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Flash #5: Speed McGee (October ‘87): #CritFail

Flash #5: Speed McGee (October ‘87), by Baron, Guice, and Torrance. Let’s take a peek.

You can find our look at Flash #2 here on the Rising Phoenix Games blog.

Flash #5: Speed McGee
Yes, yes you can judge this one by its cover.

Here we get to a well-known issue with older DC comics.

The Good

The comic opens on a scene of graphic domestic abuse, then goes on to blame the wife-beater’s violent streak on steroids. Well done to DC for tackling tough issues.

The Bad

Unfortunately, the story doesn’t make great use of the setup. Wally (Flash) meets Tina (whose husband is mainlining ‘roids into his increasingly angry brain) in a very public restaurant. You’d expect the big floppy hat, scarf in summer, and dark glasses, but still, would anybody really manage to meet in public? Especially when your appointment is with the Flash, the same guy who can be anywhere, instantly?

Wally and Tina are quick to hook up, even after she affirms her loyalty to her deranged husband, making the wife-beating feel like a thin excuse for Wally to get the girl. Was it necessary?

The Ugly

In 22 pages you get 13 boring shots of the Flash in his full kit, while you get 20 great shots of the villain being a bad Flash that takes only 4 pages. I thought I came here to see superheroes?

Still, I’d be fine with the villain flexing if the drama was good.

So, here’s the crunch.

In the Marvel vs DC showdown of the 80s, Marvel was known for writing identifiable characters we could sympathise with. Peter Parker having issues with his boss? We get that. Rogue trying to fit in? Been there. The Hulk struggling to manage his temper? Now you’re getting personal.

The Wally-Flash, on the other hand, has millionaire problems. He’s twenty, she’s 31. He’s single, she’s married. Should he? Shouldn’t he? Come on!

Overall, Issue #5’s tough-to-stomach premise made the millionaire-problems even more unpalatable.

Hard skip.


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