My goal with this nearly weekly blog is to stretch my writing muscles and do some reviews. Since I am only really starting out, I'm only currently writing about comics for which I have a strong opinion, eitehr good or bad. I'm also trying to review issues of a single title as infrequently as possible, which is both limiting and freeing. So, given this combination, I really only have one book to talk about this week.
Flash 8 -- In past blogs, I've talked about the problems that have plagues the release of the new Flash series. For one thing, the art was terribly convoluted and difficult to parse, making the writing that much more important. In the last eight issues, I believe the art team has changed at least three times. Issue 8 was drawn by the team of Ron Adrian and Art Thibert, but it seems clear they did not work together; there is a definite change in art style with about three pages left, as if the pencil changed hands. I'm pretty sure that the last three pages are by Art Thibert, which leaves the majority to Adrian. Those pages, the ones that are most important to the story in this issue are utilitarian and spare. Most of the panels are passable, though there is one panel where Bart and his girlfriend embrace and we see it from the side...and the proportions are ridiculous. Bart's legs are shorter than his torso, and his head is longer than his thigh. Mostly the art was not an impediment to the story, not making me stop to admire or stare, but this panel did make me stop in my tracks.
So this leaves the writing, the factor that has caused many critics I have read to describe Flash as the most disappointing new title of 2006. This issue is a good example of that poor writing, tying up the first meeting of the new Flash with Inertia in what should probably have been a single issue. But I want to concentrate my ire on a ridiculously poorly plotted segment that encapsulates the writing problems.
Inertia has captured Flash's girlfriend and festooned her with bombs all tied to a single timer. Flash will have five seconds to decide if he is going to press the button on the trigger to disarm the bomb, knowing that this will cause a light cannon attuned to the speed force to fire, thus destroying the Flash who is now the speed force incarnate. Being a hero, of course Flash presses the button, and since the cannon takes part of a second to fire, he gets a head start. Then for two pages we watch Flash run with a blue light pacing him until he circles the globe and causes the coherent light to hit the cannon it was fired from, destroying the cannon. Of course Inertia is shocked (SHOCKED, I tell you) at this turn of events and teleports to safety.
Deconstruct this. Inertia has created a weapon that fires coherent light at a target. Considering that light moves in a straight line, it should propel itself in a tangent off the face of the Earth. Instead, this coherent light is somehow able to not only follow the curvature of the Earth, it follows the twists and turns that its target takes. And how does it do that? Somehow Inertia has taught the light to target the speed force, an intangible spiritual force. The cannon can't direct the light, or else it would be rotating in its gymbals at something less than the speed of light and the Flash can escape. And yet, as brilliant as Inertia is to create such a weapon, he doesn't teach it not to strike its own source!
The rest of the issue was fairly mediocre, with this providing the umorous lowlight of the issue. Bilson and DeMeo are leaving the title with this issue, so perhaps there will be improvement. I'm a big Flash fan, and I'll hold out as long as I can, but I was honestly about to drop this title. I'm looking forward to the new writer and pray this title will be righted soon.