DC Comics Presents: Reverse Flash!
It actually came together fairly quickly, as much of this week’s art has. I’m a few days ahead, for the first time in a long time, which is kind of great. I have upcoming content about meetings and a school dance, and plenty of time in actual meetings to spend drawing. Creatively, life is good.
Last year, at about this time, I gave readers a brief history lesson in comics about the Reverse Flash, in case they might be watching “The Flash” on television. This was pretty smart, because pretty much the continuing story arc of the entire first season was dealing with the Reverse Flash, and the ramifications of time travel. All very fair, and well executed.
And I do mean “executed.” One of the Reverse Flash’s relatives an ancestor who was part of the cast, committed suicide prematurely. This basically invalidated the entire existence of the Reverse Flash, causing a dangerous contradiction that in terms of comic book science produces the Earth-2/Multiverse system of cosmology.
The key point here is that the Reverse Flash isn’t just killed off. He’s erased from time. Since Eddie never has any kids, he is never conceived in the future, and thus, can’t be any kind of character. Presumably that is why we got this season’s antagonist named Zoom, who is far, far less interesting.
Despite the fact that he’s been utterly wiped from existence, tonight will see a return of the briefly glimpsed, non-merged with Harrison Wells Reverse Flash. Reverse Flash “Original Flavor” if you will. It’s a superhero show, so I’ll accept a wide latitude of explanations for how he has managed to ride out being scrubbed from existence itself…but I’m going to need a throwaway line, and some exposition. Especially since we haven’t really seen this guy at all…the compelling Reverse Flash was the “merged with Harrison Wells” version.
A big criticism I’m having of the television show, at this point, is the reliance on a faster “speed nemesis” for the overarching plot. The ensemble cast is charming, and the Flash has a very colorful and broad based “Rogues Gallery.” There’s really no reason, narratively, to keep feeding at the speedster trough, when it is more interesting to see him having to cope with new super powers that are unfamiliar to him. It’s where the ensemble cast really shines.
You will note that the Flash himself isn’t on the cover for the team up. Maybe he’s sad that he broke up with yet another female cast member on the show, maybe he isn’t there because lately, he hasn’t done as much of the heavy lifting, super hero wise, on the show. This season has had a whole lot of team ups…Green Arrow, Firestorm, the Atom, Golden Age Flash, Hawkman and Hawkgirl…it’s a big list. Those episodes tend to focus on the guest stars, making the show feel like a “try out” or “spotlight” comic, such as “Brave and the Bold” or “DC Comics Presents.”
As a result…I didn’t think I needed him on the cover. I have Reverse Flash, right? The protagonist’s generic alien superpowers involve a certain amount of superspeed, and Pony has traditionally been depicted as pretty fast. Plus…they are both pretty mean. They probably have Reverse Flash, Original Flavor, covered. Barry Allen, the Flash, can use his superspeed to find a new girlfriend, in a back up story.
That said, I look forward to the episode tonight.