Friday, April 10, 2009

Flash Back

Ah, revisionism. Younger or newer readers often get snowed by the DC press machine into believing that a character has "always been a certain way". Many readers, for example, would assume that Alfred's always had a biting dry wit. Not so; that characterization began entirely with Frank Miller. In fact, for the entire Golden and Silver Age, Alfred was pretty witless. Read old comics, people; there's a lot to learn from them.

It's come to my attention through recent conversations about Flash: Rebirth that there are a lot of people whose idea of what Barry Allen was like has been formed entirely based on the saint-like reverence of him by modern characters. Based on that impression, they've been objecting to how Geoff Johns has portrayed Barry Allen in Flash Rebirth. Well, I have news for you; odds are Geoff Johns has read more Barry Allen stories than you have. Odds are, he's read all of them.

"This no time for anything but crimefighting attitude isn't like Barry Allen at all."

"Barry was never such a hard-ass."

Here's Barry, who's a police officer, pressuring a lawyer to violate attorney-client privilege.

"Barry Allen believed in criminals reforming."

Here's Barry refusing to believe one of his foes has reformed, purely out of instinct, even though everyone else believes it.
Naturally, he was right. But that's not really the point, is it?

"Barry was never so humorless."

"Barry was a nice guy."

Here's Barry using superspeed to begin to incinerate an opponent; and laughing about it.
Look, I'm not saying Barry was a bad person. Of course he wasn't. Hey, I could easily post panels that show he enjoyed vacation with his friends, liked kittens, and was, in fact, a very good mentor to Wally.

But he was a rather serious policeman, with a no-nonsense approach to justice, and little inclination toward coddling crooks. Just because a character's stories are full of talking gorillas, giant insects, wacky villains, and absurd pseudo-science doesn't make the character a lighthearted jackanapes. In fact, Barry took all those goings-on deadly seriously. You may consider them crazy and funny in retrospect, but Barry Allen surely did not.

If you fact if you want a Flash who's fun, and light-hearted, and thinking all the wacky Silver Age is funny, well, then you want Wally West, not Barry Allen... .

P.S. Iris Allen was mean, and she and Barry were not the Most Perfect Couple Ever (tm).

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Things That Made Me Happy...

in my comics this week.

  • Why the Vega system is off-limits. Now I get it.
  • And let's hope that's the last we see of the Nightwing costume.
  • The Riddler noting things for ... future reference.
  • Clark Kent the farmboy knows how to deal with animals.
  • Flux capacitor humor.
  • So, I figure, since it's stated 100 times that that simply has to be Jason Todd... that it isn't.
  • The Controllers seem to have bitten off more than they can chew.
  • The Orange Lantern, however, does not.
  • Two-Face, as an actual crime lord, just like the old days.
  • I think I love Liana, too.
  • I wasn't ready for a Tiny Titans/Secret Six mash-up.
  • Wow; they really want us to buy the new Power Girl series, don't they?
  • Kind of surprising who wears Booster Gold's personal scent!
  • That's funnier than crowbars usually are.
  • I don't think I've ever liked Hal more than I did as he was sassing Ganthet this week.
  • What the Thought-Beasts can do.
  • The Riddler knows the Hymn to Aten. In hieroglyphs. I love him.
  • Good to know the Guardians notice little things like the formation of new planets populated by superpowered supremacists in already occupied solar systems.
  • Alfred states the obvious. But makes it look cool.
  • Well... I guess not everyone loves Skeets after all.
  • I am so glad that guy was dressed as Blackhawk.
  • If only there were a toll-free number to vote on Damian.
  • Even though it's a brief cameo in the 'wrong' book, Central City still looks like Central City.
  • Can the Artist Guild throw a party, or what?
  • Hey, now; that is the Penguin! Find the person who did me this favor... then kill them!
  • Ankh. Excellent.
  • "Insignificus" is the best name since the Sivana's last visited the Maternity Ward.
  • Labor Day on New Krypton!
  • I dunno; how bad can someone who tries to kill Damian be, really?
  • Heh. You just never know how they're going to sneak Streaky in.
  • Booster Gold's strategically ripped costume. And body.
  • Hey, Allura! Ya forgot to take out the anti-grav rollers!
  • Ouch. And right after Tim's face had just healed so nicely...

Monday, April 06, 2009

Pep 13: Scipio's Dream

"Doctor, I keep dreaming I live in an underground lair, with a giant organ and two green-skinned reptile men who wearing nothing but Speedos. And I'm wearing some kind of, well, a butterfly or moth costume, I can't tell which.

"Anyway, I'm packing up Joan Crawford carefully to ship her to Hollywood, I think, but there's this candle that's, um, I think it's also a, you know, a phallic symbol, and it's flaming on top, and it's jutting into toward her... No, really, out from her, I think like it's a strap-on or she's a pre-op, or something. Anyway, I having some trouble with the packing tape, which has gotten twisted, and into the dream burst a young boy, masked, who grabs a lizard man and shoves him butt-first onto my giant organ, and a strapping man, also masked, who grabs me roughly from behind and stops me from packing up Joan. And they both are dressed like an American flag and have flaming red hair atop, and kind of remind of the candle strap-on thing."

"Tell me, doctor; what does it all mean...?