Monday, December 17, 2007

Or, Wally West as Played By Eddie Murphy

from volume 1, issue 1, mid-October 2007

The Flash #231-232 & All-Flash Special #1
Written by Mark Waid (who can do much better)
Drawn by Daniel Acuna (who… can’t.)

Hey. Hey. Hey. Mark Waid. Yeah, you, that Mark Waid. Hey. Hey.
I’ll tell you.
You flew to close to Continuity’s Red Sun, and you lost your powers. Okay, it’s not your fault that Linda and Wally had kids. That, we can place on the Atlas-like shoulders of Geoff Johns. It’s not even your fault that DC made the grave mistake of letting the two-year gap in DC continuity with no Flash be filled by a mysteriously super-aged Bart Allen (by the way, we’re still waiting for that explanation).
But giving Flash two sidekicks who aren’t even old enough to have the sex talk with yet? Giving them unnecessarily bizarre powers? Suddenly deciding that Linda nearly became a doctor, but decided to go with TV journalism instead?
Flash Fact: This is not The Nutty Professor 3.
Let’s start at the beginning. The Flash and his family disappeared as part of all the turmoil and craziness surrounding the Infinite Crisis hoopla of late 2005/early 2006. Bart Allen, formerly Impulse and Kid Flash, showed up a little afterward, having gone from age 16 to his early 20s in a matter of months. Don’t bother trying to apply anything remotely resembling the theory of relativity to this, you’ll just end up shirtless and crying on your bathroom floor. He ends up getting killed by his nemesis Inertia and a bunch of the old Flash’s Rogues Gallery, and something about the transfer of that energy, or whatever, brought Wally West and his family back into the present, to Earth.
I’m telling you, scientists: Young-Earth Creationists aren’t the ones to be afraid of. It’s English majors with a poor grasp of Newtonian Physics that are the real danger to society.
Okay, so Wally and Linda and their two kids are back on Earth. What’s wrong with that?
Well, first of all, they named their son Jai. Predictably, they named their female child Iris, after Wally’s aunt and Barry Allen (the Silver Age Flash)’s wife, Iris West-Allen. But instead of doing the boring thing and naming their son Barry, they call him Jai in a twisted “tribute” to Jay Garrick, the Flash of World War II. I can’t help but imagine Jay’s response being “What kind of frou-frou name is Jai? Are you trying to say you hate me, boy?” Seriously. You could have named him Ted, or Thom, even Carson—those are all names of both former DC heroes, and guys from Queer Eye. Even Kyan would have been okay, if not strictly canon. But Jai? You chose to name him after the most worthless Queer Eye guy? Did the Speed Force give you brain damage?
But enough about the name. There are plenty more veins of stupid left to tap in the mine.
Like the kids’ powers? Is it just me being drunk and jumping to conclusions, or does it seem sexist that the boy got superstrength and the girl got intangibility?
Or how about just letting them put on tights and fight aliens at the tender age of ten? I’m pretty sure Wally at least had a little peach fuzz going on in his boxers before he got struck by lightning and became Barry Allen’s favorite decoy. Don’t you think he’d be a little bit protective?
And speaking of aliens, how come Daniel Acuna can’t draw an alien that doesn’t look like a Pokemon with an engorged vagina where its face should be?
And finally, Linda West is suddenly a doctor qualified to treat the unique medical conditions that go along with being a small child with superpowers, when a few years ago she was a TV reporter? At least when the Broken Lizard guys replaced Landfill with his brother in Beerfest, they made fun of themselves for having a retarded plot twist. That’s what I’m afraid of: that I’ll get a job writing comics, and after twenty years I won’t be able to distinguish between stupid plot devices and jokes.
Which is what makes the new Flash series kind of like any Eddie Murphy movie in the past ten years: at this point, who’s to say what’s sincere and what’s farce? It’s all kind of above and beyond the call of ridiculous duty. Wally’s aunt might as well put in a guest appearance at the dinner table, clapping and chanting “Hercules! Hercules! Hercules!”

Rating: 2 Cups Gin & Juice.