Caught My Eye: Flash, The Fastest Man Alive #13

Looks pretty bad, huh? Well, this is only the third page
DC Comics

Where do I start? Yeah, I’m looking at you, DC Comics, and your wonderful editorial direction! You’d better run and take cover, because I’m coming… and hell’s coming with me, you hear???

It is going to be very difficult for me to discuss this comic without spoiling it for the few of you who stuck with this title post–Infinite Crisis, but I’ll do my best to keep this review spoiler-free.

This issue marks the last in this volume’s thirteen-issue run. I started reading this title with the conclusion to the huge DC Comics blockbuster from last summer, Infinite Crisis. The One Year Later storyline was a gimmick where all of the in-continuity titles advanced a year. It promised to be a radically different gimmick than what we were used to. I for one was really interested in what was going on in the world of DC. Flash was a character I had wanted to check out for some time, since he was one of my favorites in the Justice League animated show on Cartoon Network.

This volume started off with a new man under the mask as well as a new creative team. A lot of long-time fans were disappointed in the series, and I’ll admit I was kind of let down at first as well. However, each subsequent issue improved drastically until the last. When the last issue of the previous series came out, the creative team was actually firing on all cylinders and had my full attention. We then got a treat when it was handed over to Marc Guggenheim.

Current scribe, Marc Guggenheim, came in after the first arc and really revitalized the title. He was doing everything right by making the title fun and interesting. Each issue had a cool cliffhanger and really had me wanting more. Sadly, much like his series Blade, it came to an untimely end.

What really gets me is the fact that the series had an odd direction to begin with, but all of the writers made the best of it and really tried to make it work. However, the powers that be at DC have the worst case of ADHD I’ve ever witnessed. The only thing I can compare this turn of events to is draining the oil out of a perfectly fine car and then going on a road trip.

Okay, now that I got some of my ranting out of the way I can move the review along. Overall, it was a great arc and issue. Guggenheim has officially become one of my favorite comic writers. I’ll be buying anything he writes from this point forward. The events of this issue were very well done despite reason and direction for it. It made sense and actually moved me to a degree. I felt truly sad about what happened in the end.

What a great cover! Too bad it’s a fake intended to trick us into buying more issues.
DC Comics

One thing that didn’t sit well with me was right at the end. All of Flash’s rogues were together with Bart’s girlfriend and grandmother, but not one mention of what transpires afterward. I know there was a lot to pack in there, but it really shows that this issue was shoved down our throats. I watch a lot of TV and have been reading comics for a long time now, so I do know how to suspend my disbelief. But there is no way you can convince me that all of these villains are going to take a pass on striking down an old woman and the hero’s main squeeze given the opportunity.

I’d say the art was about average. Most of the scenes were close-ups on the characters, with little to no background. The required emotions were all there and came across correctly. This entire issue had Flash powerless amongst his rogues. One of the last scenes had him running someone down, but only with normal human speed. That scene looked kind of goofy to me. In one panel, it looks like Bart is imitating Michael Jordan in the now-famous silhouette that we’ve seen on shoes for more than a decade.

It was a good issue overall, but I just didn’t like how it ended. It seemed forced and felt like slap in the face. I tried out something new and hung in there when the going got tough … for nothing. I feel like a wife who gave up the best years of her life for her husband only to be left for some cheap floozy when she turned 50. This series was a disappointment because it actually started to become a great little read and had lots of promise, but just threw all of that into the garbage for nothing. How utterly sad can it get?