Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wally's Spider-Man Moment

"Wally's Spider-Man Moment" from Flash vol.2 #76 (DC 1993) by Mark Waid, Greg LaRocque and Roy Richardson
Barry may have been my first Flash, but Wally was MY Flash. But it took a while. The Baron and Messner-Loebs issues, I picked up occasionally, but they weren't to my taste. The Flash downgraded to breaking the sound barrier and having to eat enormous amounts of food to stay awake... It was the same kind of "realisticking" Superman was going through, but simply robbed the character of the most interesting aspects of his powers. I really came on board with Mark Waid's origin story, and then the book REALLY took off. What an awesome, awesome run, and in large part because Waid brought in all the other speedsters - Jay Garrick, Max Mercury, Jesse Quick, and later, Impulse. Even a faux Barry! He changed Wally's powers for the better, and exploring the Speed Force and what it could do was incredibly exciting. In Linda Park, he created a real match for Wally, and a love story that would count among DC's best ever (no matter how much they're sweeping it under the carpet today). After Waid left, I read the book only occasionally. Johns and Morrison had some good stories to tell, but the art wasn't always on par with those who'd come before, especially LaRocque and the late, great Wieringo.

Here's to Mike, Wally and Linda! I miss you guys!


  1. If I may rant for a second, I get so annoyed by people who think running faster than the speed of sound is fast enough. For all intents and purposes Wally would be invisible to the naked eye (and at a much lower speed still to cameras).

    Barry's top speed (of light) was (and is) ludicrously over-powered. What's the use of being able to run around the entire earth seven and a half times a second?

  2. That's not exactly my point. It's not so much the top speed that makes the power interesting, it's all the nifty tricks the Flash can do with it. Dropping his speed to Mach 1 (or whatever it was) basically turned him into a RUNNER and little else. In the right hands (Waid's, certainly), his powers don't make him unbeatable, they just inspire a ton of very cool story ideas.

  3. Of course even when not limited to Mach 1, the Flashes limit themselves to around that anyway while on Earth. :)

    I'm not going to argue that the Baron issues were amazing, but with a better writer even the "limited power set" made for interesting stories - for example Bill Messner-Loeb's "Dancing in the Dark" in issue #30, which I think introduced the "Super-Speed POV"

  4. Actually, thinking about it, having super-speed would be a living hell. Your brain needs to adjust so you don't run through things, so really you think you're running at a normal pace across the entire world.

    it's a wonder Bart hasn't committed suicide from boredom.

  5. Messner-Loebs' superspeed POV issue IS one of my favorite Flash stories ever, that's true.

  6. I know you do dear, I know you do.