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DC Showcase Presents: The Trial of the Flash

Sorry for the delay from my usual Monday post, but I’ve been sick! And since this is a pretty hefty book, I needed to take some bed rest for the extra time required to finish it ;D

Barry Allen is finally on the road back to happiness. He wakes up the morning of his wedding to Fiona Webb, at last feeling like he can put the past behind him for good. However, just as he’s getting into his tux, one of the Guardians of Oa appears to him. His arch nemesis, the Reverse Flash, has escaped from the galactic prison that Barry sealed him in. Rage takes over Barry – the last time they dueled, it ended in the murder of Barry’s first wife, Iris West. Reverse Flash is determined to make history repeat itself by killing Fiona as well. Warning the Guardians to stay out of his fight, Barry takes off to stop the Reverse Flash, leaving his family, friends, and his bride-to-be at the altar.

At the end of their struggle, the Reverse Flash is dead. Fiona, hurt and humiliated from being left at the altar, and shocked at how close she came to death, suffers a mental breakdown. To the general public, Barry Allen is missing, but to those who know him best, he has gone into hiding in plain sight as the Flash. Barry himself is reeling from the events of that fateful day. Half of Central City maintains that the Reverse Flash’s death was an accident, but the other half paints the Flash as a murderer. Barry is not sure himself whether he meant to kill his rival or not. His fate rests in the hands of twelve jurors. Is the Flash a murderer? Should he be held accountable for his actions, just like any other man? Or do his heroic feats earn him a “get out of jail free” card?

This run was originally published over several years in the mid 1980’s, and the writing reflects the best of both the Silver Age and the more modern storylines. There is great time spent on Barry’s inner struggle, and the struggle of the public at large, to reconcile the heroic ideal and the very human tendency to protect those we love at any cost. But, there are also wacky subplots and moments that only older comics can provide. The thing I love best about older comics like these is, they don’t take themselves too seriously, even though the subject matter may hardly be a laughing matter.

There is much more to the story than the bare bones I have laid above, with many subplots featuring Flash’s rogues gallery, his lawyer, and the Justice League, that all fit together magnificently in the end, in ways you wouldn’t expect. After finishing it, I am simply awestruck at the creative energy that went into a story several years in the making. This is easily up for my best 2018 reads list.

My only nitpick with this volume was, while the art was great, the DC Showcase volume it’s contained in only printed it in black and white. I was disappointed at first, but got used to it as I read. It did become hard to distinguish some characters from one another, especially the Rogues Gallery who, apart from Captain Cold (with his signature fluffy hood), seem to all be wearing the same thing. I’m sure their costumes are colored differently from one another, but it was all lost here.

I haven’t read much Flash, but this is obviously a definitive story for the character. Enough backstory is explained to where I would give it to a new Flash fan; there are also enough recognizable characters to a fan of the show who hasn’t yet started the comics. For those who may be daunted by the length – don’t be. Devouring this one in bite-sized chunks over several days made me forget I was sick for a little while 😉

– Kathleen

Bates, Cary, Carmine Infantino, et al. DC Showcase Presents: The Trial of the Flash. 2011.

The Flash: Rebirth (2010)

Barry Allen sacrificed himself during the Crisis on Infinite Earths to restore balance to the Multiverse. He’s escaped the Speedforce and was brought back to life, a feat that no other Speedster has been able to accomplish. Everyone – the League, the citizens of Central City, and his family – are overjoyed to have him back. In fact, the only person who’s not happy about it is Barry himself. He feels a strange urgency, like time is running out. But for what, he’s not sure. The world is telling him to slow down, but Barry feels he needs to go faster than ever. He’s not entirely convinced he escaped the Speedforce on his own – he may have been set free. But by who, and for what purpose? Could he have been brought back to life just to die again?

As big a fan as I am of the show, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to actually pick up a Flash comic. I absolutely loved it! The artwork was dynamic and crackling with power and emotion. You know anything Geoff Johns writes is going to be good, but this story was just phenomenal. The emotional pull of Barry’s dilemma and his family willing to do anything to help is what makes this story special. The story is just as fast-paced as you’d expect a Flash comic to be, but the love that was obviously infused into the story and characters carries a lot of weight. I will definitely be looking for more.

– Kathleen

Johns, Geoff, and Ethan Van Sciver. The Flash: Rebirth. 2010.

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Non-Canon Ships

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme from Goodreads, created by Lainey from Gingerreadslainey and now moderated by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. This one was all the way back from October, but since Valentine’s day is coming up, I thought it’d be fun =P In case you’re not familiar, non-canon means that it didn’t happen in the text of the book/graphic novel/TV show/etc. And ship is short for relationship!

5. Barry and Kara (CW Arrowverse)

Is it technically still the Arrowverse if you include Supergirl? In any case, these two acting like total puppies in the Supergirl S1 crossover episode melted my heart. I mean, come on. He brings her ice cream and then they go out for donuts.

 

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4. Ollie and Laurel (Arrow)

Y’all… Green Arrow and Black Canary are always together. They’re a power couple. It’s okay if it didn’t end well, they’re like peanut butter and jelly. They even got married in the comics!

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That they didn’t get together in the show (in anything other than flashbacks to before Ollie being stranded on the island) was a disappointment. I was waiting for Ollie to call her “pretty bird”… had a bet with my boyfriend 8D

3. Katniss and Cinna (The Hunger Games)

I committed kind of a sin with THG… I saw the movie before I read the books. *COLLECTIVE GASP* So I had literally no idea what was going to happen as far as plot, ships, nothing. I shipped them from the moment Cinna asked Katniss “Don’t you know how beautiful you look?” before she goes out for her interview:

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*sob* So beautiful. Katniss and Peeta or Gale? Gross. Katniss and Cinna’s where it’s at.

2. Harry and Hermione (Harry Potter series)

I was sO MAD when Hermione and Ron ended up together. I shipped Harry and Hermione the entire series. The biggest disappointment of my childhood was when I finished the last book for the first time and Harry and Hermione didn’t end up together. Ron never treated her right. Harry probably ended up continuing being their mediator after they got married… probably full-blown marriage counselor, as if he didn’t have enough to deal with already being Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. This scene from Deathly Hallows broke my heart:

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They balance each other. Harry goes with his heart, whereas Hermione is more logical. They learn from each other and grow throughout the series. Hermione was ALWAYS THERE for Harry, even when Ron left. Hermione was one of Harry’s best friends… and they say you should spend the rest of your life with your best friend.

1. Batman and Wonder Woman

This… is my OTP. My ship to end all ships. And it all started with the Justice League cartoon:

Just… look… at them!!! So perfect!!! So good and pure!!! It never came to fruition for which my heart will always be broken but it was always hinted at. They’re opposites in a lot of ways. Diana works in the light, but Bruce works in the dark. She’s smart enough to keep up with him but never makes him feel inferior for not having superpowers. Bruce respects her and tries to protect and save her at various times in the show, though Diana is definitely not a damsel in distress. For example, the picture above of Diana kissing his cheek is immediately after Bruce tried to dig her out from under a bomb she had disabled and was apparently crushed under. She emerges a few minutes later by throwing the bomb off herself and kisses him after noticing the dust and dirt on his hands. There’s even a scene of them dancing!

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❤ ❤ ❤

If they don’t get together in the live action Justice League… I will riot 8D

There you have it! Five ships that didn’t happen but definitely should have D,X My heart can’t take it!

– Kathleen

Flash: Season 2

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***There are spoilers for the end of Flash S1 ahead***

Oooh boy. Hold on to your hats, kids. This season of Flash was just wild.

The singularity that opened when Eobard Thawne, the Reverse Flash, was defeated, has been closed. It came at a terrible cost. Ronnie and Dr. Stien fused into Firestorm to help Barry close it, and Ronnie died in the attempt. Barry now works alone, in an effort to keep more of his friends from dying. Team Flash has scattered: Cisco now works with Joe in the metahuman task force at the police department, and Caitlin is at Mercury Labs.

But then a brand new metahuman shows up, saying he was sent to kill the Flash by a person called Zoom. And another. And then another. Cisco and Caitlin, along with Joe and Iris, beg Barry to rethink his whole lone vigilante thing and let them back on the team. Barry eventually caves, and Team Flash is reunited.

Someone else shows up at STAR Labs, too. He introduces himself as Jay Garrick, the Flash from another earth – Earth-2. He says that the singularity Barry just closed led to his Earth, and he was sucked into it while fighting Zoom and has lost his powers. He warns them of Zoom’s terrible speed, and his awful hunger for more. He offers to help Barry get faster, to learn more about his powers, in order to defeat the monster.

More and more people from Team Flash’s life start to reappear. Francine, Joe’s ex-wife, wants to reconnect with her family. She bears some terrible secrets from being gone for so long. The Earth-2 doppelganger of Harrison Wells travels through the breach, scaring the hell out of everyone. He came in order to help Barry defeat the metas from his Earth that Zoom is sending to kill him. Some of those metas are doppelgangers of Team Flash’s friends, family, even themselves…

Meanwhile, Zoom is always one step ahead of Team Flash, taunting them, promising to steal Barry’s speed. He’s much faster than Barry, much faster than the Reverse Flash ever was. How can they hope to defeat him before he takes away everyone they love?

The big draw this season was the introduction of the multi-verse. Though we only dealt with one other Earth this season, at the end, it was heavily hinted that there will be more in future seasons, which is so exciting!!! I’m eager for season 3 to wrap up already and come out on DVD so my boyfriend and I can marathon it 8D

The writing, as ever, was superb. The “return” of Harrison Wells was met with the appropriate shock and outrage by everyone on the team, especially Barry. The incorporation of the multiverse was excellently explained. Everyone on Team Flash really went through the ringer this season with their own tragedies and heartaches, even the unsympathetic characters. Still, you can’t help but root for them.

My one bone to pick this season was the romance. They introduce Patty Spivot, a crime lab assistant in the comics, as Joe’s new partner and member of the metahuman task force. Barry inevitably starts dating her. My boyfriend and I spent every episode of their too-long romance rolling our eyes. I know they do it to draw people in and keep them watching, but anyone who’s been paying attention knows that Barry and Iris ultimately will end up together. When? Who knows??? But it’s been hinted at enough that they can’t put it off forever. So they may as well just cut out the middleman and make them a thing already. Spare us this unnecessary secondhand embarrassment.

I think Flash is by far my favorite DC TV show. It’s got humor. It’s got heart. It’s got kickass characters, plenty of action, and now, it’s got the multiverse. There was plenty to feast on this season and now we have some things to chew over for the next few.

– Kathleen

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