Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Flash Annual #3

   When I complain about how lame annuals have become, I always feel like a typical geezer ("Things were so much better when I was a kid")... but I'll take my chances - here comes another rant.

   This Flash Annual stinks.

   Part of that is because it's a dirty trick. The story in Flash #30 was continued into this annual, forcing regular readers to buy this to find out what happens next.

   But it gets worse. The story doesn't end here - it's continued into the next issue of The Flash - so what you have here is just a slightly-longer, more expensive version of a regular issue of The Flash.

   And then there's the fact that the story itself is a mess. It offers a look at the present-day Flash as he takes on some lame villains; and the Flash of the future as he crosses a line that he should never cross.

    But the issue's greatest offense is what it does to Wally West. That character - Iris West's nephew - was the original Kid Flash, and later took over the role of The Flash for years - in fact, for many readers, he is "The" Flash. But this issue introduces Wally to the "New 52," and he's just a punk kid, committing acts of vandalism. He can presumably be redeemed - and he means a lot to future Barry Allen - but so far, his story is off to a depressing start.

   The one good thing about the issue is the artwork by Ron Frenz, as he tells the modern-day part of the story. (Brett Booth does fine work on the future story, too.)

   Despite being a big fan of the Barry Allen version of the Flash, I'm about ready to drop this series - after more than two-and-a-half years, the story is going nowhere - and worse, it's dragging my hero through the mud. Hard to keep supporting that sort of thing, isn't it?

Grade: D


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