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Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!
Today, for Valentine’s Day, let’s look at Mark Waid’s Flash “Terminal Velocity.”
A main feature of Mark Waid’s Flash run was the relationship between the Flash, Wally West, and his girlfriend, Linda Park.
During Waid’s run, the two officially became a couple (they had had a sort of “Will they or won’t they?” relationship since Bill Loebs’ run on the title), got engaged and, as his run ended, got married.
Terminal Velocity (Flash #0, Flash #95-100) is a story that involves Wally West, during one of his many time travel experiences, glimpses a piece of the future. He is shocked by what he sees, and we are led to believe that what he saw was his own death, which would explain his mysterious behavior.
But that was not the case – what he saw was LINDA’S death, and while he might have been willing to sacrifice himself, he was not willing to sacrifice Linda, so he did all sorts of machinations and manipulations with the other speedsters in his life, like Jesse Quick and Impulse, to try to have Linda avoid her fate (which was to be blasted by Kobra).
Wally thinks he has succeeded, but, well…
So instead, he is given the choice of either SHE die, or, well, you know…
This leads directly into…
However, things don’t work as he figured…
which sets up the 100th issue of Flash, and the finale of Terminal Velocity.
The key to the story is, we learn, the love between Wally and Linda.
I won’t spoil the finale (although you can find it featured in last year’s Cool Comic Book Moments if you feel like spoiling yourself), but trust me, it’s pretty darn cool.
Lost in the shuffle a bit is Flash #0, which is where Wally first gets the glimpse of the future. It involves him time-traveling and meeting himself as a child. It’s a really heart-warming, well done character piece by Waid.
The artists for this storyline were the late, great Mike Wieringo as well as newcomers Salvador Larocca, Carlos Pacheco and Oscar Jimenez (it’s kind of nuts how many future star artists worked together on #100, all when they were new to American comics).
If you’re looking for a great superhero story about love – Terminal Velocity is it!
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!
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