Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Physics, Schmysics

Did I just refer to the speed force as a convoluted comic book plot device? Forgive me. As an April Fool's treat, Newsarama has reposted "Backwards Masking," an article written by the magician Zatanna (with a little help from Tom Bondurant) that recounts some of the more inspired retroactive rationales in comic history. The Flash's now famous speed force makes the list for offering a tidy, all-encompassing explanation for the scarlet speedster's historic disregard for the laws of physics. Who am I to argue with Zatanna?

Jay Garrick and Barry Allen were both scientists, so how come it took college dropout Wally West to question all the physical laws they broke just about every second? (I kid because I love, Wally!) Between the frictionless aura and Wally’s temporary need to consume mass quantities, the Flashes each nodded in the general direction of plausibility, until Mark Waid revealed the all-purpose answer. Not only was the Speed Force a limitless reservoir of super-speed energy, it facilitated time-travel and acted as an afterlife. (And it tasted great on pie!) What it lacked in scientific accuracy it made up for in elegant simplicity. It was a little more than a “just because” answer, but it was a lot more satisfying than the whole Mopee mess.


West said...

I don't know what "Mopee mess" the writer meant, but I like how the end of that excerpt sums of the Speed Force.

Zeke said...

That's why Google and Wikipedia are your friends. Check out the CBR thread linked at the bottom, it's a barrel of bizarre comic continuity.

- Z