Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fast Talk: Computer Control


Computer Control: In addition to showcasing young Wally West's offensive lack of manners, this little expository exchange from "The Kilg%re," a techno-thriller by Mike Baron and Jackson Guice, unveils a state-of-the-art computer system with some obvious and rather alarming design flaws. Professor Schmitz explains that S.T.A.R. Labs's Utah facility "is run by computer," and this computer "can think for itself, to a certain extent... With our robots and access to virtually every other computer in the western hemisphere, we're one of the foremost physics labs in the world!" Sentient computers? Robots? Total technical domination?! Can't you just hear the menacing underscore music swell beneath such boastful technobabble? Be thankful the internet wasn't designed by the software engineers of S.T.A.R. Labs. Naturally, by the end of this particular issue the electronics of the entire western hemisphere have been dominated by a malevolent artificial intelligence. Oh, well. Back to the drawing board!

Issue: The Flash (v.2) #3 (August 1987)

2 comments:

GF said...

Okay, it's Wally being a jerk again in the Mike Baron issues. Oddly, I find myself liking it -- he's a real breath of fresh air in the DCU, where the good guys tend to be scientist/Boy Scout types. Wally's much nicer now, but he's still got that incurious streak.

Dixon said...

I agree completely. It was Wally West's characterization during the Baron and Messner-Loebs years--as selfish, boorish, impulsive hothead lothario--that really captured my interest in The Flash! He was, and still is, as you say, a real breath of fresh air in the DC Universe! Let's hope he'll still have a prominently role to play in the years ahead...