Thursday, April 2, 2009

Welcome Back, Barry. I Guess.

I wanted to be more excited about the return of Barry Allen, because a) he's an iconic character and b) it's a big deal when someone comes back from the dead 20 years later. That panel of him emerging from the Speed Force was one of the more thrilling panels in the "Final Crisis" series. It's an event, so to speak.

But I was never much of a Flash follower to begin with, and I have this crazy idea that the vast majority of characters, once killed off, should stay dead. Otherwise, death in comics is meaningless and stripped of its impact. That's why I can't take the deaths of Batman and Martian Manhunter seriously, because I know D.C. already has a plan to bring them back.

Nevertheless, I put my skepticism aside and parted with $3.99(!) for the first installment of Geoff Johns' "The Flash: Rebirth." The storyline is overwhelmingly OK, though Ethan Van Sciver's artwork is quite striking. Barry Allen is the least interesting thing about the comic, which isn't surprising considering his rap as one of the most boring characters in the DCU. The sequence of panels featuring Allen and Hall Jordan, another titan of boring, is unintentionally funny.

I generally enjoy Johns' work, but I haven't decided if I'm going to read the rest of this series. D.C. will be fine without my $3.99, but I feel like I'm only encouraging these cheap back-from-the-grave stunts by buying this stuff.

Over at Once Upon a Geek, my friend Shag revealed that Barry Allen is his Scott and Jean — a topic he can't discuss without going into a sputtering rage. Another is the also-resurrected Jason Todd, the Robin who famously bought the farm in 1988. Look, I read "A Death in the Family" back in the day, and that shit meant something. Tears were shed. The fact that Todd is now very much alive makes me completely crazy and irrational (It's my Scott and Jean!), so I should probably stop talking about it now.

As you were.


Sghoul said...

I'm pretty fed up with the dead coming back. Espeically in the cases of Hal and Barry. First off, there was already a serviceable Flash. Same powers and everything...just a different personality (same with GL). Second, as you said, it makes death meaningless.

I think Geoff is too much of a fanboy. He is basically trying to reset everything that has been done in the last 10-20 years.

While I have liked Green Lantern...Hal is the least interesting thing in the book. I enjoy GL:C far more because of Guy and Kyle. I suspect that Flash will be the same. The stories will likely be cool, but they won't have required Barry to have been brought back.

So, I will NOT be giving DC my money.

EDP said...

That's another thing that I don't understand. What's wrong with Wally West? Was anyone clamoring for this?

I wouldn't be surprised if D.C. is losing even more readers because of this. What it says to me is that they're out of original ideas, which is sad.

The Irredeemable Shag said...

Barry Allen ... alive. ... I'm loosing control of motor functions ... rage building... don't make me angry, you wouldn't like me when I'm angry ... arrrrggghhhh... the pain!!!!

The Inconsolable Shag

EDP said...

ROFL!! Believe me, I can appreciate your suffering. Jason Todd's reappearance has taken me around the bend more than once.