I can’t believe it came out 21 years ago.

§ January 12th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on I can’t believe it came out 21 years ago.

You know what I reread the other day, and had forgotten just how good it was?

The Flash #1 (June 1987) by Mike Baron, Jackson Guice and Larry Mahlstedt, that’s what. It just felt so refreshingly straightforward, simply dropping readers into the life of former sidekick Kid Flash Wally West, as he’s adjusting not only to his life as the new Flash, but also to his new limitations…top speed now only about 700 MPH, with a increased need for food to support his power, as shown here after a fight on a plane:

Wally’s lame (though, I suppose, sorta accurate) excuse always kills me in that sequence.

Also refreshing was this sequence, where Wally, in need of some income, negotiates a fee for delivering a heart for a transplant on the other side of the country:

You can understand where he’s coming from, but seeing one of the classic DC heroes actually insist on some kind of payment rather than doing it simply out of the goodness of his heart (er, so to speak) was quite surprising. And interesting.

Anyway, fun book, drily witty, with plenty of action presented so matter-of-factly the proceedings felt almost Dragnet-esque at times. However, you certainly got your seventy-five cents’ worth, with several Flash action set pieces and pages devoted to characterization…there’s a lot going on in just this one issue.

Plus, this series would be ideal for some extensive reprinting, as with the limited number of writers over the years and the more-or-less consistent progression of the character of Wally West over that time, it actually feels like you’re following a someone’s life rather than a corporate property handled by Diverse Hands in order to maintain the trademark. Well, yeah, the Flash comic is there to maintain the trademark, but the illusion of consistency in the stories is handled well, more so than most other superhero books.

I also just wanted to show you this bit of business from the first page of the second issue of The Flash since we’re all about to go Watchmen-crazy, what with that big movie coming out:

Watchmen in-house product placement. Enjoy, won’t you?

So now, I’ve got these old Flash comics on the reread pile. Because, you know, I don’t have enough new stuff to read, I have to reread old stuff. Hoo, boy.

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