Or, as Steve Miller says, â€œGo on, take the money and runâ€¦â€
Previously, in The Flash #238, Wally West was finding out that the utility companies actually want to be paid for the use of their services! After his cable is turned off, Wally decides that he has to step up his job search (the issue before he missed one interview and was turned down for a security guard job.) But, before he can get his resumes out, he and Jay â€œGrandpa Flashâ€ Garrick have to check out the site of a possible earthquake, one which was actually started by a new villain named Spin while robbing a charity benefit. Its then that Wally puts his super-fast foot into his mouth when he says the wrong thing to a live television reporterâ€¦
FLASH: You want to know why Iâ€™m tense? This job doesnâ€™t pay a thing. THATâ€™S why Iâ€™m tense!
Despite super-fast back peddling, the comment gets out on the air. Jay proceeds to dress down Wally, and is told that he is over reacting. When television anchor Roy Raymond, Junior begins to cover the story, we see how bad it can get, as Raymond declares the Flash â€œThe Most Awful Man In The Universe!â€ Did I mention that television station manager Mr. Auerbach is in reality the villain Spin, and he has Gollumâ€™s twin plugged into a weird computer/monitor network like some sick, ball-gagged puppet? He forces the little Gollum wannabe to see what is agitating people on television and uses his psionic powers to focus that particular subject onto a particular person. Today, the people are angry at the Flash for his â€œgreedyâ€ remarks.
And that is how you make the Flash rob a baseball stadium full of people.
Spoilers ahead, so take this as your final warning!
At the beginning of FAST MONEY, Part 2, Jay Garrick is giving a rare interview on Roy Raymond, Juniorâ€™s talk show to discuss the situation regarding the Flashâ€™s robbery of the stadium full of people. Despite Jay telling him that they have returned everything but the loose cash (which is in a trust) and that the younger Flash was only guilty because of the villain Spin, Junior is still bent on making Wally look like a criminal. Unknown to anyone (except Spin, I assume) Gollumâ€™s Twin is watching and we see a â€œpsi-strainâ€ output monitor which is gauging the stress Junior is putting Jay under. And when Juniorâ€™s producers flash a picture of Wallyâ€™s kids, in costume, on the screen, Jay begins to get really angry! His eyes go blackish, and it seems he may have fallen under Spinâ€™s influence.
Superman, Batman, John â€œNot Jonâ€ Stewart, and Roy â€œI Need A New Code Nameâ€ Harper are watching the interview and are concerned. When Roy asks if they are making another trip to Keystone, Batman tells him no, that their last confrontation regarding Wally and his kids turned out badly (you did read FLASH #233, didnâ€™t you?) and they need to let him come to them if he needs help. But, Jon tells Roy, we donâ€™t run you. So now Roy has an unofficial nod and wink to go check on Wally.
While that exchange is happening, Wally runs to Chicago to check on a peculiar job offer he received via e-mail last issue (you remember reading last issue didnâ€™t you?) I donâ€™t quite get it myself, so let me explain as well as I can and you can comment if you get it better than I. This guy, Mike Virgil, has powers and wants Flash to help him preserve stuff. Like stuff that would disappear from pop culture, like old movies and stuff. He opens up a warehouse that looks like a fan boyâ€™s dream room and tells Flash that he gets things like â€œold grind house movies and golden age comics and horror magazines and posters that would vanish foreverâ€¦â€ back into circulation; so he seems to be a sort of super-collector (he has a telekinetic power, maybe?) All Flash has to do is to watch a DVD Mike refers to as, â€œpop cultureâ€™s Library of Alexandria. The Golden Key to all that has been lost.â€
All seems a little to easy, doesnâ€™t it?
Back home, Linda is cleaning up after her son, Jai, who pumped up and broke down their bedroom door (you need to read last issue!) Hearing the kids causing a ruckus, she goes downstairs to find Grandpa Jay holding the kids hands and demanding to see Wally. Linda tells him he is out answering a job ad, and we get a close up of a very pissed off Jay, darkened eyes and all. He then asks the kids if the vibrational leash that Wally uses to keep them connected works both ways, to which the kids say they arenâ€™t sure. When he tells the kids they are going to try and find the right frequency and bring Wally to them, Linda finally speaks up and tries to invoke her parental rights. To bad she does it too late and Jay and the kids disappear.
Wally, in the meantime, is getting ready to watch a particular section of footage that Mike Virgil says he has never been able to translate, but that Wally should be able to â€œseeâ€ at super speed. But before Wally can watch it, we get a flash of lighting and he is suddenly in his neighborhood, yanked there by the kids and their Grandpa Jay via the vibrational leash. Wally is confused by the situation, but the kids are ecstatic that they have learned a new trick. Grandpa Jay, in the meantime, begins to get ready to rip into Wally, but something is not right. At first, Jay begins to berate Wally for disgracing the lighting, but that turns into a tirade blaming Wally for poisoning the planet, opening the borders, and getting them into a war. Methinks that Grandpa Jay might be a few ounces short of an energy drink. Of course the neighbors see a Flash outside (remember, â€œThe Most Awful Man In The Universeâ€), with kids no less, and call the cops. Wally tries to calm Jay down and move the conversation somewhere away from the kids, but Jay snaps, telling Wally to stop hiding behind his kids. He then slugs our red-headed hero like a red-headed step-child.
The kids are rather fond of their dad, and Jai takes umbrage his father being struck. As he pumps up and lunges at Grandpa, there is a sudden flash of light and we see Roy Harper perched on a roof. His flash arrow broke up the impending fight and seems to have snapped Grandpa Jay out of his â€œpossessedâ€ state. He tells Wally that the last thing he remembers is being at the television station doing the interview and they quickly make the connection that the television station seems to be the center of this problem. Wally leashes the kids and joins Grandpa for a little field trip. They leave Roy hanging, but thatâ€™s okay, maybe next time he will chose a more socially acceptable code-name.
Back at the stationâ€™s hidden underground lair, Gollumâ€™s Twin, who we find is named Edwar, is strapped up to the monitors sifting through news about the Flash, and he is panicking! He knows the Flash is coming, and this causes Spin to hesitate a beat. â€œSift through the anxieties. Find the one. The one we can hurt him with,â€ Spin tells Edwar. It seems that Spin gives Edwar emotion (through the television monitors?) and Edwar gives him the powers. Now he wants Edwar to find him an anxiety strong enough to defeat the Flash so they wonâ€™t have to be scare anymore. Unfortunately, I think that the Flash is the last thing Spin has to worry about, as Edwar beings to moan (graaahâ€¦) and there is an explosion of energy. Edwar falls from the monitor rig and is caught by Spin, who is looking up into a face he is not happy to see; a face that is attacked to at least real one hairy arm and leg.
Freddie E. Williams, IIâ€™s art work is shaping up to be some of the best in the industry. How this guy just seemed to sneak in under my radar amazes me, because I think I am finding a new artist to collect! This issue is top notch, and I am really digginâ€™ his interpretation of the West Family. As much as I liked Acuna, Williams is a better fit in my opinion.
On the writing side, Tom Peyer is not a new name to comicdom, but one that has been overlooked. His representation of the West Family is breath of fresh air. It would be to easy to just try and ignore the whole family issue, but Peyer uses it to make an engaging story. We get to see the family life along with the hero life, something that has been missing from some comics lately. Whoâ€™s to say that readers canâ€™t identify with a hero who has a wife and kids? This issue shows how you can have a family man as a hero and still get a good story. Bravo, Mr. Peyer!
Despite the praise, I do have a couple of items which bugged me about this issue. We still have not had a proper explanation of Spinâ€™s powers, and although most readers can figure it out. My only other real complaint is that it was a little confusing to tell that Jay was â€œpossessedâ€ or under Spinâ€™s influence. The eyes where small and it was difficult to tell they had darkened to signify the possession.
But all in all it is a good issue that is adding to what is shaping up to be a great story. I give it 3 out of 5 Stars. There are a couple of plot points that I think are unclear, but they donâ€™t detract from the main story. Pick it up if you are a Flash fan or just miss stories where the hero is a real family man.