Review: The Flash Season Zero by Andrew Kreisberg, Phil Hester (Illustrations), Marcus To (Illustrations)

The Flash Season ZeroThe Flash Season Zero by Andrew Kreisberg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

I’m a HUGE fan of the tv show, so that may have some bearing on my rating, but I don’t think so. This was a pretty decent collection of Television Flash stories. Obviously, this is not going to match up with what is going on in the real Flash comics, nor should it. This is strictly for CW fans who want a bit more of their Barry.

OhmyGodIlovethiskid!

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Anyway, most of the time I find these sort of tv spin-offs annoying and horribly cheesy. But (again, perhaps due to my love of the show) this time around I was fairly pleased with the graphic novelization of the show.

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This give a teeny background origin blurb, and then moves on to tell a group of very loosely connected stories about the Flash’s life in Central City.

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The art is sort of all over the place, and although I liked some of it better than others, none of it
WOWed
me. However, I did like the art with cleaner lines more than the chunky/clunky stuff.

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I was happy to see that they didn’t recap last season’s episodes, and instead came up with all new stories to tell, featuring (mostly) all new villains.

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Some of these guys I’d never even heard of, so I was thinking maybe there are a few new creations in this. But it’s also likely that I don’t know every single villain in Barry’s rogue gallery, so it’s quite possible that these might ring a bell to some of you hardcore Flash fans out there.

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I think I should mention that there is an issue with Felicity Smoak for all of you Arrowheads out there…

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One of my favorite issues was the one with Amanda Waller & the Suicide Squad. Of course, this does not have the same cast as the movie, so don’t go into it expecting to see Harley Quinn. Sorry! Instead you’ve got Deadshot, Boomerang, Cupid, and King Shark.

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Oh…and the Suicide Squad issue also includes another Arrow Crossover.

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All in all, not a bad volume for fans. If you like the show, then this might tide you over till the new episodes come out!

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I received a digital copy from Netgalley & the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Justice League, Vol. 6: Injustice League by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis (Illustrations), Joe Prado (Illustrations)

Justice League, Vol. 6: Injustice LeagueJustice League, Vol. 6: Injustice League by Geoff Johns

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

 

Fuck it.
Not everyone is going to agree with me, but I just loved this!
I’m sure I’m going to look back and find plot holes, or inconsistencies in the ways characters acted during the story. But my initial impression is that I had a great time reading this sucker. I can tell, because I have a giant grin plastered on my face right now. And to me, the most important thing in a comic book is that it makes me smile.

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Ok. So, let me just hit a few of the plot points for Injustice League. I’m going to try my best not to give major spoilers, but I’ve seen people bitch about the weirdest stuff. So if you are one of those weird people? Now is a good time to turn back.
You will be missed. Goodbye!

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You wanna know what I really loved the most?
Well, I’m going to tell you anyway.
A lot of the complaints about DC center around their lack of levity. It’s like everything seems to be set in Gotham these days. Or at least, that’s the feel of a lot of DC’s stuff these past few years.
No jokes, people! Comics are not a laughing matter!
Except, they are. Especially superhero comics. It’s what turned me on to them to start with. You know what making fun of yourself, when you realize you’re more than a little ridiculous, is called?
A sense of humor.
And Justice League has one this time around!
I’m not saying that volume 6 is a laugh-a-minute, but Johns managed to squeeze in some pretty decent one-liners throughout the story.

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Shazam…well, Captain Marvel, but who the hell knows he’s called Captain Marvel, amirite? You say Captain Marvel to anyone, and their mind immediately goes to this:

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Where was I?
Oh, yes. Shazam!
So Billy Batson gets to play a role in this one, thanks to Lex Luthor giving him an invite to the New Watchtower. He’s a kid in a grown-up body, but instead of making him angsty, Johns played it up for comedic effect. Were they all winners? No. But I give him an A for effort.

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By the way, I take back everything I said about Johns hating Wonder Woman in Justice League, Vol. 1: Origin .
She. Is. Badass!

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My only complaint is that I didn’t feel like this one had very much of my favorite guy, Aquaman, in it. He was there, but I don’t think he even spoke. Or if he did, I certainly can’t remember what he said.
Come on, he’s so cool! Give the guy some lines!

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Flash got to play more of a role than usual, and I thought he was showcased pretty well. Sure, his connection to the Speed Force is a big plus, but that isn’t what makes him such a great character.
It’s his humor & heart that make him great.
And, in this title at least, he’s done right.
He uses his super speed to go get ice cream cones for little kids who were in the middle of the Justice League’s battle zone. He makes fun of Batman when he’s too serious. And he’s the guy who’s entrusted with the care of an emotionally damaged woman, who was taken over by the Crime Syndicate’s Power Ring. Cuz he’s sweet. And good with the loonies.

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If the writers of the Flash title would stop fucking with the Speed Force & tossing him through time, they could come up with a pretty incredible comic book for this guy. He’s like Superman in that way. Once you forget the core of what makes him awesome, and just focus on the powers?
It turns into the shittiest reading experience ever.

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WhereTheFuck do you find an awesome cat like that?!
Mine just poops in the box, then hisses at me till I clean her shit up. Whoever said rescue animals were grateful, hasn’t met Selina.
Look at her…plotting against me. Waiting to dirty up her litter box.
Bitch.

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Off track again…
Oh! Ok. I was wrong, the lack of Aquaman wasn’t my only complaint.
Cyborg. Poor, poor Cyborg!
Does anyone else notice that every fucking time he uses his super-special computer brain to hack into something, he ends up getting totally fried?!
EVERY TIME.
They need to stop him the next time he says he’s going to hijack an evil entity’s circuits, intervention style!
Look, Victor, we know you want to help. But, apparently, your programming isn’t All That, buddy. We love you, and just want the best for you. Now…go back to the Watchtower and monitor the shit out of that place.
Or.
He could come through a story without having to go get completely rebuilt & rewired by his dad. Just a suggestion, DC. Just a suggestion…

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You already know from the cover that Lex Luthor becomes a member of the Justice League in this. Unless you’re stupid. And if you are, then you should have heeded my warning at the beginning of this review. So, shut your freak mouth, and sit back down.

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Now how he manages to blackmail worm his way on to the team is a whole different mess of spoilers. And I’m not going into it. However, I will say that I thought it was pretty cool. I mean, why would they ever let him on the team? Well, I thought this gave a convincing reason.
Plus, none of them trust him, so it made for some fun reading.

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Guess who makes an appearance?!
The Doom Patrol!
Yeah, I didn’t really know who they were, either.
But that’s ok! I’m willing to learn. And it looks like they may play a bigger role in some future stories. I’m kind of intrigued to see what’s in store for this team. I’m also hoping they get more mileage out of these guys than they did when they tried to revive the Metal Men.

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Anyway, this was total movie popcorn. If you’re looking for a comic with all of the Meaning Of Life shit, go somewhere else. Justice League is just good fun with capes and tights. Those of you who have loved the previous volumes, will probably enjoy this one as much as I did.

Thank you to NetGalley & DC for a digital copy to review.

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Review: The Flash, Vol. 6: Out of Time by Robert Venditti

The Flash, Vol. 6: Out of TimeThe Flash, Vol. 6: Out of Time by Robert Venditti

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Fast-paced & action-packed!
Unfortunately, I have no idea what just happened…

Warning: Here Be Spoilers!
Ok, I’m going to try not to spoil everything in the story for you, but I’m not making any guarantees. Add in the fact that I’m actually not quite sure what happened in this volume, and I think you’re probably safe.

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Time-travel stories like this are where Flash loses a lot of mainstream fans. I personally think, when used sparingly, time-travel can be a great plot device for characters like this one. They can be fun!

Did you hear me, DC? SPARINGLY.

You can use it to correct stories that were totally FUBAR from the get-go, or fix shit that idiot writers may have fucked up. You can also use it to reboot your entire universe, and give everything a glossy new make-over…
Sparingly.
But just because you have a character who can time-travel, doesn’t mean they should. I mean, at some point, it makes the stories you’re telling mean nothing, because the readers just assume that none of it is written in stone. We’re already dealing with Lazarus pits, magic, and alien tech that can all resurrect the dead. So we’re used to the Surprise! It was really my evil twin that died! sort of soap opera mentality that comes with reading comic books. But to have years worth of continuity wiped out by a single issue?
Sparingly, please…

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So, who’s the man in blue?
Well, it’s Future Flash, of course. He’s racing through time to fix shit. Again. Only this time he’s a bit unhinged.
Something happened when Reverse Flash (Daniel West) plowed through the timeline a while back. In our time, Barry is noticing that he is (still don’t understand this totally) losing time when he starts speeding from one place to another.
But wouldn’t he just sort of make up the time he’s losing, since he’s gong faster than normal, you ask?
Shhhh!
Barry is losing time!
So the entire volume is filled with our Barry here in the present, plus future Barry going steadily backward in time. Our Barry is still trying to deal with the aftermath of the Crime Syndicate thing, his relationship with not Iris Patty, and a new version of Wally.
Meanwhile, future Flash is making stops all along the timeline, to fix all the things he couldn’t the first time around.

Ok, in my effort not to spoil everything, I can only say that ‘characters’ die, get saved, get powers, go back in time, and die…again.
Or do they?
Are they still alive in this this timeline, but with a changed future? Will they still get powers, or was that a one-time thing caused by future Flash? Is the timeline safe? Did anything really change?
And the soap opera goes on…

In the end, I can’t say it was a bad story. Great pacing, lovely art, and characters that I really like.
It’s just the fucking time-travel that rakes my nerves.
For the love of God…SPARINGLY!

Thanks to NetGalley & the publishers for a digital review copy.

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Review: The Flash, Vol. 5: History Lessons by Brian Buccellato

The Flash, Vol. 5: History LessonsThe Flash, Vol. 5: History Lessons by Brian Buccellato

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don’t know what to say about this.
It’s just…I have yet to feel fully captured by a solo Flash title.
I honestly love Barry Allen’s character. He’s sweet, funny, loyal, and makes a great addition to any team-up, but… on his own?
Woof.
Such a blah story.
I would lovelovelove to see a writer take this title on, and then make it exciting and fun. I know it can be done. And I know it can be done without turning Barry into a dark version of himself or some other nonsense.

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As it is, I’m still ambivalent to this title.

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Up first was a nice team-up with Hal Jordan that showed how they met.
Green Lantern & Flash! BFF’s FOREVAH!

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The story had an old school feel to it that was sorta sweet & fun, but there wasn’t any real meat to that one.

Ok, I’m going to be completely honest here.
I don’t actually remember much about most of this volume. Mostly random villains, and unconnected stories…I think.
Sadly, the majority of it just left me with a vague feeling of meh.

The last few issues were my favorites. Barry accidentally frees an evil spirit who is intent exacting revenge on the descendants of the man who killed him.
There’s an actual story here that’s relevant to Barry’s life, and it made all the difference.
I wish the whole volume had been as interesting as the stuff at the end.

The Flash is just one of those characters (like Aquaman) that I simply refuse to give up on. I like what he stands for, so I’m going to continue on with his comics in the hopes that some writer will eventually knock my socks off.

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Review: Justice League, vol 1; Origin by Geoff Johns

Justice League, Vol. 1: OriginJustice League, Vol. 1: Origin by Geoff Johns

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ahhhhhh, it was soooo good!
Well, except.
But I’ll get to that later. For right now, let’s just focus on the good. And there was plenty of good.
Most of the characters seem like an improved-on version of themselves.
Superman was probably the best in that regard. Finally you see what he should have been like all along. Very cool.

Batman was super-cool. Then again, he always was. I think you have to actively try in order to turn him into a douche.
Example: All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, Vol. 1
*It can be done, folks. It just takes a special person to do it.*

Aquaman was the biggest surprise for me. Wow! I wanna read more about that guy! He popped outta the water and just stole the show from there on out. Seriously. Couldn’t take my eyes off of him.

Hal Jordan was not what I was expecting, but his interactions with Bruce provided quite a bit of comic relief.

The Flash. He was…The Flash.
He’s never been my favorite, and I doubt that’s going to change any time soon. Still, he wasn’t annoying. I can live with it.

Cyborg? How awesome is it that they stuck Cyborg in there?
Let me tell you.
Very
. I wouldn’t have thought it would have worked, but it did.

Ok. So you put all these guys together, add some great dialogue by Johns, and some incredible artwork by Lee…
Ta-da! Perfection! 5 stars!

Oh. Wait. I’m forgetting someone, aren’t I?
Ah, yes. Wonder Woman.
And here comes the above mentioned Except.

She was so stupid that I wanted to cry. Cry! As in, big fat tears rolling down my face. What the hell were they thinking?! Not only is she still clad in The World’s Most Recognizable One-Piece, but she also evidently has the mental capacity of a child!

Hm. Ice cream is wonderful.
Steve! Have you ever had ice cream? You must try it. This cook is truly blessed.
Steve, this place, you home is filled with so many wonderful things. Ice cream and rock and roll and…many wonderful things.

And…

Greetings warriors. I followed these things from your capital city. I saw you and saw you needed help.

Ok. Maybe that last one wouldn’t have sounded so bad, but everyone else was so…not using stilted dialogue.

Sooooo. Yeah. Wonder Woman is retarded.
I don’t get it. Maybe Geoff Johns had his heart broken by a chick who liked to dress up like the Amazon princess?
Sure, I’m reaching here, but why else would he hate her so much? And he must. There is no way he accidentally made her sound so…Gah!

Jim Lee did a great job making her look incredible (while she spouted nonsense), but in the end…
sigh
I knocked a star off for making the only girl look like an idiot.
Boo! Shame on you, Johns!

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Review: Flash Vol. 4 – Reverse, by Francis Manapul

The Flash, Vol. 4: ReverseThe Flash, Vol. 4: Reverse by Francis Manapul
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


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Reverse Flash is a bad guy, in the Flash Rogues Gallery, but this version of Reverse Flash is actually more of a tragic story.

You know, it seems obvious to me that Flash just isn’t on Geoff Johns’ list of important New 52 characters. I mean he’s got a competent writer, but the storylines are shit.

So people who got stuck in the Speed Force with Barry all got some powers…and now someone kills them all off, until only Iris is left…Barry sees a slowed down video that shows his reverse symbol, and goes after Kid Flash…cue some stupid running together and making stupid conversation scenes as they burn across the world, and Bart shows what a moron he is here…saved by the Teen Titans again.

So oops, not him, well he thinks it is the rich guy who helped him save the city but turns out to have different aims…nope.

Of course, it’s DANIEL WEST! Iris’ brother, who Flash caught in issue one and sent to prison for bank robbery. Daniel, who was out of prison just long enough to make it back for the Gorilla invasion (what? ya I try to forget that too…) and saved by the Rogues…of course no, they rob everyone, and Daniel don’t like that, so he acts like a dummy, and gets blowed up real good like with all the Speed Force stuff and a monorail car…

Instead of dying, why no, it bonds to him and he discovers he can go back in time! But it is hard on him…
Then we see he killed all the others, and used them like batteries, to go back in time…

What does he go back to do? Rob a bank? Kill Flash? Ace his SATs? Escape prison? No, actually he goes back to murder his and Iris’ abusive father…who we see beat both of them and was a real asshole. We also see that Iris was one of those dumb “oh he only hit me because he was drinking, it’s not his fault!” type of victims who makes excuses. Instead, Daniel/Reverse Flash (how clever indeed) wants to kill him so his sister, who he loves, will never have to be hit again…yes it will mean Daniel escapes it too, but we see that he loves her more.

Flash stops him and gives him a lecture about not changing the past, and learning from it, stopping him by taking the Speed Force energy from him? In fact, the writer even has Flash say “I have no idea how that worked, I couldn’t explain it again if I tried” WOW. What a cop-out and lazy writing.

So back in the present, Daniel is back to normal-ish, but I’m sure he’ll return. He goes to prison, and we see flashbacks of how Iris was to him as they grew up, and she’s kinda a self-absorbed cunt…no time for her little brother…maybe he should have just been like her and embraced the punches?

Anyhow, I was really bothered that Iris doesn’t forgive him or buy his story at all, and pretty much says that her brother is dead to her, and died when he was a kid. WOW, that’s harsh…he turned into a supervillain and killer because he wanted to save you from getting beat up your whole childhood by your father…hmmm ya, I agree, what a horrible younger brother that is…

So if this is who Iris West is in the New 52, I’m glad Barry is with Penny.

Then we get a stupid tacked on story about Iris and Barry’s meet cute in Gotham right before Zero Year (because how much more can we advertise Batman???) Barry is helping out, riding alongside Harvey Bullock and his partner…there’s some shenanigans, Barry saves Iris, Iris saves Barry, and Bullock has to do something dark. Then Barry gets all goody goody on Bullock about how that wasn’t right, and Bullock puts him in his place and pretty much tells him to fuck off and grow up a little. It made me love Bullock just that little bit more.

So here’s the thing; I want to like this. I do, the art is a bit childish, but it’s not bad. It is consistent, which isn’t something you can say for a lot of books…but the plots are stupid, and Barry comes across as very naive and a little too black and white. I mean I guess he’s a cop by choice, so that tells us something…but I wish he’d show some more personality? He’s just too much wet blanket for me…

I just hope we see Wally West soon, and that Daniel West isn’t the character they used instead…ugh.

So this might not be a 2, it might be 2.5-3, but I couldn’t get over the feeling of really not liking Iris after her treatment of her brother, and I feel like they’re just in a holding pattern waiting to push Patty out of the picture.

Flash, you need to make shit interesting, because even if there’s no actual problem, you’re BORING, and I don’t feel like going out of my way to read you anymore.


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Review: The Flash: Rebirth by Geoff Johns

The Flash: RebirthThe Flash: Rebirth by Geoff Johns

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Introduction:

My first introduction to Flash’s character was through the “Justice League” cartoon series that aired on Cartoon Network years ago. Since then, I had become a huge fan of the Flash (even though for many years, I had actually thought that Barry Allen was the Flash in the “Justice League” cartoon, when it turned out to actually be Wally West). So, not only did I want to check this comic book out to prepare for the new live action “Flash” TV series that is coming out on the CW, but I also wanted to learn more about Flash’s character in the DC comics and “The Flash: Rebirth” seemed like a good place to actually start reading the “Flash” comics.


What is this story about?

In this story, Barry Allen, who was hailed a hero after he sacrificed his life during a cosmic crisis in the past, has come back to life and all his friends and family are planning to throw him a special party for his return. Unfortunately, since Barry Allen had been dead for so long, he finds himself being out of place in this new world and he became a bit distant towards his friends, due to wanting to solve the mystery of the person who murdered his mother and why he was brought back to life. Barry will soon realize that a dark force is behind everything that happened to him in his life and he must gather the strength to defeat this new threat that is harming his family!


What I loved about this story:

Geoff Johns’ writing: Now, I will admit that this is the first time I had read anything by Geoff Johns and his run in the DC universe. So, when I heard so many good things about what he has done for the DC universe, I just had to check this title out! I really liked the way that Geoff Johns showed the relationships that Barry Allen has with his family, especially with his wife Iris West and his protégé Wally West. It was great seeing that the Flash family is extremely close to each other and is willing to protect Barry Allen from whatever evil forces comes upon him. I also enjoyed seeing Barry’s relationship with Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern, as it shows that they are truly best friends and that Hal always tries to cheer Barry up whenever Barry is feeling down on himself. I really enjoyed the fact that Geoff Johns tries to make sure that the readers are caught up on Barry Allen’s history as we are treated to seeing Barry’s past from being the Flash to leading to the murder of his mother, which was a pretty nice mystery set up for this story!

Ethan Van Sciver’s artwork: Ethan Van Sciver’s artwork was just marvelous in this volume as the characters look truly realistic and the action sequences were extremely well drawn out! I really loved the scenes where the Flash family fight against various foes as the action sequences are full of bright colors and dramatic artwork and they really set the exciting mood for those scenes. I also loved the way that Ethan Van Sciver drew the emotions on the characters’ faces, especially with Barry Allen’s facial expressions whenever he is feeling sad or angry at the situations he is thrown into.

Flash


What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

The reason why I gave this graphic novel a four star rating was because there were a couple of places where the story seemed to drag on for so long that I found myself getting a little restless with the storytelling. Also, if you are a new reader to the “Flash” universe, you might get a little confused about how Barry Allen had died in the first place or how his relationships with Iris and Wally West got established since the story does go through those developments a little too fast (I know, it is really because I did not read the previous “Flash” comics before this event, but I got to start somewhere)!


Final Thoughts:

Overall, “The Flash: Rebirth” is a good comic book to get into if you enjoyed Barry Allen as the Flash and if you liked his relationships with his family members. Or if you are just looking for a good Flash family comic in general, this is a pretty good comic to start off with!

My Rating?

4 pows

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