Zack & Nick's Culture Cast

Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!

Speed Reading! – The Flash #26

Christos N. Gage and Neil Googe serve as the guest creative team on this month’s issue, and they spin out a very fun, little tale.  In it, Flash is chasing down Spitfire, a villain who stole various forms of biological weapons.  Unfortunately for Flash, she goes the one place he really can’t: the sky.  The rest of the issue is how Flash attempts to stop this woman and her cronies from getting away with the complication of being in the air.

"Flash Out of Water"

“Flash Out of Water”

This is a fun, quick story that is wildly entertaining.  It has a very sliver-age feel to it given that it focuses largely on super-heroics and amazing stunts. Flash does some neat things with his powers (such as running on air) and Spitfire is always coming up with new adjustments to her plans to get away.  The story is very simple, and it works.

I also really liked Spitfire as a villain.  Gage doesn’t dive into characterization too deeply with her, but she is incredibly fun.  Considering how fun I found her, I wish Gage toned it down on how murderous she actually was, but I suppose that is a minor gripe.  Though this was a one-off issue, I do hope they bring her back in the future as a foe for the Flash.

Much to my surprise, I wound up liking the art in this issue.  When I first saw a preview, I wasn’t sure if it was going to be my thing.  I am very happy to be proven wrong.  The art was exciting and really got across that feeling of speed that I think is important for the character of the Flash.

There has been a lot of chatter online how this issue is similar to an older issue of The Flash titled “Nobody Dies”.  Both deal with the concept of Flash in the air, but that is pretty much where the comparison stops.  Both execute the scenario very differently.  Whereas “Nobody Dies” was primarily about Flash falling from the sky to save someone, The Flash #26 has the sky more as an annoying inconvenience our hero needs to overcome.  In short, don’t believe the internet butthurt.  Both stories are good in their own way.

As a side-bar (and minor spoiler), I need to mention an element towards the end of the story.  Eventually, Flash and Spitfire wind up in Chicago (which is always nice to see).  Flash is attempting to prevent a plane from crashing into the city and is able to intentionally direct it to Soldier Field due to the stadium being empty due to “no game going on”.  Given the Bears’ season ending just last Sunday after losing to Green Bay, I couldn’t help but be amused by the comment.

I wouldn’t mind the team of Gage and Googe returning to the title.  Gage and Googe have that sense of fun that I like to read and see from a superhero comic.  I realize that is likely not going to be the case given Gage’s comments in interviews stating this was just a one-off for him.  Hopefully, DC Comics is thinking the same as me and can convince this team to return after regular writer Brian Buccellato departs after issue 29.

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