Monday, June 21, 2010

Flash Facts: Galactic Dispersal

"Every galaxy in the universe is rushing away from our own Milky Way Galaxy--with the speed of recession increasing in proportion to the distance from us. The most distant galaxies are racing away at fantastic 60,000-miles-a-second speeds."

Issue: Superman vs. The Flash (1976)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Onomatopoeia: CRASH!

CRASH!: It's common these days to regard Modern Age comics as more intensely violent or senselessly extreme than their esteemed predecessors, and not without cause. Anyone who thinks that modern superhero stories were the first to revel in violent imagery, however, clearly hasn't taken the time to familiarize themselves with the Golden Age adventures of Jay Garrick! Yes, the man we now regard as the elder statesman of speedsters was once a cruel, rambunctious, hotheaded bully. I offer this jaw-dropping scene--punctuated by a CRASH! and a YEEEEEOW!--as Exhibit A. Look how he delights in each imaginatively mean-spirited attack. That's not to say that these low-life crooks didn't deserve a bit of rough treatment but classic comics reveal how dramatically the tone of our action and our comedy have changed over the passing decades, and thankfully so has the original scarlet speedster!

Issue: Comic Cavalcade #9 (Winter 1994)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Upcoming: The Flash #6

"The Dastardly Deaths of the Rogues!," the first story arc of the scarlet speedster's latest series, concludes with The Flash #6, due in late September. And, as comic fans everywhere have noted, DC is continuing to do their very best to hype the mysterious Flashpoint. What might this potential big-time crossover event entail? Time, and future promotions, will tell. Visit DC Comics's The Source for a look at this and other Brightest Day issues--All-new Aqualad! Martian Manhunter! Deadman! The Justice League!--coming this fall.

Written by Geoff Johns; Art and cover by Francis Manapul; Variant cover by Ale Garza & Sandra Hope.
Brightest Day dashes on with the stunning conclusion of “The Dastardly Deaths of the Rogues!” With Barry caught between the Rogues and the Renegades, the resurrected Captain Boomerang’s role in the adventure is revealed! You won’t believe how this leads to the upcoming Flashpoint. On sale September 22, 2010. 32 pg. FC. $2.99 US.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Flash Facts: Gaseous Envelopes

"Recent experiments indicate that a gaseous envelope (such as the one shown below around a torpedo) can double the speed of underwater missiles. The vapor envelope eliminates much of the skin-friction drag of a hydrodynamic body."

Issue: The Flash #128 (May 1962)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Rogue Spotlight: Abra Kadabra

With Memorial Day behind us, it's time for everyone's favorite sixty-fourth century sorcerer to take a bow. Crimson Lightning's Rogue Spotlight dedicated to the unforgettable, the irrepressible Abra Kadabra is at an end. (And, hocus pocus, it looks as if that wicked magician has made the last week of blog entries... disappear!) Gone is the oddly disturbing parade of puppet imagery. Gone is the seemingly endless presentation of sadistic magic tricks. The Flash has defeated his spellbinding foe time and again, and now the fastest man alive will reclaim our regular blog features as summertime begins.

Abra Kadabra has always been obsessed with applause, craving acclaim and endless attention from the very men and women he ultimately victimizes. The vainglorious villain's peak in popularity, no doubt, was attained during the aforementioned Mark Waid era, in which he served as a recurring arch-nemesis for Wally West. For those looking for a thrilling first-time encounter with Kadabra, reach for a copy of The Flash (v.2) #67, or immerse yourself in the convoluted but mesmerizing "Dark Flash Saga." (Beyond the works of Mark Waid, DC First: Superman/Flash, by Geoff Johns and Rick Burchett, provides and even more accessible introduction to the character.) Never was this singular supervillain more demented, more dangerous, more wonderfully engaging.

Kadabra is as charismatic as he is insane and it's clear he'll remain a mainstay of our hero's illustrious Rogues Gallery far into the future. Blink and you'll miss his fleeting off-screen appearances in The Flash: Rebirth, but that shadowy back-stage puppetry is nonetheless truly foreboding. No one spins a myth-arc like Geoff Johns, and a decisive conflict involving the mad magician speedily approaches. Johns has made it clear that he regards the Flash as a superhero who is integrally associated with time, and a clash between the crimson comet's time-traveling foes seems a tantalizing inevitability. We haven't seen the last of Abra Kadabra...

I chose to transform Crimson Lightning for the month of May, dedicating most of our regular features to my personal favorite of the Flash's Rogues, to pick up the pace a little, so to speak, to change things up. And, after a month of amusing ourselves with panels and pages from Abra Kadabra's memorable appearances throughout the years, it seems as if our first Rogue Spotlight was a success. Considering the size, diversity, and sheer success of the crimson comet's all-but unrivaled Rogues Gallery, it's only natural that the Rogue Spotlight be adopted as a regular feature. Don't be surprised if you see another infamous supervillain taking over the blog someday soon.

The question is, which of the Rogues should seize the spotlight next?