Link: Where “Heroes In Crisis” Went Very, Very Wrong
Link: “Heroes In Crisis” vs “Unstoppable Wasp” and a Look at Mental Illness
I know it seems a bit odd to talk about a Marvel book on a Flash website, but stay with me a moment. There are two series currently running, one at DC and one at Marvel, in which mental illness has been portrayed in a major plot line. For DC, it’s HEROES IN CRISIS, with a tragedy occurring at a mental health facility for superheroes called Sanctuary. For Marvel, it’s THE UNSTOPPABLE WASP, in which the lead character is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. So, how do the two story lines match up? Follow us after the jump!
RT @SilverAgedEd: We look HEROES IN CRISIS and THE UNSTOPPABLE WASP – how does each treat issues of mental illness? Our post here:
RT @SpeedForceOrg: “Heroes In Crisis” vs “Unstoppable Wasp” and a Look at Mental Illness
I feel like I ought to write something for @SpeedForce
about what’s going on with Heroes in Crisis and The Flash, but unlike anger, severe disappointment just isn’t motivating.
Fortunately, Ed wrote something better than I could have, and broadened it to the way Heroes in Crisis is handling mental illness as compared to The Unstoppable Wasp.
I remember when Wally West’s fans were worried that he’d get the “Kyle Rayner treatment.”
We should have been so lucky.
I’m not big on audiobooks, but I picked up a DC Comics-related Humble Bundle a few weeks ago and I #amreading The Flash: Stop Motion by Mark Schultz. It’s kind of odd listening to a “Graphic Audio” adaptation of a prose novel based on a character who usually appears in visual media, but the full cast, sound effects, and music help to make up for the lack of actual visuals that I’ve found tends to hamper prose stories about superheroes.
I read the book when it came out in 2004, and I’ve forgotten enough for it to be more-or-less “new.” It’s set during the Wally West/Keystone City era when the Flash’s identify was still public knowledge and he worked with Chyre & Morillo.
There are a few continuity issues that bugged me at the time (a lot of the story hinges on Iris & Wally being blood relatives, for instance) that don’t anymore, though I still have trouble with the opening scene where he’s treading air to “fly” w/the JLA.
The ideas about the nature of super-speed, the speed force, the metagene, and ties to quantum physics still hold up, and would be fascinating to explore further (though they might overpower the character).
So far the audio adaptation works well, but my car’s sound system doesn’t handle the deliberately confusing battle sequences very well. Headphones might work better. And some of the conversations that work in print go on way too long in audio.
I can’t remember two things about New 52 Wally West:
1. Did they confirm his mother died in Forever Evil, or is she still presumed dead?
2. He didn’t know Daniel was his father. Did he think Rudy was? So before classic Wally vanished, did they think they were half-brothers?
Oh my god, dude I love this. It’s like a plot out of the silver age.
[Yeah, the Silver Age was definitely the inspiration for this story! There are plenty of winks and nods to it throughout the story, not the least of which is the dedication to John Broome. –Lia]
I really appreciate Morrison’s work on Flash and JLA because for him, bringing back the Silver Age didn’t mean just bringing back specific characters, it meant bringing back the creativity, the wild and madcap ideas, the storytelling sense that anything is possible.On Tumblr
First Look at CW’s Keiynan Lonsdale as KID FLASH! (Wally West!)
Photo taken at: Wondercon Anaheim Convention Center
It’s Flash Appreciation Day! Visit our site and eight other fan sites to celebrate the Scarlet Speedster and help the Hero Initiative help comics creators in need!
Wally West is set to appear on the Flash TV Show in this week’s fall finale, so now is the perfect time to look back at how the first meeting of Barry Allen and Wally West has been portrayed over the years.
Silver Age: Flash #110 (1961)
The cover features the Weather Wizard in his first appearance, while a backup story introduces Kid Flash. Iris West’s nephew Wally — a huge fan of the Flash — comes to visit her in Central City, and she arranges a surprise: Her friend Barry Allen knows the Flash, and he just might be able to introduce him!
It’s a DC comic from the early 1960s, so Wally is basically the 1950s media ideal of a ten-year-old: Well-mannered and wide-eyed, saying “Gosh!” and “Jumping Jets!” and otherwise waiting for his elders to speak.
Interestingly, Wally is wearing a bow tie when they meet, but Barry is not.
Barry talks up how the Flash sometimes stops by to use his home lab, and makes a quick-change to surprise the boy, and as he talks about his origin (in surprising detail, minus of course his identity), the accident repeats itself. Wally immediately gains super-speed, and immediately starts speeding around in costume.
Flash #110 – Story: John Broome. Art: Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella.
Post-Crisis: Born to Run / Flash #62 (1992)
“Born to Run” is actually the second post-Crisis retelling of their meeting, but the first (Secret Origins Annual #2) didn’t add or change anything.
This time around we get the meeting from Wally’s point of view, set in the 1980s. Wally is visiting his aunt Iris for the whole summer, a welcome escape from the parents who don’t understand him. He sees his idol, the Flash, stop an armed robbery (and actually helps a little), on the way to meet Iris’ fiancé Barry Allen. At first, Wally is thrilled to meet a police officer…only to have his hopes of excitement and danger dashed as Barry turns out to be just a grown-up nerd.
Now it’s Barry who decides to introduce him to the Flash, and this time Wally is skeptical — until the Flash really does show up, and the scene continues much as before. It takes a bit longer for Wally’s speed to kick in, but once it does, he’s off and running.
Since Wally was the star of the current book at the time, and storytelling had moved toward strong characterization and multi-part stories, “Born to Run” brought a much more interesting presence to both characters. Getting past 1950s archetypes helps as well, and we see the beginnings of the more irreverent, slightly hotheaded Wally who eventually inspired the animated Justice League characterization.
Also worth noting: Wally’s home life has changed drastically. In the 1960s, he grew up in a picture-perfect family. In the late 1980s, that was revealed as a sham. In 1992, the sham was retconned away and his family had always been dysfunctional, with Iris being the only one he could really relate to.
Also: still no bow tie.
Flash #62 – Story: Mark Waid. Art: Greg La Rocque and Jose Marzan, Jr.
New 52: Flash Annual #3 (2013)
This Wally isn’t a fan of the Flash. In fact, when Barry first runs into him, he’s spray-painting anti-Flash graffiti, because he blames the Flash for not saving his mother when Grodd took over the city for an extended period of time during Forever Evil. Barry is not impressed, and brings him in to the station, where he’s picked up by his aunt Iris, whom he barely knows, but is his only remaining relative. Iris, unable to relate to Wally, convinces Barry to help him out as sort of a big brother.
As far as speed goes, Wally doesn’t pick it up until five years in the future. He’s present when Barry dies in battle, and the power transfers to Wally, who vows to use it as a hero…and to avenge his friend’s death.
It’s a drastic change: We get a Wally who starts out despising the Flash instead of idolizing him, who doesn’t get along with Iris at all, and whose family is not just dysfunctional but full-on broken before he’s orphaned. And of course he’s not a speedster in the present day, only the future.
Flash Annual 3 – Story: Robert Venditti and Van Jensen. Art: Ron Frenz and Livesay.
Flash TV Show (2015)
In this version, Wally West is Iris’ long-lost brother, not her nephew, and a lot closer to her in age. What brings him to Central City, what he thinks of the Flash, and how he gets along with Barry remain to be seen.
I’ve been meaning to do something with that pun for a long time.