Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Reviews: The Flash #6

Reviews of the latest installment in the scarlet speedster's ongoing story are now appearing online. The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #6 represents the conclusion of the relaunched series' first major story arc. Brace yourself. These reviews aren't pretty. In fact, this is probably as bad as it can get. Truly, these are dark days for the fastest man alive. It seems that DC Comics has announced Marc Guggenheim's takeover of the title just in time. Things are starting to get ugly.

  • Tom Foss at the Fortress of Soliloquy has decided that he's no longer going to be buying the title. "This is easily the absolute bottom-of-the-barrel worst book I buy each month. And this latest issue was doubly terrible... I know it's getting a new creative team in a few months, but I haven't been shown anything--anything!--to suggest that having Bart as the Flash is a good idea... The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive is a bad comic."
  • Film Frontier's JediSheltie recognizes that writers Bilson and DeMeo have made an effort on The Flash, but can't help but agree with these other vocal reviewers. "Sadly, though I won't say I'm a slave to popular opinion, the mob can be right from time to time. I'll join in the general critical disdain for the relaunch helmed by Danny Bilson and Paul de Meo."
  • Graig Kent of Rack Raids feels that "until now, the book has been of the 'just good enough to keep reading, not bad enough to drop yet' quality, but issue six, wrapping up the Griffin storyline, is untidy and wholly predictable and comfortably falls into 'bad' territory... The Flash experience to this point has not been an enjoyable one, which is too bad, because Bart, along with the Flash legacy, should be really entertaining reading."
  • Michael Hartney, in his latest installment of Uncle Mikey's Funnybook Round-Up, serves up some heavy criticism of the current creative team. "Everyone associated with this book so far, with the exception of Karl Kerschl, should be ashamed of themselves. Paul DeMeo and Danny Bilson should be ashamed of themselves for fumbling this high-profile reboot with a story filled with nary a shred of surprise, excitement, or charm. Ken Lashley should be ashamed of himself for turning in such uninspired, shoddy pencils... That they managed to make even Infinite Crisis seem boring is truly a remarkable feat."
  • Doug at Turning the Light Around admits that, although the book has been consistently poor since the relaunch, he loves the title character too much to drop the series. "It's a really terrible issue, but you can see them trying to haul this thing back onto the right track, so I'll be sticking around, giving these guys some slack, and looking forward to the Guggenheim run."

The intensity and bitterness in some of these reviews helps to reveal, I think, how highly people have always regarded The Flash as a comic book title. We're not just disappointed with the quality of the current series, we're angry. Why? Because we love this book, and we love this hero. For years, The Flash has consistently given us some of the greatest creative teams in comics, and we know that this title deserves the best. Truly, Guggenheim and Adrian have an imposing challenge on their hands.


Tom Foss said...

The first Flash arc that really got me interested was "The Return of Barry Allen," but I didn't buy the title regularly until just before "Chain Lightning"--in fact, the last issue of the "Black Flash" arc was my first regular purchase.

And I've bought every issue since, except the occasional annual, I suppose. It was hard deciding to give up the Flash, but I didn't like the decision to give Bart the mantle (especially when the new developments in Wally's life would have made him far more interesting), and I haven't liked anything that Bilson and DeMeo have done since then (except the Kerschl-drawn issue, which showed serious promise, even story-wise).

I'll give the book an issue or two to hook me when Guggenheim jumps on, based on my love of the character and the good things I've heard of his Wolverine run, but from what he's said, I doubt it'll be more than that. And that saddens me. It's a bad time to be a Flash fan, I'm afraid.

I love the blog, though! Very snazzy.

Dixon said...

I certainly can't argue with your decision. As you said in your review, they have yet to do anything that can justify passing the mantle of the Flash to Bart Allen. Thus far, it's been change for the sake of change. Let's hope, then, that Guggenheim is able to initiate a radical transformation in a short span of time.

Thanks for the comments on the blog, and thanks for posting!