Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Johns Month(and a half): Flash part 1

Johns' run on The Flash is possibly his greatest series, if you ask me. He became the sole writer for the series after only two years in the comic business. His 63 issue long run on the series is very critically acclaimed, and is by many considered the defining run for the Flash. There is a lot to cover, in order for this humble reviewer to truly do the series justice, so I will have to make this review a 3-parter, focusing on specific story-arcs and such. Today, we will take a look at issue 164-176.
Issue 164-169(collected in Flash: Wonderland) is not that good a story. It's interesting at some points, but not that great. I guess it was mostly used to introduce Brother Grimm, and relatively easy forgotten Wally West villain. What I like the most is Johns' interesting and very detailed version of a world without the super-speedsters, and how it turned into a dystopia without Jay Garrick, Barry Allen and Wally West. But it was nothing more than adequate. No, it's at issue 170 that things start to get good.
First thing first, Johns' gives Keyston City a identity. Most cities with a superhero in the DCU has a "character" so to say(such as Gotham City, Metropolis and Opal City). In this case, Keystone City is the city of the working class so to say. A majority of America's cars are build there. A place of hardworking, honest people who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty. The blue-collar capital of the U.S.
Another thing that's great about this series is the old Silver-Age villains who are re-introduced, which is a trademark-talent of Johns. Like the Weather Wizard, a simple criminal who just now have realized that his weather-controlling wand has close to omnipotent power, if used right. Or Keith Kenyon, once known as the super-villain "Goldface," who has putted the costume away, and instead leads the Keystone's trade union(BTW, he is my favorite supportive character in the series).
And finally, but not the least; Johns is pretty good at having many balls in the air. He is building up many different sub-plots, and has a good use of for shadowing.
If I should complain about anything, it should be the villains. It's not that they are bad, they just seem a little... random, and possibly out of place. Not that they are bad, but when I think a Flash villain, a guy with a type of gun is what comes to mind. That, or something strange, like a telepathic gorilla. NOT a crazy mass murderer who wants everyone to shut up. But it's minor.
Issue 164-176(as well as the one-shot issue "Flash: Iron Heights" which you can read my review of HERE) is collected in the first of three omnibus books which collects Johns' Flash run. It get's you into the world of Keystone, introduce you to the most of the supportive cast of the series, and is an all-in-all good place to start if you want to be introduced to Wally West.
That's all for now. I'm Waezi2, and thanks for wasting time wit me.

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