Saturday, November 20, 2010

Spoiler Saturday--Flash #6

**You know, if you're going to publish a series about the Fastest Man Alive, you might want to, you know, not make it the most slowly published series alive.

After Flash: Rebirth took ten months for a six-issue mini-series, we should have seen the writing on the wall.

After 6 issues, the latest incarnation of the Flash is already two months behind. (Issue #8 was solicited for November...)

We might catch up, because the next couple of issues are fill-ins "Rogue Profile" issues drawn by Scott Kolins. But then it's back to Francis Manapul.

And since we're leading up to the FLASHPOINT event, which is being drawn by renowned speedster Andy Kubert, well, let's just say that I sense we'll soon be wishing for the days when we were only two months behind...


You want to pimp the Spike TV Scream Awards? The same group of voters who picked True Blood as the best TV show, and Twilight: Eclipse as the best fantasy movie?

I mean, a win is a win, but do you really think that blurb will move any more comics?

**OK, so one of the big things Geoff Johns wanted to play up with this new Flash series is the "C.S.I." aspect. Which makes some sense...Barry was, after all, a police scientist long before CSI was cool. Look, DC even plastered it all over one of the covers!!

So after the first arc, how's that coming along? Barry solved a cold case, and freed an innocent kid from prison. And how did C.S.I. Central City solve this?

Barry's wife, Iris (who's a reporter, and neither a cop nor a crime lab tech), looked over the witness statements and "found an inconsistency" with one of the witnesses. And that witness turned out to be the real killer. And they found jewelry and keys in his apartment, so case closed.

This all happens off-screen...we don't know any details of the crime, the victims, what the "inconsistency" was, anything. And as far as we can tell, "crime science" had utterly zero to do with solving the case. No fingerprints, or fiber analysis, or DNA, or analysis of any kind of evidence whatsoever.

Uh...has Geoff Johns ever actually seen an episode of CSI??

And Barry's boss in the crime lab decides that, even though the false conviction had absolutely nothing to do with faulty crime lab work, they're going to pull "every single case closed within the last six months...We do our job, we do it right." Because, apparently, the Central City crime lab is responsible for false witness statements and searching the apartments of non-suspects...

And of course, in Flash's battle with the Top from the future, Flash uses the old reliable scientific method of letting Top's duped allies overhear a confession during battle. No evidence, DNA, fingerprints...

Hey, I've got no burning desire to see The Flash as CSI Central City. But if you're going to sell the book that way, shouldn't at least try to have some of this solved in a CSI-like way? If you're going to talk the talk, walk the walk, right, Geoff? We see better use of crime-solving tech in your average Batman title, and no one's pushing that as Gotham City CSI.

**The plot of this six-issue arc was, essentially: Cops from the future show up, claim that in the future Barry will kill one of him, the arrest him, Barry proves one of the cops was the actual murder, everybody goes home.

In the Silver Age, Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino would have wrapped that up in one issue, with room for a feature or two. Cary Bates might have stretched it out over two issues, if only to leave room for the Green Lantern back-up.

In 2010, they stretch it out over six issues which they can't get published on schedule. And then they act surprised when sales drop and people wait for the trades...


La Belle Esplanade said...

"In the Silver Age, Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino would have wrapped that up in one issue...." Yup. and it would have been a good issue worth the money spent.

Perplexio said...

So far Geoff's writing of Barry still has me wondering why they bothered resurrecting Barry. I was more impressed with BART as the Flash after Marc Guggenheim took over for Bilson & DiMeo than I've been with Geoff's writing of Barry as The Flash.

Bart as the Flash didn't fail because Bart was poorly written so much as the huge gaping plothole of "What the hell happened to Wally?" His absence was somewhat arbitrary and was a huge plothole. When they had Wally take over for Barry... They killed off Barry. Wally taking over made sense. Wally going into semi-retirement to be a family man WORKS but only if it's actually shown... It wasn't shown until after they'd killed off Bart and brought Wally back.

I swear they've been botching The Flash ever since Infinite Crisis started.