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Flash: Fastest Man Alive #2

Posted: Monday, July 24, 2006
By: Charles Emmett



Writers: Danny Bilson and Paul Demeo
Artists: Ken Lashley (p), Walden Wong, Jay Leistein (i)

Publisher: DC Comics


Well, apparently Bart Allen had been lying to everyone for over a year. He does indeed still have his powers and is still connected to the speed force, but he sure as heck doesn't want to be. Now everyone (meaning Jay and Joan Garrick and the scientists at S.T.A.R. labs) wants him to take up the mantle of the Flash. Also, Bart's friend Griff has some new lightning powers (like you're going to get a real explanation from this book about anything) and while he puts on a good face for the press, who knows what his real intentions are? Oh and we finally get to see the scarlet pajamas in
action for the first time.

Okay, we have got a problem here. This issue fails to connect with the readers on any real level. The characters are cardboard, even my man Jay comes across flat and uninspired: "You must become the Flash, you must become the Flash....." Bart's just an angsty kid who's shirking any sort of duty or responsibility. And I'm supposed to care about that character....why? Also, all the new characters are just plain boring. The doctor with the mysterious father, the friend with the new superpowers and a mean streak, they just scream "don't bother with me, I'll either be dead or a supervillian by the end of the run."

Also, we have the NEEDLESS exposition on both Bart's past and, in the strangest bit, Wally's past. I tolerated it in the first issue just because it was a first issue. But to continue it? And to put expositions in strange random places throughout the book? That's just sloppy. This especially rings true of the Wally West bit. It starts off in the third person POV, but just as umm...fast, it changes to first person as if Wally were narrating. Of course we have no idea where Wally really is (this seems to suggest that he's still in the speed force with every other Flash, and the Speed Force wants Bart to form a complete set) and why he would interject on the action. Of course, I would love for this to become a Wally West series, but if it isn't, let's please try to keep the focus here on Bart, okay cupcake?

Still, this issue isn't all terrible. I still really like the art. It has a nice sense of pop to it that I find really appealing and works really well with this series. It's not groundbreaking, but it is fun and fits the tone of the series really well, including a terrific splash near the end of the issue. Also, there didn't seem to be the jarring adult situations and language that was found in the first issue. Hopefully that trend will continue. And while the book never clicks as a whole, there are some nice moments, but nothing that will make this book memorable down the road.

It's really a shame how much of a disappointment this series has turned out to be. Instead of a fun and... well..., flashy Flash, we have an angsty boring hero with a threadbare plot. And come on, who clones a costume? I mean that's just retarded. I'm giving this series just one more issue before I abandon it, and that's sad because this hero deserves so much more.



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