Thursday, June 21, 2007
They Shoot Flashes, Don't They?
Whacking superheroes is all the rage these days. It’s like the Sopranos have infiltrated the upper echelon of Marvel and DC editorial.
Adios, Captain America, though we’re sure you’ll be back soon.
See you, Elongated Man and the Question. Maybe you’ll get a nice flashback someday.
Farewell, Black Goliath. You were a third-tier hero, so no resurrection for you.
And what about The Flash, DC’s resident punching bag, the token hero-to-kill whenever DC gets all grim and haughty?
After all, they offed the Barry Allen version of the character in Crisis on Infinite Earth.
And the Wally West Flash stepped into the Speed Force with his family (whatever that means) in the silly and unforgivably banal Infinite Crisis.
And now, the latest generation of Flash, Bart Allen, was snuffed in issue #13 of his series.
But wait. The Bart-Flash wasn’t the only person to get screwed here. Let’s not forget about the retailers who placed orders for the next two issues of the speedsters comic, only to have DC chuckle gleefully and say, “We fooled you. We had this planned all along! Hyuk! There ain’t no #14 or 15!”
See, we’re living in the age of the Big Comic Book Secrets, where every trivial plot development and character death and rebirth is treated like a Homeland Security case.
Remember, New Avengers #31 was going to rock the foundations of comicdom. And it turned out that – are you sitting down? – Elektra was a Skrull. Whoa. Hold on to your loved ones. The foundations are about to start shaking.
It must make one feel way cool to get to keep all those bitchin’ secrets. Kinda like the CIA with tights.
Anyway, back to Flash.
So, Bart croaks in this week’s issue #13. It would have been a shock, thanks to DC’s loose-lips-sink-ships tactics if...IF THEY HADN’T SPILLED THE BEANS AT A CONVENTION FIVE DAYS BEFORE THE FRIGGIN’ BOOK CAME OUT!
And over in the sleep-inducing Justice League of America #10 (where Power Girl’s, uh, power must be the ability to make those puppies defy gravity), Wally West and his family are brought back to Earth by 31st Century Legion of Super-Heroes technology. Don’t Ask.
(By the way, does it annoy anyone else that the Brad Meltzer-written JLA call each other by their first names virtually every time they speak? “Where are you going, Clark?” “To the crapper, Bruce.” “That’s the women’s room, Clark.” “It’s okay, Bruce. Diana doesn’t mind. Besides, Bruce, you've seen our bathroom. I like a fresh bowl when I’m dropping the Krypton kids at the pool.”)
Two books. Two Flashes. Two comics that won’t make this week's Best Of list.
Remember, 99.9% of the time, killing off a hero is just lazy writing. It’s easier than coming up with an actual plot.