Flash Bang

The Flash #9

I got dead bored with this title for a while but am gonna give it another shot as they’re starting the buildup to the big fancy “Flashpoint” crossover event. We start out with a character named Hot Pursuit — some kind of supercop driving a superspeed, time-traveling motorcycle — showing up in Central City looking for the Flash. Barry Allen, meanwhile, has been sent out to investigate the dead body of an old man wearing a superhero costume — specifically, the costume of the Elongated Man, though for some reason, Barry doesn’t recognize it. When the body’s fingerprints are identified, it turns out to be a local teen hero called the Elongated Kid. No one knows why a teenager aged into a 90-year-old corpse. On top of that, Barry is avoiding attending a “Flash family picnic,” and his wife Iris is unhappy at him for that. Finally, Hot Pursuit shows up again and busts a window in the crime lab right in front of Barry. When Barry chases him down, Hot Pursuit reveals himself to be (Spoiler Alert, if you didn’t figure out the extremely obvious reveal by Page 2) Barry Allen, trying to prevent “the single greatest time anomaly to ever threaten reality.”

Verdict: I think I’m going to go with a thumbs down. First, it irritated me that Barry Allen wasn’t able to recognize the Elongated Man’s costume — longstanding continuity, confirmed only a few short years ago by Geoff Johns himself, has established that the Flash and the Elongated Man have been close friends for years. It bugs me that Johns is such a sloppy writer now that he can’t even remember something he’d written not that long ago. Yeah, it’s just one small moment in the comic, but it annoyed me enough to completely ruin the rest of the story for me. I’ll give it another issue or two to try to draw me back in, but they better step up their game quick.

Batman and Robin #20

Dick Grayson attends a performance of Das Rheingold which gets disrupted when a guy dressed as an angel plummets 80 stories to his death on the red carpet. The guy’s wings were filled with some kind of glowing yellow substance and his fingerprints and footprints have been burned off with acid. While Batman and Robin are investigating the crime scene, they’re accosted by Man-Bat, covered with some kind of glowing white substance and shouting about screams that only he can hear. And then the glowing white bats show up.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Seriously weird story and starting out very, very interestingly. But I must say, my favorite part of the whole story is the very beginning, with Bruce, Dick, Tim Drake, Damian, and Alfred all settling down with popcorn and strawberry milkshakes to watch “The Mark of Zorro” on DVD. It’s a great, fun moment.

B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth – Gods #2

This issue is actually set at the same time as the previous issue, but told from the POV of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, and particularly with Abe Sapien as our focus. He and Andrew Devon have it out about the strong disagreements between the two of them over the last few months, the whole team reviews the situation in Texas, with an emphasis on Fenix’s ability to lead large numbers of refugees to safety, and they hear from a borderline crackpot named Professor O’Donnell, who theorizes that the monsters overrunning Texas were also responsible for the destruction of ancient Hyperborea. It all culminates where last issue did, in the ruined football field.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nice to see a little character development getting processed for Abe and Andrew, along with a little more backstory for the Texas situation.

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