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CSBG Archive

Snark Free Corner for 3/10

Welcome to the latest installment of your breath of snark free air!

Enjoy!

SNARK FREE DEBATE

Better current Flash – Wally West or a resurrected Barry Allen?

Pros of Wally – He has been the Flash now for almost two decades, and is the Flash who is now known to the general public, via his appearances on the Justice League cartoon.

He is a connective force to the most of the DC Universe, as he is close friends with the older Justice League members while remaining close friends with his peers, heroes like Nightwing and Donna Troy.

He also is one of the rare superheroes to be happily married, with kids. That gives him a unique voice in the DC Universe.

Cons of Wally – He is happily married, with kids. As a result, any comic starring Wally is basically a team book. That might not fly for a solo hero.

His kids might not be the most popular characters in the whole world.

Pros of Barry – He was the first Flash.

Besides his wife, he has no real connections, so he is set up well for a solo book.

His career as a forensic scientist is really hip nowadays, post-CSI.

The success of Green Lantern shows that the original Silver Age character can be the star again.

Cons of Barry – He has been dead for over 20 years.

While not unpopular, his comic was not particularly popular when he was last the Flash (as opposed to Hal Jordan, who had a high selling comic in the 80s/early 90s).

Well – who do you think would be the best Flash for the DC Universe now?

And remember, snark free corner here!

COVER THEME GAME

As always, here is the game. I show three covers. They all have something in common, whether it be a character, a trait all three characters share, locale, creator, SOMEthing. And it isn’t something obvious like “They all have prices!” “They all have logos!” “They all feature a man!” etc.

In addition, please note that you must have some familiarity with comic book history to correctly guess these comics. You cannot guess the connective theme just by looking at the covers solely, you must have some knowledge beyond just the covers.

A cool point to the first person to figure it out!

Good luck!

1.

sable32.jpg

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darkhawk7.jpg

3.

amazingspiderman33.jpg

SNARK FREE CHALLENGE

Which of the current roster of the New Avengers would you most want babysitting your child? Wolverine? Luke Cage? Iron Fist? Spider-Man? Echo? Hawkeye?

THE COVER GAME

This week’s game is as follows…

Find me a comic cover that features Aunt May but NO Spider-Man on the cover!

Here is an example (which you can’t use!)….

auntmay.jpg

Remember, only one cover per commenter!

Good luck!

WHO IS IT?

Remember, tell me who it is and what number clue gave it away!

1. This character has gone by more than one codename.
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2. This character has been part of teams, but has also been solo.
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3. This character is one of the rare characters to work his/her actual name into his/her codename.
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4. This character first appeared when he/she tried to sell secrets to the Commies!! Luckily, a member of the Fantastic Four stopped him/her.
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5. This character was a member of the Sinister Six during Civil War, along with Dr. Octopus, Grim Reaper and three other villains.

Who is it?

Well, that’s it for this installment of Snark Free Corner.

Hope you had fun!

44 Comments

Well, I’ve grown up with Wally West as my Flash, and his ties to the various corners of the DCU, like the JLA and Titans, make him the perfect one for right now. Plus, I LIKE him being married and having a family…

Though Darwyn Cooke showed that viable stories can still be told using Barry and Iris in New Frontier. I would like to see Barry stay dead, but the occasional flashback (no pun intended) story is fine by me too. I’d also like to see some more reprints of Barry stories from the 70’s and 80’s.

Trapster, aka Paste Pot Pete, with #4. Although the Trapster as a hero… wasn’t that like half an issue? And even then, semi-teamed up with Sandman?

Totally Wally – it’s very revealing that the best Barry Allen stories have all been told posthumously…

Barry Allen was the first Flash?

Does Jay Garrick know about this?

For the cover challenge: Flint Marko, Darkhawk and Spiderman all grew up in Queens.

Tom Fitzpatrick

March 11, 2008 at 3:35 am

The best Flash? Impulse!!!

ha ha, just kidding, ha ha.

Cover game:
PP-Spider-man v2 #50. Aunt May and Peter on the couch but no Spidey.

Wally’s a better Flash but I’ll take Barry over Hal anyday. In 2008, a really boring straight laced character is a lot fresher than a fearless jet pilot.

And I’ll have Dr. Strange babysitting the kid. He’s a surgeon, y’know.

“Cons of Wally – He is happily married, with kids”

Y’know, he could probably make a deal with Neron and start over with a brand new day.

Cover Challange: All three feature Ditko creations? Sandman & Spidey are a lock, but I seem to remember Ditko sneaking Darkhawk in under the radar.

Silver Sable, Darkhawk, and Spider-Man all have had their fathers killed by a villian.

I agree with Russell H., Brian: You meant to write, “The first Flash in the sleek red body suit.”* Don’t dis Jay!

I am wondering what prompted this question. Is there another round of rumor/speculation that Barry Allen’s coming back from the dead? If so, how tedious. There are a few deaths comics shouldn’t touch. Most of them, I guess, involve origin stories: Jor-El and Lara, Thomas and Martha Wayne, Uncle Ben Parker. Most of the big heroes (and tons of lesser ones) who’ve been prominently killed have all been resurrected. But if there’s ever been a death with impact, a death that really served as a noble sacrifice (and not a toss-away plot development), a death that was well-handled in its aftermath and has served as a storytelling engine (thanks John Seavey) for the legacy character ever since — well, that is Barry Allen’s death.

Barry was a fine character (if a bit milquetoast), and yes, I’m sure writers today would get a lot more mileage out of his police-scientist job, but let him rest in peace. Readers and a whole generation of younger TV viewers love Wally. I hope DC was paying attention to the fact that Wally placed a very high #3 (almost eclipsing Supes, if I remember correctly, Brian?) in the Top 50 Characters poll here a few months back. I can’t think of any other instance in which such a hand-off of costume and starring role has gone so well. (Perhaps that’s not a fair comparison, as there aren’t many other A-list characters at either DC or Marvel. But still.)

After everyone from Supergirl to Captain Marvel, from Bucky to Jason Todd, from Colossus to Ice has been brought back from the dead, can’t we leave ONE character in the grave? DC could get away with bringing back Hal because they didn’t have to sacrifice another character to do it. Essentially, they (and the various factions of GL readers) could have their cake and eat it too: Hal’s part of a much larger mythology in the entire GL Corps — a whole fabric of storytelling about these intergalactic cops, which means that readers can still enjoy tales about more likeable characters (Kyle) or whichever GL they find more interesting (John, Guy, Kilowog). But do we really want, or need, more than one Flash running around in that cool red costume? Nope. So what happens to Wally if you bring back Barry? Problems. It’s a bad idea.

Besides, isn’t there some draw for “superhero with young family”? I’m not reading Flash right now, but I sure loved how that dynamic made Animal Man unique, back when Morrison was writing him. I’d think DC could be smart and use the family hook as a draw, not go all Quesada on us and fret that it’s a negative. Hmmm … I wonder if Morrison is under any Editorial mandate to bring Barry back in Final Crisis? And if he’d try to talk them out of it. Well, time will tell.

* I was going to write, “The first Earth-1 Flash,” but then I realized that might not be clear to everyone. I still chuckle to myself that DC balked on its opportunity to bring back the multiverse with “Infinite Crisis,” then had to rely on the “52” crew to get the job done (which they did well), but so far, Editorial’s still mucking up the reintroduction of the multiverse. Did you read, in Johnston’s “Lying in the Gutters” col yesterday, that unnamed person(s) at DC wanted to make the world of “Watchmen” one of the 52 universes? So far, thank goodness, saner heads have prevailed. I’d LOVE to have been Invisible Woman (or, er … who’s DC’s most notable invisibility-possessing character? Martian Manhunter?) secretly listening in — and recording — those internal debates!

I think that Barry Allen works incredibly well as a flash-back Flash. The guy that everyone talks about, fondly, and there can be stories told about him that way.

Wally West is the Flash. 20 years is long enough to wash the nostalgia away and really leave Wally standing alone as the Flash of yesteryear. I agree with what Andrew Collins said above as well, that Wally’s ties to the DCU make him unique as well, bridging the young and the old together through his links with the Teen Titans and the JLA. Wally’s also part of a small number of characters to have some part in most of the major events on the past 25 years. That gives him a good picture of the history of the DCU; having seen the crisis’s come and go, seen the death of Superman, et al.

Yeah, Barry just doesn’t fit in anymore.

Wally. The fact that he’s married w/kids is a plus in my book, since that makes him more unique than 99.99% of other characters in comics today.

I have nothing against Barry, I just think he works better as a martyr, with Wally carrying on the Flash mantle.

I think Barry’s a better character. The legacy thing always bothered me – It never seemed like writers had much to say with it, thematically, that Gardner Fox didn’t say with the Earth Two Batrobin way back in the sixties.

Likewise, the overlay of mysticism on the Flash’s comic book science background always got on my nerves. “God did it” never seemed more plausible an origin than “chemicals hit lightning,” and the attempt to overlay this vague spiritualism on the Flash’s science hero back-ground just made the whole character concept too unwieldly.

And I don’t think you can hold the trial story against Barry’s character. His book wasn’t unpopular because fans didn’t like Barry, I’d guess, it’s ’cause of a string of epically bad creative decisions that left the book meandering and damn near unreadable.

Still, the wife and kids thing is an interesting angle, and one that makes Wally darn near unique. I’d kinda like to see how it plays out. And it’s probably not worth bringing Barry back from the dead.

I think I’m tired of all the Flashes. Barry = terrible bore. Jay = of his time. Wally = a goddam Wolfman Titan, which is bad enough to begin with, then a series of nonsensical personality changes depending on what writer wanted to live his life through comics. Can we not have a superhero who runs fast? Can we do that?

Leave Wally as the Flash, Barry had his shot, and his death was almost more notable than his life. Leave him in the flashbacks.

Can we have comics that Joe Rice doesn’t think is cool? Can we do that?

Sorry- I suppose that could be considered snark, or maybe anti-snark. I’m not sure.

No. No we can not.

Ya know, it’s funny – the family dynamic is the reason I ultimately dropped the new Flash series, and I love Wally. At first, I thought it was gonna be pretty cool, sort of like a DC take on The Incredibles, but I didn’t really get any kind of good bits of “character” off of Jai and ..Iris? (is that right?)

I got the Trapster on clue 3. Paste Pot Pete came to mind as soon as it mentioned using his real name in his codename.

Who is it? Trapster with #5.
——-

I would let Dr. Strange to watch my kids. A little spell and they’ll do whatever he tells them.

Wait… He’s not a pedphoile, is he? Can I see recommendations?

I have to say Wally over Barry. Wally has been Flash since I can remember now, and I like his personal evolution over the years. He is married with kids, like me…that of course doesn’t speak to actual character development, just situation, but it appeals to me.

Plus, John’s run on “Flash” was one of the books that got me back into reading superheroes.

Wally. The family thing is a brilliant hook – it essentially turns the title into a DC Comics equivalent of The Incredibles, and you can do worse than aping what’s still one of the best superhero movies of all time.

Barry’s fun, in a flashback sense, but we already have Hal Jordan for filling the boring-ass straight arrow slot to appeal to the older fans who wish things they were the way they were when they were kids, and Barry fits into the current scheme of things even less well than Hal “once again the least interesting Green Lantern” Jordan.

I’m going to have to stick with Wally for the Flash. Nothing wrong with Barry, but I just like the fact that he’s one of the rare heroes who’s actually died and stayed dead. He had a good, important death, and it made Wally the first sidekick to step up and fill the main hero’s shoes.

That and I just like Wally better as a character.

Cover theme game: Were all three at one point cloned? I know that Darkhawk’s armor created a second version of him for awhile, we all remember good ol’ Ben Reilly, and didn’t Silver Sable have a little kid version of her called Lil’ Silvie running around for awhile, too?

Oh. And Spider-man for babysitter.

Cover Game:

Do the “Trouble” covers count?

Incidentally, it appears that Aunt May didn’t appear on a cover of Ultimate Spider-Man AT ALL until #111, Bagley’s last issue.

Trapster, aka Paste Pot Pete, with #4. Although the Trapster as a hero… wasn’t that like half an issue? And even then, semi-teamed up with Sandman?

Yeah, that was a typo! I meant to just write “solo.”

And yes, it is the Trapster!

Lil’ Silvie was a backup-type thing..like the Mini Marvels in some of Marvel’s books today..she wasn’t in the Marvel Universe or anything.

My choice for babysitter? Kitty Pryde. She’s actually got some experience under her belt(albeit reluctantly).

Y’know, Colonel Will, there was an arc in The Flash a while back where Wally West and Linda Park(before they were married) made a deal with Neron to stop a rampage by mystically enhanced members of the Rogues’ Gallery, at the cost of their love for each other. IIRC, Wonder Woman wrapped them in her Golden Lasso for some impromptu couples’ counseling.

Cover Game: If we’re counting covers with Peter Parker out of his Spider-Man costume, I nominate Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21, alternate cover. The alternate cover featured members of the supporting cast(including Aunt May) in the background, with Peter and MJ in their wedding attire in the foreground. Okay, there was a Spider-Man face in a heart motif in the background but that doesn’t count!

For the cover challenge: Flint Marko, Darkhawk and Spiderman all grew up in Queens.

More precisely, they were all BORN in Queens, but close enough! :)

Silver Sable, Darkhawk, and Spider-Man all have had their fathers killed by a villian.

I like this one, too, though! So a cool point for this answer, as well!

Watch my kid? Well, if I had a kid, I’d choose Echo. Why? Well, look at the bigger names like Wolverine and Spiderman and ask yourself: how often do their “friends” seem to visit? Besides, Echo’s abilities make her well-suited for reading what the kid is feeling by copying his or her body language.

As for Flash–Wally all the way. And to be honest, I’m still not sold on Hal Jordan but now that they have given him some flaws to play off of–besides whining about yellow and his age–it is worth it. And Barry’s time-travel abilities make him ideally suited to showing up now and again, anyway. That said, I would like to bring back Bart. He, Harley Quinn and Ambush Bug need their own special together.

–K

I’m betting someone above me has gotten the cover challenge correct (some of those sound pretty convincing, particularly the Queens one), but my first reaction was that all three covers featured people who became unlikely members of the Avengers–Sandman was unlikely because of his villain status, Darkhawk because he was kind of considered to be young and inexperienced, Spider-Man because he was such a solo character that no one expected him to stick with the team for long.

And I’m someone who converted years ago from wanting Barry to come back to favoring Wally. Various writers (Mike Baron, Bill Loebs, Mark Waid, Geoff Johns) made me love Wally and Waid’s Return of Barry Allen storyline showed just how much Wally might end up being marginalized if Barry were to return. Part of me would still like to see it and see if it could work, but I’d hate to see Wally become an “also ran.”

The X-Men note from last week is still up… but personally, I think it should stay permanently as Exhibit 1 of anti-snark. :)

One of the very first comics I bought myself was the Dan Jurgens Flash v. Superman race issue so I’m with Wally all the way. I also loved Geoff Johns’ run especially the Ignition arc.

Although, as Andrew said in comment #1, Darwyn Cooke wrote a pretty good Barry Allen but I did feel his Barry was very close in character to Wally due to the concern Barry shows for Iris during the Captain Cold chapter (my favourite part in New Frontier by the way).

Maybe a “Flash: First Class ” type book with Barry and Wally in the regular book?

I’ve been enjoying my Barry Allen Flash courtesy of my New Frontier DVD and Flash: The Complete Series DVD (which I bought for $14.76 at deepdiscount.com.)

And let me tell you, he seems fresh. As a character (and story telling engine) he has legs. Wally, God Bless him, is a great character; but he was never able develop a personal life beyond being a hero. And now he is married, with children, and unemployed.

Things just don’t look good for him or his family.

But like I said, I love Wally West to death. But I just don’t like my Flashes, all brooding and full of angst. And it appears, that is where he is headed.

Barry’s comic never recovered from the Death of Iris Allen and I think it’s just a matter of time, until Judd Winick (or some other writer) takes over Wally’s title and starts killing children and wives. So rather than going through that again, I would love to see the Wests get a proper send-off.

Maybe move the whole Family to the Future.

You got to admit, “Flash and the Legion of Super-Heroes” has a nice ring to it. (And I bet it would be a much better read than “Jail Bait S-girl and the Legion”)

I love Wally West but I have to say the kids are starting to wear me out. I miss the days of the smart aleck kid. I love Linda but the family man persona is getting tired and it has not been that long.

Barry would be cool today because as you pointed out the CSI connection. The Flash could become a detective book. Very interesting spin.

Favorite Flash is the one featured in Flash: Time Flies graphic novel. I think it was Wally West. That’s the only Flash I’ve read.

As for the babysitter, I’m going with Luke Cage. If he was a “Hero for Hire” I would hope he could handle a little “Babysitter for Hire” action. Plus the wiki page I read it says he doesn’t use profanity. And he has a daughter so he should be okay with kids.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

March 11, 2008 at 4:30 pm

Wally West as Flash.

Unlike Nightwing, who still hasn’t escaped Batman’s shadow, Wally did become his own Flash.
So he’s got the uniqueness of being one of the few side kicks to make it to the big time.
And he does have the legacy of Barry to live up to – and Starman showed us what a useful device that can be.
If Barry came back I’d see it like I did Hal Jordan coming back – nostalgia for nostalgia sake.

I really liked the Barry Allen Flash when I was growing up. I remember how pissed off I was that he was killed off in Crisis (TOS). His Professor Zoom was evil.

However, there were some really good Wally stories written over the years and he is now my current Flash. I like the Linda dynamic, trie love, happy marriage, and the kids are fine.

However, at one point Barry Allen was alive in the future with Iris, so maybe there are some future Flash stories wating to be told where Barry has kids or retires or something and continues to fight crime before he returns to the past and gets killed in the crisis.

Dan (other Dan)

March 11, 2008 at 7:11 pm

“Pros of Wally – He has been the Flash now for almost two decades, and is the Flash who is now known to the general public, via his appearances on the Justice League cartoon.

Pros of Barry – He was the first Flash.

The success of Green Lantern shows that the original Silver Age character can be the star again.

Cons of Barry – He has been dead for over 20 years.

While not unpopular, his comic was not particularly popular when he was last the Flash (as opposed to Hal Jordan, who had a high selling comic in the 80s/early 90s).”

These points don’t really have much to do with the quality of storytelling in a Flash comic. They seem more marketing concerns.

I’ve only read about a half dozen Flash comics, so I’m not really sure. I liked Wally as the comic relief in the Superman/JL cartoons. He was an ancillary character who didn’t get fleshed out too much, though, so I don’t know if that could translate to carrying a series.

Iron Fist would be the best babysitter. The kids would never complain about going to the billionaire’s house, storytime would be full of Kun-Lun lore, and he could teach them some meditation to encourage calmness and self-control. All of that would be good for anybody. Boy, is the current Iron Fist series enjoyable!

I think Spider-Man or Hawkeye would be good babysitters, because they could relate to the kids on their own level.

And I go with the overwhelming majority & say Wally, too. Barry Allen actually got a good death (especially with Robert Loren Fleming’s embelishment in that Secret Origins Annual). Let him rest in peace.

I thought the mystery character was Hank Pym until I got to #4. Then I got confused again.

I would say that Luke Cage would be the best babysitter in the current New Avengers. He’s a family man, and takes his responsibilities seriously. Wolverine is a smoker, and might be attacked by ninjas and/or Sabretooth at any time. Echo is deaf. What if my child got into trouble outside her field of vision? Hawkeye is a carny. Nuff said. Ditto the ninja thing, with iron Fist. As for Spidey, what if he traded the kid to Neron?

Wally West is by far the best Flash.

Barry was a perfectly good character and the science angle was always fun. However, it is telling that he has gotten more interesting since he died. That is driven by Wally and his relationship with Barry. The perfect mentor is a lot more interesting when he is not around.

That said, the family man dynamic is a huge mistake. Wally was more fun as a swinging bachelor.

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