Tag Archives: flash

Review: The Flash #40

theflash040That Convergence is coming is perhaps the most ironic for the Flash of all DC characters.  It was after all Flashpoint, the company wide crossover, that took the old DC into the new 52.  This crossover focused somewhat on Barry Allen and his attempt to stop the effects of the Reverse-Flash on destroying the continuity of the DC Universe, which had left millions dead and Earth without its true heroes.  The move left many series somewhat hanging as the abrupt cutoff forced some stories to be condensed and versions of characters to be erased.  It is now Convergence’s turn to exact this fate on this series, even if its effects are not as drastic.

This issue picks up where the story arc had left off.  Future Barry was on the verge of becoming a homicidal maniac by killing or maiming every villain that he had ever failed to catch, while present Barry was still stuck in the land of the Speed Force.  With the end coming, at least until June, it was time to wrap up this story and to move on, and this was done in this final issue before the break, only perhaps in an overly efficient way.  As with many stories condensed into such time frames, it feels as though the series would have done better with a couple more issues to deal with the heavier issues involved, but here they were disregarded in order to wrap up the plot.  The plot serves as a way to introduce a major villain as well as to reintroduce another, and even yet another that might be back at some point (though might simply be forgotten.)  In the process the two Flashes resolve their dispute in a spectacular way, and there is even some closure for present Barry.

If that seems like a bit much for one issue, its because it kind of is.  The series is not really well done by with this wrap-up, especially as this story arc started off with such an interesting concept, even if that concept was an abandonment of the focus put on science throughout the first three years of this series.  This is a wrap up but it leaves the character a bit too contained, with no stories to directly follow.  Two months of Convergence will dominate and it is likely that the Flash will figure in prominently, but for now this is left on a bit of a mediocre low.

Story: Robert Venditti and Van Jensen Art: Brett Booth
Story: 7.7 Art: 7.7 Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

Review: The Flash #38

tf38covAlthough a popular enough character in his own right, the Flash never seems to get the big fireworks when it comes to attention surrounding the character.  There are never big relaunches of the character, bestselling authors are never brought in to give the character better recognition and marketing rarely focuses on the Scarlet Speedster. Some of this is duly earned, as the appeal of the character is just as much there as it is for some of the bigger names at DC, even if the Flash is able to hold down a monthly title quite consistently.  What this means is that many of the stories for the character tend to go unnoticed, with the present story arc being an obvious example.

There are two main stories going on in the story arc, as future Barry Allen has pushed the present Barry Allen into the speed force, expecting him never to return.  This leaves future Barry Allen in the present eager to undo all the mistakes that he knows happened in the future.  This is the more gripping side of the story, as the usual deontological outlook of most heroes is thrown aside as future Barry looks for the greatest good, even if that means a somewhat brutal version of cleaning up his own past.  The other half of the story has been somewhat stagnant, as the Flash that we know has been stuck in the Speed Force, a strange land populated by dinosaurs and robots.  While this has failed to grip as tightly, it picks up a lot of momentum here as it provides some background for the setting before the heroes head out into the thick of it. It ends up being a mix of something like the series Manifest Destiny but being explored by steampunk time travelers.  Although it is only touched on here, it has good potentially to match the other half of the story in the coming issues if handled correctly.

The series continues here to show that it should not be as disregarded as it on the company level, or even by the entire medium.  As the only speedster that can continuously hold down a monthly series, there has always been something special about the Flash, and while the science is often not that hard, there is at least something to it when philosophy is mixed with science.  This series deserves a look by anyone looking for something a little bit outside the box when it comes to their superheroes.

Story: Robert Venditti and Van Jensen Art: Brett Booth
Story: 8.6 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

DC Universe Online Lightning Strikes

Some new downloadable content has hit the Playstation 3 for DC Universe OnlineLightning Strikes is Flash centric adventures and you can check out the video below to see what you’d be getting.  The content will run you $9.99.

52 Reviews, Part 4

So, for the fun of it, I collected all 52 DC #1 issues. And I’m offering up my final reviews of the entire group. Keep in mind, though, that I’m generally a Marvel fan and, while I’m working may way through DC’s recent big events, I’m only up through the middle of Countdown and I haven’t read any of DC’s non-event comics in a long time, so I’m coming at these stories with a bit of a disadvantage in terms of chronology and character knowledge. Since DC is certainly trying to attract new readers, though, this makes me come at them with a perspective similar to their hypothetical new fans… Tomorrow or the next day, I’ll have a post on my overall thoughts on the whole reboot.

All Star Western #1 (DC) – I was prepared not to like this too much. I liked Jonah Hex as a kid, but I hadn’t read it since then. And I generally don’t like anything Western. Add to the mix that Hex wears a Confederate uniform and is anti-science and anti-urban and there’s no reason I should’ve liked this. And yet I loved it. Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti tell a very well-written tale that incorporates Western tropes, Jack the Ripper, Sherlock Holmes and the mythology of Gotham City. It all fits together very well, although a possible turn with the villains of the story could upset me if it goes the way it looks. I could probably do without another dead hooker story, but since it’s a Jack the Ripper homage, I’m okay with it in this case. It’s hard to argue that Moritat’s art isn’t perfect and while I don’t usually notice color artists in comics, Gabriel Bautista’s work is good enough here to get a shout out.

Story: 9.5 Art: 10 Overall: 9.75

Aquaman #1 (DC) – Aquaman is a character I’ve never really liked. I bought all the jokes about how lame he and his powers were, so I never really paid much attention. Which played me right into Geoff Johns’ hands in this one. This is a funny comic book, maybe the funniest of the entire New 52. It makes fun of all of those jokes and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It also puts all of those jokes to rest and shows us that Aquaman isn’t the joke we think he is, he’s much more powerful than that. This issue also sets a new paradigm for the character and is a great way to re-introduce him to the world.

Story: 10 Art: 8 Overall: 9

Batman: The Dark Knight #1 (DC) – Hands down the Batman books are the backbone of the New 52. Every one of this is good to great and they give us a lot to look forward to. This is the worst of the bunch, but it is still readable, entertaining and looks good.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.5

Blackhawks #1 (DC) – My deceased father was a childhood fan of Blackhawks and he always talked about them, even into his 60s. They weren’t really ever around much in my comic reading days, so I was interested in giving this one a shot as a way to connect with my dad’s comic book tastes. I think he would’ve liked this one and I thank the creators for giving me that connection to my father once again.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men #1 (DC) – Another character I haven’t read much of since my childhood is Firestorm. The way the character(s) work here is quite a bit different, so far, than what I remember. The issue is pretty good and Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone do some pretty strong writing in terms of tackling stereotypes and race. I will say the ending to the issue left me a bit confused, but hopefully that will be cleared up next month.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25

The Flash #1 (DC) – This one was a bit of a spoiler for me, since I’ve only read major DC events up to Countdown. I had no idea Barry Allen was back. This is a pretty nice story with a good mystery and a pretty awesome last page. Brian Buccellato’s art is quite good, too.

Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.5

Green Lantern: New Guardians #1 (DC) – The Green Lantern comics have also been pretty strong across the board and this one adds to that. The story here is quite interesting and leaves with a pretty good cliffhanger that will definitely have me back next issue.

Story: 8 Art: 7 Overall: 7.5

I, Vampire #1 (DC) – Wow. That’s really the best word to describe this, which I think is the best issue of the entire New 52. And I generally hate vampire tales. But this one is so well-written and so beautiful that I am now officially hooked on this series. The plot has such a great apocalyptic feel to it that I find myself wondering if the old I, Vampire tales were quite this good. I don’t remember them ever getting to this level.

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10

Justice League Dark #1 (DC) – Magic tales are not usually my cup of tea, but DC seems to have been getting them right in recent years and this is no exception. Unlike most of the new issues, this one really is the start of something new and it is a good beginning that really makes me want more. There are some amazing visuals in this book, particularly the June Moone splash. Some of the dialog and text is superbly written as well, such as the line: “The reek of skinned babies and sliced eyeballs.” Man, is that creepy or what? There’s more where that came from.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

The Savage Hawkman #1 (DC) – No question this is the weakest book of the week. For one, I’ve never really been a huge Hawkman fan, but this issue is confusing, makes no sense at times (Hawkman starts off by shooting his old costume) and doesn’t look very good at times. It’s not terrible, but with all the other great comics DC put out this week, this one pales in comparison.

Story: 6 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.25

Superman #1 (DC) – George Perez re-introduces Superman here with a tale told in a throwback style with lots of third-person narration, a nostalgic tale of Metropolis’s history and a strong introduction to the themes and supporting characters in the series. Oh, and there’s some kind of epic battle with a fire-monster alien, too.

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

Teen Titans #1 (DC) – Another tale launching a new team with introductions to some of the team members, this one is entertaining and has a lot of potential. Scott Lobdell does much better here than on Red Hood, so much so it’s hard to believe this is the same writer as that crap. Red Hood looks even worse now that we see that Lobdell can write a strong female character (in this case Wonder Girl).

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Voodoo #1 (DC) – This issue conflicted me the most this week. After two weeks with controversies over female characters and their depictions as weak or nearly naked, it was disappointing to open this issue and see a half-naked stripper jump out at me. And then to see page after page of half-naked strippers for the entire issue. But Ron Marz shows that he isn’t writing as simplistically as you might expect. The opening page, as Brett pointed out to me, says “Are you ready gentlemen? Because this is why you’re here!” as if the near-nudity is meant as a tongue-in-cheek (no pun intended) thing and a slap at the fans who buy books for that purpose. But I kind of got the same feeling from this as I got from a story on Fox News where they condemn pornography while showing a clip from a porn movie. Marz does make sure to show us that the female characters in the issue are, at a minimum, intellectually, physically and even morally superior to the male characters (except for maybe the end of the issue where moral superiority drops off). This is definitely a comic where the female characters are the only characters that matter, but I wonder if that same point couldn’t have been made by having Voodoo work as a waitress instead of a stripper, since that would’ve fit the logic of the story just as well.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.5

Around the Tubes


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It’s Friday, Friday… and the reviews for this week’s comics are pouring out of other websites.  Check out what they had to say as well as the other news you might have missed.

Around the Blogs:

Arts Beat – For One Last Weekend, a Chance to See ‘Spider-Man’ 1.0Might be your last chance to see someone get injured.

Bleeding Cool – Movie Version Of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns In The WorksPlease, please, please let this not be untrue.

Con Coverage:

Comic Book Resources – Long Beach Comics Expo Announces Programming

Comic Book Resources – WC11: Friday Photo Parade

IGN – Kapow! ’11: Comic History Rewritten On The IGN Stage

Around the Tubes Reviews:

IGN – The Amazing Spider-Man #658

IGN -Batgirl #20

IGN – Batman and Robin #22

IGN – Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #517

IGN – Butcher Baker, the Righteous Maker #2

IGN – Cinderella: Fables Are Forever #3

ICv2 – The Comics: The Complete Collection HC

IGN – Deadpool #35

Comic Book Resources – The Flash #10

IGN - The Flash #10

IGN – Fraggle Rock #3

IGN – Hawkeye: Blindspot #3

IGN - The Incredible Hulks #626

IGN – inFamous #3

IGN - The Infinite Vacation #2

IGN – Iron Man 2.0 #3

IGN – Journey Into Mystery #622

IGN – Justice League: Generation Lost #23

IGN – The New Avengers #11

IGN – Secret Warriors #26

IGN – S.H.I.E.L.D.: Infinity #1

IGN – Starborn #5

IGN – Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier Annual #1

IGN – Superboy #6

IGN – Superman #710

IGN – T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #6

IGN – Ultimate Comics Avengers vs. New Ultimates #3

IGN – Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #157

IGN – Uncanny X-Force #7

IGN – Uncanny X-Men #535

IGN – X-Men Legacy #247

Comics Alliance – Digital Comics Weekly: Five Comics You Should Be Downloading

Comic Book Resources – The Buy Pile

IGN – Comic Book Reviews for 4/13/11

Around the Tubes


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It was new comic day yesterday, so that means a lot of reviews.  There was a kick up of news as well.  Catch everything you might have missed below.

Around the Blogs:

Library Journal – ACRL 2011: Laying the Foundation for a Graphic Novel Collection in an Academic LibraryIt’s a popular topic for librarians.

ICv2 – Michael Clarke Duncan to Voice Kilowog?I can hear the voice matching the character.  It could work.

Robot 6 – Warner Bros. dealt a setback in Superman legal battleIn the ongoing legal battle to the rights of Superman, a judge decides Warner Bros. doesn’t get to see a document.

Kotaku – Infamous, The Dark Phoenix Saga And A Guy Named SpencerKotaku looks at this week’s comics as well as a few that may be of interest to video game fans.

Con Coverage:

Solano Tempest – Geeks rejoice at WonderCon’s 25th anniversary

Bleeding Cool – VIDEO: Kapow’s Guinness Book Of World Records Attempt

Around the Tubes Reviews:

Comic Book Resources – Butcher Baker, The Righteous Maker #2

Good Comic Books – Journey Into Mystery #622

Bleeding Cool – Journey Into Mystery #622 and Flash #10

Bleeding Cool – Ultimate Comics Avengers Vs New Ultimates #3 and Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #157

Seattle PI – Western Classics

Complex – The Best Comics This Week: Thor, Hellboy, Hulk, and More!

Comicvine – Comic Book Reviews For The Week of 4/13/11

Pick of the Week – Secret Warriors #26


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It’s a new week of comics and there’s a lot of thinking as far as what the pick of the week should be.  This week the honor goes to Secret Warriors #26Jonathan Hickman‘s run has been a slow epic and I have no idea what to expect as it wraps up.  It looks like there’s some ties to S.H.I.E.L.D. and I’m sure there’ll be some long running repercussions knowing Hickman’s writing.

  1. Secret Warriors #26 – See above.
  2. Flash #10 – Flashpoint is coming and it’s clear it all starts with this series.  I’ve been really digging it, it’s the first DC series I’m absolutely sucked into.
  3. “X” Books – Uncanny X-Force, Uncanny X-Men and X-Men: Legacy are all out this week and each are on a resurgence of late.  With Schism coming, 2011 is looking like a banner year for the “X” line.
  4. Iron Man 2.0 #3 – War Machine is back and has a feel to make it stand out from the regular Iron Man series.
  5. Battle Chasers Anthology – It’s expensive, but if you have a bit of nostalgia, it’s worth it.  I’ve read it and am a bit saddened the series remains unfinished, but this brought back some great memories.