid Flash, than who? The son or daughter of one of Wally's twins from the 31st century? Heck, I dunno! But give us a Kid Flash! And an Aqualad! Or, hell, an AquaLASS, but gimme!

Luke said...

Scipio --

When I read the article on Newsarama and then the interview with Waid, I immediately thought about your theory regarding "The Lightning Saga." If it turns out that you are right, if I ever meet you, I'd very much like to shake your hand. Good call, dude!

Michael Strauss said...

That thing the Flash is fighting is like some dreadful amalgam of the nightmares of H.P. Lovecraft and Georgia O'Keefe.

If it turns out to be a different Barry Allen than the one that bit it in Crisis, then my vote is for it to be New Frontier Barry Allen, the guy who steals some sugar from Iris before stopping Grant Morrison from robbing another casino.

Teukro said...

"Barry Allen was a character before his time. Forsenic science wasn't sexy in the 1950 and '60s; nowadays it's half the shows on television."

Just had to say that this one here was a gem.

MaGnUs said...

Yeah, yeah.... I noticed later that there's 231 coming out... and I'm glad.