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Flash #213

Posted: Wednesday, September 1, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell



"Slow Motion"

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Howard Porter (p), Livesay (i)

Publisher: D.C. Comics

Plot:
As Wally finds himself the lead suspect in what the police believe is the attempted murder of Ashley Zolomon, we see his attention is pulled away by the new, improved Turtle who has gained the ability to leech the speed force from his surrounding areas, which effectively puts everything in extreme slow motion. After dispatching with the Turtle, Wally returns his attention to the case against him, and he makes a worrisome discovery.

Comments:
I can already see Geoff Johns thinking process behind the big fight that this issue offers up as he takes a character who is arguably one of the dumbest ideas for a villain ever, and he works to make the Turtle into a creditable threat. Now to a certain extent he's successful as the Turtle gains the ability to draw all the speed force out of his surroundings, but to a certain extent this new ability makes him a villain that can only be used in this book. I also have to say I wasn't overly impressed by the way that the Turtle was defeated, as it struck me as a little convenient that the means that would be required to defeat him would be present right when the Flash needed them to be there. Still, he does deserve credit for making the effort to make the Turtle into a genuine villain rather than the "what the heck were the smoking when they came up with him" creation that he was before this issue. Far more engaging is the secondary plot that involves Wally being seen as the prime suspect in an attempted murder, and what makes this plot work is that we learn that this isn't a set-up, but rather Wally is in some ways guilty. Now this is probably simply a plot device to extract Wally from his day job as he comes to realize that he can't balance the responsibility of this job with his super-heroics, but right now it has my utmost attention. I do have to openly wonder about the fact that Wally could go right back to his job of repairing police cars, when he's suspected of tampering with them.

Howard Porter has never been one of my favourite artists, and his work on this series hasn't exactly changed my opinion of his work, as to me it has a rough quality to it, and that there are many times when the art seems more concerned with delivering a powerful image instead of trying to tell the story. Still, I will concede the art does a pretty effective job of delivering the Turtle's new ability, as the slow motion effect is well presented, as are the scenes where the speed is momentarily restored. Now I'm not entirely sold on the Turtle's look as it's rather comical, but the art does manage to inject a nice sense of danger when the character is lingering seemingly lustfully over a young child. Ethan Van Sciver's cover image is also a pretty solid visual, even if it tells one nothing about the story inside.



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