Wednesday, November 30, 2005

"Wheeee! I'm the Flash!!"

Courtesy of Crisis/Boring Change -

Your results:
You are The Flash
The Flash
70%
Robin
65%
Spider-Man
60%
Hulk
60%
Green Lantern
50%
Iron Man
30%
Batman
30%
Catwoman
25%
Wonder Woman
20%
Supergirl
20%
Superman
20%
Fast, athletic and flirtatious.
Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...

I could only be happier if it was the Barry Allen Flash. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm no DC purist. I don't curse the name of Kyle Rayner. Heck, I'm the first to admit that characters can become stale after a time, if they're not given the attention they deserve. I even liked the "Four Superman" thing they did after Doomsday offed Supermullet. (well, liked might be too strong of a word. I enjoyed the Superboy stuff and thought the rest was okay)

But the Flash is different to me. My formative comic-book reading memories involve buying the Trial of the Flash issues right off the stand at the drugstore on the corner. I remember being absolutely riveted by the isue in which the JLofA vote on whether to allow Barry to remain a member. Even with the Infantino art, which I love now but creeped me out as a kid, didn't stop me from devouring those issues. I even managed to amass a nice little collection of Flash back issues, including the great mindf**k issue #300.

And then they killed him in Crisis. I was completely blown away. How do you kill the Flash? To my pre-pubescent incarnation he was the greatest super-hero that ever pulled on tights. Still, dead he was, and dead he remains.

Wally West quickly took up the mantle. I think this was a great move in a lot of ways: it introduced the concept of a "legacy hero" to the DCU, it started the cohesion of the Flash Family (a concept that Mark Waid really went to town on), and it resulted in the development of a character who has become one of the mainstays of the super-hero community.

Wally, through time, attention ,and inclusion in the animated properties, has effectively become the Flash. In fact, many younger readers probably have no more than a vague idea of who Barry Allen was. He has taken on the role of Thomas Wayne in Wally West's origin. He had to die, in order that Wally be allowed to take up the mantle. He's even become something of a running joke in the JLa (i.e. "Barry never yelled when things didn't go his way").

I think the ursurping of the Flash role by Wally is interesting, and I certainly don't think Barry Allen should return to the DCU. Ever. But still, when I think of the Flash, that's who I think of. The blond flat-top Police scientist. And that's the Flash I'd want to be.

Even if he was a square.

4 Comments:

Blogger kelvingreen said...

I'm not a DC reader. Their characters come across as too stuffy and straight-laced for my liking. But the Flash? Yeah, he's pretty cool.

10:26 AM  
Blogger Jhunt said...

I'm a total DC-head, which probably explains the vaguely dirty and fearful feelings I get when reading 70s Marvel Comics. Everyone's angry, and angsty, and sweaty. It's quite an adjustment from reading about Superman tinkering with his robot doubles in the antiseptic ice walls of his Fortress of Solitude.

Spider-man was ALWAYS the s**t, though. Spider-man just flat out owns.

10:42 AM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

Conceptually, yeah. But my gosh, this The Other stuff is trash.

Honourable mentions in the DC Characters Kelvin Doesn't Hate include the whole Green Lantern Corps (but do it as sci fi not superheroes! Stupid DC!), John Constantine (why there's not been a Constantine/Batman team-up, I don't know), Martian Manhunter (I'm as powerful as Superman but I don't crow about it), Nightwing (let him take over already, Bruce!) and Orion (I'm like Thor, but nutty as a rabid badger).

But my personal favourite DC character of all time is Solomon Grundy. Seriously.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Jhunt said...

See, now that's just odd. How can you have a preference for Solomon Grundy when one of his defining characteristics is that he is written differently every time he appears? I liked him in Starman and Infinity Inc, but most of his "Hulk Smash!" appearances have been pretty boring.

6:05 PM  

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