FLASH #74 & #75

There once was a villainous turtle, who lived quite close to my Auntie Myrtle. But then, one day, she moved, away, in order to live somewhere more fertile. Want to know more? Then please ignore the following adventure created by Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter, Scott Kolins, Christian Duce, and published by DC Comics in August, 2019.

TO QUOTE Joan Rivers: 'Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is God's gift, that's why we call it the present'.

When we last paid a visit to Central City, we saw King Turtle coming face-to-face with Barry Allen so the former could tell the latter about his plans for multiversal domination. Well, according to the old slowpoke, both he and his army of followers have traveled back in time so they can steal Barry’s powers and then use them to control the populace. 

So far, they’ve kidnapped Barry’s counterpart from the future and used him to pull their present into our past.  Up next, though, revolves around them seizing our Barry’s abilities so they can finish off the job!

But can they do this? Can King Turtle and his legion of henchmen corrupt the weak, overpower the poor, and basically cause havoc in the past, present, and future? To find out, either ask Steadfast, or pick up issue 74 and 75 of The Flash today! In the meantime though, here, check this out...

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading these last two episodes of ‘Flash: Year One’, because the artwork was amazing, the story was fun to follow, and more or less it had something interesting to say about the true nature of being a hero. After all, any Tom, Dick, and Harry can put on a pair of tights and declare they’re working in the name of justice. But if truth be told, it takes time, determination, and an awful lot of effort for someone to be a genuine person of valor.  In fact, it takes so much effort, that I think we should all relax our slacks and have a look at the following four sections detailing my opinions on these two issues. Please enjoy. 

1) The Resolution: Whenever I've finished reading a story that attempts to rebrand a hero’s origin, I always ask myself three very important questions. One: Did I enjoy it? (Yes) Two: Did it present me with anything new? (Yes)  And Three: If it did, how did any of these new additions enhance the characters and their overall mythology? (Hmmm) Well, let’s face it, what’s the point of changing someone’s backstory if the process in itself doesn’t do anything different to alter people’s perceptions? Or at the very least, do something new in the name of entertainment? ‘Year One’, for example, doesn’t really do much in regards to redefining Barry’s shared history, but what it does manage to do is throw quite a few fun elements into the mix. This included things like Barry’s rejuvenated connection to his mother's memory, how he was introduced to Iris’s two nephews at exactly the same time, Wallace and Wally, and most importantly of them all, there was Barry’s encounter with his future self, because it has affected his relationship with time-travel and the way he now looks at life (in more ways than one). Apart from that, though… 

2) The Villain: While I was reading this adventure I was suddenly struck with a very strange question: Is The Turtle a boring bad guy? I mean, visually, he may look rather impressive, almost as if he were a cross between the Incredible Hulk, Doomsday, and Bowser from Super Mario Bros.  But as far as his personality is concerned? I’m not entirely sure that he has one! Well, his dialogue is cliched and trite, his motives are formulaic and pedestrian, and all in all, he doesn’t really stand out from the crowd compared to some of the other members of The Flash’s Rogues Gallery. That said, however, there is one thing about The Turtle that I found very interesting indeed! Namely, his ability to be patient, very-very patient, which in my opinion, is an ability I don’t think many other supervillains possess! Well, do you know of many baddies who are willing to wait, and wait, and wait, until the time is just right for them to strike at whoever opposes them?  And even if you can mention one or two, if that, do they also share a special connection with their foe that they can exploit, tap into, and use to pull the future back into the past? (Similar, to a one-sided game of tug-of-war against the fabric of reality!) No, I don’t think so! But then again, does being unique necessarily make someone special? Or alternatively, does conforming to the masses make someone easier to relate to? Either way, The Turtle does come across as a somewhat perplexing villain, and from the looks of it, I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of him in the near future. 

3) The Force: In issue 91 of The Flash, cover-dated June, 1994, it was established that whoever has a connection to the speed-force can only use it to its fullest potential if they have an emotional link to someone they deeply care for. Wally, for instance, fell in love with Linda Park so she became his emotional link. Whereas Barry, on the other hand, has Iris West, so she’s become his emotional link.  Now, the main reason why I bring this point up is because this ‘bond’ seems to ebb and flow depending on whoever’s writing this series.  People like Mark Waid, William Messner‑Loebs, and Brian Augustin, have used this concept from time to time, while Geoff Johns, Francis Manapul, and Brian Buccellato, have deliberately ignored it. As for Joshua Williamson, though, well, in his case, I’m not entirely sure where he stands! Sometimes I think he’s trying to keep this ability alive due to the way he constructs those scenes where Barry obviously seems inspired by Iris’s determination and beauty. Whereas, at other times, I don’t think he likes to refer to it by name so he can distance this version of Barry to the previous version of Wally!  In any event, it’s still food for thought, and I truly hope that someone can try to acknowledge this point sometime soon. 

4) The Extra Event: At the end of issue 75, we were presented with two supplementary stories. One of them focused on what Barry did after his encounter with The Trickster (circa issue 69), while the other one revolved around Captain Cold’s time with the Suicide Squad.  Now, out of the two, I'd say I slightly preferred reading Barry’s story because it featured Steadfast (an intriguing new ally) as well as a personal piece of prose on The Flash's Legacy (filtered through Barry's monologue while rebuilding The Flash Museum). As for Captain Cold’s story, however, that recounted what he's been up to since joining the Squad (bang-bang-bang) and set up his impending encounter with Lex Luthor (yawn-yawn-yawn). So, more or less, these two additional adventures were a quick, fun read, plus I did enjoy looking at the bold and lively artwork provided by Scott Kolins, Christian Duce, and of course, my twitter buddy, Howard Porter, who drew the maiden adventure and was the best of the bunch. What do you think, dear reader? Who is your favorite Flash artist and why do you like their work? Personally, I prefer Howard’s stuff because his illustrations are strong, energetic, and seem to suit Barry’s personality in terms of kinetic motion and expressive physiognomy. Similarly, Scott and Christian’s work is likewise very expressive and strong, even though sometimes it is somewhat inconsistent as well.

For this month’s musical match-up, I’m going to align this adventure to the Huey Lewis and the News song, ‘Back in Time’, simply because, you know, time travel and all that fun stuff. 

Yes! That’s correct! I’m now going to compare these two comics to The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, all because they’re both bright, adventurous, and feature more than one turtle. 

Comparison made, and cowabunga dude. 

Amidst Barry’s conversation with Steadfast, it was implied that the Avatar of the still force informed his super-fast sibling what he had to do next.  What could that be though? Seriously, what could that be? Because this story doesn’t really fill us in on any of the details! But then again, nothing’s stopping us from trying to figure it out!  So, without any further ado, let’s guess his next step out of the following eight options! I mean, does Barry have to...

  • Be faster?
  • Be redder?
  • Be happier?
  • Be louder?
  • Be brighter?
  • Be meaner?
  • Be hive?
  • Be have? 

Nuff said.

FLASH #74 & #75 FLASH #74 & #75 Reviewed by David Andrews on August 13, 2019 Rating: 5

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