Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Flash v. 2 #7 - "Red Trinity"

Writer: Mike Baron
Artists: Jackson Guice & Larry Mahlstedt

So - seven issues in, and Baron and Guice have found a way to make their take on Flash really work. Continuing the longstanding Flash tradition of facing Flash off against rival speedsters, the opposition here is Red Trinity, superfast Soviet super soldiers. There's a great double-page all-in-one which shows the Trinity working as a team to prevent Flash's escape: he's faster than any one of them, but by coordinating their efforts he can't get by them. This is the best piece of super-heroic action in the series, so far.

This is a solid, straight-forward action/adventure story with super-hero trimmings. But there's nothing especially compelling about it: no spark that gives it its own personality.

And, unfortunately for Baron I'd guess, the DCU is lurking right around the corner: we're told on the last page that we need to read Millennium #1 before coming back for Flash #8. In an earlier post, I suggested that DC's Bronze Age gave us super-hero comics where the Mythos was in unresolved opposition to the World. In DC's "Modern" Age, I suggested that the creators tried out various ways of resolving the tension, but that the resolution wouldn't "keep" (for very long, at least). Here, the resolution Baron has come up with is to imbue the series with a certain amount of cynicism and to tone down the super-heroics, to give the feel of a late-1980s action movie's brand of realism. Not a bad idea (although not as good an idea for a character like Flash than it would be for a character like, say, the Punisher), but not an idea that is likely to hold up after forced integration with a Mythos-spanning cosmic Steve Englehart-penned event.

But, as always, we'll see...

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