Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Four Colour Glory - The Flash

By popular request (OK, well, there was one request for comics and one for films so, as the comics request came first, here you go), today's blog shall be comics related. So let's get cracking, shall we?

I've always been more of a DC reader when it comes to superhero comics. One of the differences between Marvel and DC is that Marvel heroes are, for the most part, always linked with their alter ego. Spider-Man is always Peter Parker, The Hulk is very definitely Bruce Banner, Wolverine is...well, you get the idea. DC tends to have a more generational aspect to it's characters. OK, not so much with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman (although Bruce Wayne is currently absent from under the mask) but more so with it's secondary characters. Heroes such as Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Starman and The Flash are almost badges of office held by different characters throughout DC's long history - a mantle that is passed from generation to generation.

Of these secondary heroes, the one that appealed the most was The Flash. The version I started reading, many, many moons ago, was the Wally West version - the third man to be called The Flash - and it was, in fact, alongside Batman, one of the first superhero comics I started reading. I think the most interesting thing to me was the generational aspect. Here was a hero trying to live up to the previous man to hold the title Flash (his uncle, Barry Allen), a man who had sacrificed his life to save the universe. What made it more interesting was that Wally didn't always do the right thing or make the right decision and that he could be occasionally petulant, arrogant or even unlikeable at times. Over the years, he matured and developed from the doubt-ridden young upstart into a dedicated family man.

It's an unusual amount of development for a superhero, particularly as most long-running titles tend to prefer their heroes to remain reasonably unchanged in order to draw in new readers. The only disappointment is that in the last couple of years, they seem to have been unsure where to go with the character and now seem to be throwing him somewhat unceremoniously aside for a resurrected Barry Allen in the latest series The Flash: Rebirth (as this is comics, death is never really very permanent although at 23 years dead, he's had a pretty good stab at it). I'm sure he'll stick around as a supporting character but it seems that Wally West's time as The Flash is pretty much done and I for one will miss him.

Recommended Reading:-
The Flash: Born To Run by Mark Waid
The Flash: The Return Of Barry Allen by Mark Waid
The Flash: Blood Will Run through to Rogue War by Geoff Johns

1 comment:

Brandy Rose said...

You might be happy to know, there may be a Flash movie in 2011.