After the events of the last issue, this series finds itself dealing with not one, but two Barry Allens. After the unexpected confrontation to close the rift in time and space, regular Barry Allen gets thrown into the timestream, while the future Barry Allen is left in our own time stream. While the last issue left off with Barry being attacked by a dinosaur-like creature, this issue focuses mostly on the present-time as the future Barry Allen takes over the role of the previous Barry (time travel is confusing!).
This Barry Allen is a bit of a fish-out-of-water. Able to pass perfectly for the missing Barry, this character is forced into a “take your kids to work day” scenario with Wally, but proves inept at doing so, unable to find his way around the police precinct in most cases. While this is a humorous approach to the future-Barry, it leads quickly into some other deeper ideas, namely that of philosophical utilitarianism. Future Barry is back from the future, partially a broken man, but he aims to rectify that by eliminating the pieces of the puzzle that allowed crimes to happen. Unexpectedly this kind of time paradox “for the greatest good” concept pops up in this issue and is handled well. On the other hand the present Barry finds himself out of time, in what mostly feels like filler for this issue, though presumably his actions there will help to drive along the plot in a more meaningful way in future issues.
The end result is an issue which does a little bit better than most of the issue’s in this series. The overall level of expectation for the Flash is usually of an entertaining level, though not necessarily more, but with the added time paradox aspect of this issue the series takes a deeper (and darker) turn. The Flash is actually one of the series at DC Comics which benefits best from a more scientific approach, and as that is here, this issue is tapping into its own Speed Force.
Story: Robert Venditti and Van Jensen Art: Brett Booth and Andre Coehlo
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
The Flash goes up against Farooq aka Blackout, a metahuman who can harness electricity. During their battle, Farooq zaps The Flash and siphons all his electricity, leaving The Flash without his speed. Dr. Wells, Caitlin and Cisco work to reverse the effects on Barry, but their efforts are disrupted when Farooq comes banging on S.T.A.R. Labs doors in search of Wells, who he blames for his accident. Without Barry’s powers to protect them, the group must figure out a way to save themselves from the metahuman. Meanwhile, Tockman manages a coup inside the Central City police department and takes several people hostage, including Joe and Iris. While Iris is sure The Flash will save them, Eddie has a trick up his sleeve.
We’re not too far into the season and we’re already at the “oh my I’ve lost my powers” storyline. But you know what? It really works here! This episode has a bit of everything. There’s solid action, some good humor, and actual stakes. I had no idea what to expect, or who was making out of what. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed an episode this much since the debut, and this one might top it.
What’s interesting throughout all the episode is Wells’s insistence that Barry has to be the Flash, knowing that the future depends on him. But it also really emphasizes that not only did people gain powers, but also died when his experiment went wrong.
It’s also nice to see that Iris gets to stand up and save herself, instead of playing the damsel in distress she actually kicks some ass, getting herself out of a jam.
Overall, the episode was fantastic, with a little bit of everything for fans, and giving us a lot to look forward to for the season to come!
Overall rating: 9.5
We open up a brick and take a look at Wizkids‘ newest Heroclix release, DC Heroclix: The Flash. We show off what you can expect as far as figures, sculpts, and some of the new rules for this set.
This new set is out now, and you can order DC Heroclix Flash Boosters today.
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After a bomb goes off downtown, the army, led by General Eiling, rolls in and takes over the case, much to Joe’s surprise. Suspicious, Joe tells Barry that he and his friends at S.T.A.R. Labs should look into the army’s involvement. Wells informs the team that Eiling was experimenting on his men to turn them into super soldiers. Cisco confirms one of Eiling’s soldiers, Bette Sans Souci, was at the bomb site. The Flash tracks her down and realizes that she’s not setting off the bombs, she is a meta-human who can blow things up just by touching them. Meanwhile, when Joe learns Iris is writing about “the streak,” he tells Barry to make her stop. Barry realizes Iris won’t listen to him so he decides to have The Flash pay her a visit.
As a whole, this episode was the weakest of the series so far. Plastique is very much a throwaway character, not very memorable at all. The tension with the army is just ok. It’s all meh.
But, there’s some cool things here otherwise. Barry talks to Joe West who admits he knows Barry’s feelings towards his daughter. That’s a nice one to see, and also solid of him to tell Barry he should tell the truth about his feelings to Iris. That’s also interesting since Joe is very protective of her, and doesn’t want Barry as the Flash to hurt her.
The biggest thing this episode was the ending which shows the word Grodd on a cage, confirming we’ll see Gorilla Grodd some time in the future. That should be particularly cool, especially to see how they handle the special effects. It can be fantastic, or really cheesy, and who knows how the audience will react to it all.
Overall, some cool things here, but generally, the episode is a definite dip from all that’s come before. As can be expected, even the fastest man will hit a speed bump once in a while.
Overall rating: 6.75
HeroClix Fans! Wizkids has released the second DC HeroClix: The Flash video is finally here! Take a closer look at the new characters, dials and abilities with Scott Porter and Kevin Kiniry!
The Flash stops a robbery but the culprits get away after shooting a guard, and The Flash chooses to save the man instead of following the criminals. Joe shows Barry a book of suspects and Barry identifies Leonard Snart as the leader of the group. Snart revises his plan to steal the Kahndaq Dynasty Diamond and gets a boost when he gets his hands on a stolen “cold gun,” which could kill The Flash. Dr. Wells is furious when he finds out that Cisco built the cold gun without telling anyone and now it’s missing. Meanwhile, Iris is getting the silent treatment from Joe because of her relationship with Eddie. Finally, The Flash and Captain Cold have an epic confrontation.
The first that stands out about the episode is the humor of it. With Felicity back for the episode, there’s a cuteness that really grounds The Flash. It’s really cute, and put a smile on my face. That cuteness is balanced out with the seriousness about half-way through as the Flash and his team have to deal with the loss of a life (a civilian, so no big shocks). That mix of serious and lightheartedness really makes the episode, and series, stand out for me.
This episode is the debut of Wentworth Miller as Captain Cold, probably the most iconic of Flash’s rogues. Out of them all Captain Cold is absolutely my favorite, partially due to the fact he’s somewhat sympathetic. He has a clear set of rules, like to not kill unless they have to. But, here he ups the damage compared to previous villains. He goes out of his way to cause damage, and almost kills folks, which flies in the face of his rules.
Even better, the episode ends in a bit of a draw, and sets up Snart/Captain Cold as a big villain for the future. We’ll clearly get the full Rogues in the future, I’m crossing my finger it’s this season, and if the end is any indication, looks like we will! Can’t wait.
Overall rating: 8.5
It’s Monday and that means another dive into Facebook‘s data. This week I decided to do another multi-part study where I gather data now, and then will look at it again down the road. This week I decided to dive into the data concerning television shows based on comic book shows that are currently on the air and have debuted. I’ll again look at the data during the fall break, the spring launch, and then when the seasons are complete.
I think you’ll see the data gets interesting, and isn’t when I expected (some I did). Arrow has the strongest female following, while it’s sister show on The CW, The Flash has the least. We’ll see if that changes over the season. I also included the percent of the individuals in the coveted 18-49 demographic. The Flash is the best when it comes to the 18-49 demographic, while Arrow is the worst.
And that wraps up the latest edition of the Facebook Fandom Spotlight.
It’s new comic book day! What’s everyone looking forward to?
Around the Tubes
ICv2 – Movie Rights to Dash Shaw GN Acquired – Cool.
CBR – “The Flash” Gets Full-Season Order from The CW – Well deserved.
ICv2 – Interview with Lee and Didio – An interesting interview.
Around the Tubes Reviews
ICv2 – Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo
Comic Vine – Injustice: Year Three #4
Talking Comics – Wonder Woman: The Complete Newspaper Strip 1944–1945
As Barry and the team at S.T.A.R. Labs work to capture Kyle Nimbus a.k.a. The Mist, a dangerous new meta-human with toxic gas powers, they revisit the painful night the particle accelerator exploded and killed Caitlin’s fiancé, Ronnie. Meanwhile, Joe decides to finally visit Henry in jail after all these years, but things take a dangerous turn when Kyle shows up looking to punish Joe for arresting him years ago. Meanwhile, Iris and Eddie continue to hide their relationship from Joe.
Three episodes in and The Flash keeps running away as the freshest “comic” show to debut this year, might be why its been picked up for a full season.
Tonight’s episode introduces yet another meta-human for Barry to fight, but really the episode’s points are two other things. First, it addresses the fact that Barry could run into prison and grab his father. The second is the introduction of Ronnie Raymond. Why is he important? Well, fans of DC Comics will know him as the superhero Firestorm.
The episode is decent, not quite as strong as the first two, but like those first two it does an excellent job setting up what’s to come. We know there’s more Rogues, the Reverse Flash, Firestorm, lots for comic fans. The fact the show is able to do this in a fun package.
Yes the episode has issues, lets face it a vacuum could defeat the bad guy, but that’s not the point. This is a show that’s fun, and that’s something we need more of on tv.
Overall rating: 7.5
Barry escorts Iris to a university gathering honoring scientist Simon Stagg. When six gunmen storm the event, Barry changes into The Flash and tries to stop them. While he does save a man’s life, he passes out before he can capture the robbers, which frustrates him. As Dr. Wells, Caitlin and Cisco scramble to find out what’s wrong with Barry, Joe comes down hard on Barry for taking the law into his own hands and risking his life. Barry realizes that it wasn’t six gunmen but a metahuman named Danton Black, who can make multiples of himself. Meanwhile, Iris becomes even more intrigued by the “red streak.”
The premiere episode of The Flash caught me in its speed and fun. The debut was fresh, positive, entertaining, and most importantly fun. The series has a lot to live up to with such a solid start. The second episode isn’t quite as good, but it’s still a fantastic episode that continues along a solid path.
The second episode does really well in building off of the first one. It gives us an idea of the issues that Barry will deal with as he learns about his new powers. It fleshes out his relationship with Detective Joe West. It also has some fun with his balancing his secret identity with his work and social life. It also adds to the mysteries from the first episode as well as winks and nods for fans of DC Comics.
Two episodes in and the series is solid. It challenges The Walking Dead as the best “comic” television show out there right now. There’s something vibrant about it all, it makes me want to come back for more. A great second episode for a series that looks like it’s a can’t miss. I had high hopes for it, and it looks like it’s going to deliver, building on the success of what’s come before, just doing it with a positive and fun spin.
Overall rating: 8