Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Retro Review: The Flash #1(June 1987)

Overall- To be perfectly honest with you, the only reason I read this comic was because my sister asked me to give it a quick read, because she was curious as to what I'd think about it. Well, having finished my homework early, and not having much else to do today, I figured, what the hell, I'll give this comic a read.

I'll give a pretty quick review here before I delve more deeply into what I thought about this comic. Wally West turns 20 in this comic and he is greeted at his apartment by his girlfriend and the Teen Titans, who were throwing him a surprise party(even though it wasn't much of a surprise for Wally). While at the party, Wally receives a phone call from a hospital and upon arriving, he meets a doctor who asks him if he'd run a heart from Manhattan to Seattle for a transplant patient. Wally hedges a bit, but after he hoodwinks the doctor into giving him free heath insurance and a plane ticket home from Seattle, Wally agrees to go.

While he's running cross country, he finds a dying private investigator, who tells Wally that Vandal Savage was responsible for his injuries. Vandal sneaks up on Wally, but Wally avoids him, before realizing that he needs to get the heart to Seattle. Wally stops by a local police station, before finally making his way to Seattle. Wally drops off the heart, before dropping from exhaustion.

Wally wakes up 17 hours later and discovers that the transplant patient pulled through with flying colors. After checking with her, Wally gets on his plane and as luck would have it, there are hijackers aboard Wally's flight home. Wally pummels them and eventually gets back home. Upon arriving back at his apartment, Wally finds a mess, but his friends are all long gone. The next morning, while watching the news, Wally discovers he's won the lottery(?)and he proceeds to find a gift box sitting on his table. Opening the box, Wally discovers some kind of bloody organs. Wally turns around and finds Vandal Savage standing behind him.

This comic was weird. Putting it in a historic content, Wally had just become the Flash. He had replaced fan favorite Bary Allen, to what I would imagine was fan outrage at the time. Considering that Barry seemed to be almost universally liked, Wally came across as a bit of a jackass. The scene at the hospital when he agrees to bring the heart to Seattle, but only after the doctor agrees to give him something in return really says a lot about his character at the time. What kind of hero blackmails a doctor into providing a service? That whole scene seemed kind of scummy to me. Besides that, Wally leaves the private investigator to die in the snow, and doesn't stop when a truck slides off the road. I understand that he's trying to get that heart to Seattle, but Wally came across as really selfish throughout this whole issue... What a strange way to try to establish Wally West as the new Flash. For a score I'll give this comic a 7 out of 10. The comic wasn't that bad be any means, but Wally's actions were definitely not very becoming of the mantle he had inherited. 20 year old Wally West was sure a lot different than the Wally West I know from the more recent Flash comics.

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