Advertisements

Tag Archive: Barry Allen


New Barry Allen

“I’m guessing you don’t know how hard it is to break someone’s neck.”

Grant Gustin joins the CW Network’s Arrow team this Wednesday as Barry Allen–the classic DC Comics scientist who becomes the Flash.  A new preview just released gives viewers our first glimpse at Allen’s first encounter with Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen.  Gustin is slated to use Arrow as a springboard onto his own spinoff series featuring the Flash next year.

It’s not the first time the Flash had his own series.  Many fans of classic TV consider the 1990-1991 TV series starring John Wesley Shipp to be not only the definitive superhero series, but one of the all-time best costumed hero portrayals, with an incredible costume for the speedy hero.

Arrow meets the Flash

The obvious first reaction is how young Gustin appears.  His Barry Allen looks like Andrew Garfield’s gawky youth in The Amazing Spider-man.  Shipp was 35 when he played Allen.  Gustin is 23.

Check out this first look at Gustin as Barry Allen in this scene from Arrow:

Continue reading

Advertisements

Justice League Volume 2 cover

With DC Comics having wrapped it first year with the New 52, it is now releasing the second hardcover volume of its flagship title, Justice League.  If you don’t read the monthly series, now is the time to catch up on the full first year with Volumes 1 and 2 now on the shelves.  Justice League, Vol. 1: Origin reprinted Issues 1-6, and now Justice League, Vol. 2: The Villain’s Journey reprints Issues 7-12, both volumes including variant covers and cover sketch art by the popular artist Jim Lee.

Justice League, Vol. 1: Origin, now available in both hardcover and trade paperback, began the entire New 52, a new DC Universe unveiled first 5 years ago, a reality which may or may not have been manipulated from the universe we’ve known all along by the red-hooded Pandora, who has managed to flit in and out of nearly every DC Comics series since the reboot in September 2011.  In Volume 1 we met the new original seven members of the League–first a comical run-in of Batman and Green Lantern Hal Jordan, who then have their own run-in with Superman (run-in meaning lots of bruises and destruction of property).  Then Barry Allen’s Flash entered the picture as probably the most interesting character in the new League.  He formed a relationship with buddy Hal Jordan which provided many of the most entertaining scenes of the series so far.  Then we met Wonder Woman, who in this incarnation of the DCU is far more Valkyrie than Amazon, and this plays nicely off of Aquaman’s entrance, whose Atlantis origins are here very much influenced by the world of Thor.  This is all tied together by a new League entrant, the young Vic Stone, transformed by happenstance into a cyborg, now known as the League member Cyborg.  And they all must come together to protect the world from being devastated by none other than classic villain Darkseid.  We reviewed the monthly series at borg.com least year here.

Justice League Volume 2

Continue reading

Review by C.J. Bunce

(with spoilers)

The best thing about The Flash #1, another of the re-started DCU titles published in the past few weeks, is that they didn’t mess around with which Flash they chose to move forward with.  To me, Barry Allen is always THE Flash.  Barry was killed off in 1985 in the Crisis on Infinite Earths series, which ended with Flash sacrificing himself to save Earth.  Before that, his long-time girlfriend-turned-wife Iris West was killed.   After 23 years Grant Morrison brought Barry back in Final Crisis, and via the Flashpoint mini-series this past year it was anyone’s guess where The Flash would be for the new DCU reboot.  Here, we’re at the beginning again, and with Barry and co-worker Patty Spivot dating it’s a refreshing place to re-start this series.

Issue #1 begins with Barry and Patty at a technology trade show.  A strange terrorist-like force that looks just like the Cobra Commander squad from G.I. Joe crashes the event leaving Barry to zip out  in Flash mode and stop the squad, one by one.  Just like a Clark Kent-to-Superman-and-back transformation, Barry walks in at the end to Patty having no idea that he even left.  But Iris West is here, too, this time as a reporter pursuing Barry.

This Barry story has the same nice tone that the short-lived The Flash TV series had.  The Flash series has always been an easy read–like any number of superhero titles, from Spider-man to Justice League of America to the Fantastic Four, you could just pick a copy off the rack and jump right in.  So the challenge for writer Francis Manapul and artist Brian Buccellato is creating something new with this well-known hero.  How can you raise the stakes for The Flash when he was already killed off and left for dead for 23 years?

Here, Manapul answers that by introducing a long-lost friend named Manuel who shows up as one of the dead shooters at the trade show, only to have Barry see him later, and in the last frame step into something he couldn’t expect, apparently a clone army of Manuels.

I wouldn’t say The Flash is one of the New 52 stand-out titles because there is not much new by way of art style, storytelling, or surprises.  Unlike similar classic Justice League reboot titles for Savage Hawkman and Aquaman, there is not a lot here to rave about.  Will diehard Barry Allen fans be happy with this approach or demand something more?  Too much change, as with the Green Arrow series, will put off readers, but retelling the same story as it has been told before will probably not re-ignite anything for the current DC fan base either.  For an audience of new readers, however, this series would be a good place to check out a solid, classic character, whose story, originally or retold, is worth reading if you just like the idea of “the fastest man alive.”

With a choice of 52 DC regular titles to choose from (and every other publisher’s product out there), unless you’re one of the rare ones reading them all or you’re just a tried and true fan of the character, it will be hard to keep this series on the shortlist unless the creators can amp up the action and creativity to compete with other titles.