Or, as Steve Miller says, “Go on, take the money and run…”


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 “Grandpa Flash” 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 reporter…

FLASH: You want to know why I’m tense? This job doesn’t pay a thing. THAT’S why I’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 “The Most Awful Man In The Universe!” Did I mention that television station manager Mr. Auerbach is in reality the villain Spin, and he has Gollum’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 “greedy” 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!

FLS_Cv239_solicit.jpgAt the beginning of FAST MONEY, Part 2, Jay Garrick is giving a rare interview on Roy Raymond, Junior’s talk show to discuss the situation regarding the Flash’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) Gollum’s Twin is watching and we see a “psi-strain” output monitor which is gauging the stress Junior is putting Jay under. And when Junior’s producers flash a picture of Wally’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 Spin’s influence.

Superman, Batman, John “Not Jon” Stewart, and Roy “I Need A New Code Name” 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, didn’t you?) and they need to let him come to them if he needs help. But, Jon tells Roy, we don’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 didn’t you?) I don’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 boy’s dream room and tells Flash that he gets things like “old grind house movies and golden age comics and horror magazines and posters that would vanish forever…” 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, “pop culture’s Library of Alexandria. The Golden Key to all that has been lost.”

All seems a little to easy, doesn’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 aren’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 “see” 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, “The Most Awful Man In The Universe”), 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 “possessed” 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 that’s okay, maybe next time he will chose a more socially acceptable code-name.

Back at the station’s hidden underground lair, Gollum’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. “Sift through the anxieties. Find the one. The one we can hurt him with,” 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 won’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 (graaah…) 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, II’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 diggin’ 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. Who’s to say that readers can’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 Spin’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 “possessed” or under Spin’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 don’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.


The Author

Stacy Baugher

Stacy Baugher

Back in February of 2008, Stacy Baugher wrote his first article for Major Spoilers and started a solid run of work that would last for over two years. He wrote the first series of Comic Casting Couch articles as well as multiple Golden Age Hero Histories, reviews and commentaries. After taking a hiatus from all things fandom he has returned to the Major Spoilers fold.

He can currently be found on his blog, www.stacybaugher.com , were he post progress on his fiction work as well as his photography and life in general, and on Twitter under the handle @stacybaugher . If you're of a mind, he also takes on all comers with the under the Xbox Live Gamertag, Lost Hours.

He currently lives in Clinton, Mississippi with his understanding wife, and two kids.

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  1. April 24, 2008 at 1:02 am — Reply

    In response to Flash #239… well, i’ve been a Flash fan as far back as I can remember. In the mid-eighties, when I was just beginning to discover and focus on the Flash mythos, to me, the Flash represented a superhero unlike any other. When he was killed off I was crushed. When Wally came to fill his boots a couple of years later, it shone a gleam of hope for all Flash fans. Wally was a troubled and libidonous young man with apparently nothing to loose and a amazing legacy to gain.. should he every come to accept the loss of his mentor. The girls! The high life! (if only temporary) and the ability to do as he pleased, GO where he pleased (despite his annoying mother).. and then came Linda.. not bad for the first few stories but for some reason the writers at the time decided that she would make a great PERMANENT addition to the Flash mythos.. bad move. Why? Becasue (and here comes my point,) The Flash is THE FASTEST MAN ALIVE! Who can catch him? Not Mirror Master, not Cap’n Cold, not Zoom or any of the Rogues. but some little Asian chic can? And saddle him with offspring? And now he’s a family man/superhero/deadbeat? Here’s the thing: Not every writer can handle that kind of baggage! Okay, so Johns wrote it and it worked for a while.. becasue it was Johns! So far, every story has sucked since he’s returned bacause now both reader -and- writer feels obligated to address the nagging question in the back of their minds: how do his super-powered kids and suddenly-scientist wife figure into the current plot? It makes me wish for the goood ol’ Bart-as-the-Flash days! With every story I’m beggining to get that possible: maybe this will lead to Barry’s return heart-skipping-a-beat feeling.. except that now it’s for Bart! Don’t get me wrong: I still read the Flash loyaly (though it’s because I have literally every issue EVER and I don’t want to stop collecting them now). My domestic situation mirrors Wally’s; married with two children exactly the same age as Iris and Jay’s with genders to match. But somehow it just doesn’t work in the current DC Universe (or multi-verse, it’s all so convoluted now.. but don’t get me started on THAT!) So allow me to offer a simple solution: Either kill the Family off and make Wally a darker character.. or Johns is gonna have to REALLY pull a rabbit out of his ass when he returns to make this family circus shine! Hey, it’s HIS mess and I expect him to fix it and make it work!

  2. April 25, 2008 at 12:57 am — Reply

    I agree that while not every writer can handle a super character with a family. It is a different dynamic and a writer has to pay attention to a different set of priorities than with an romantically unattached character, such as Green Lantern.

    Everything below is my opinion, and you know what they say about opinions…. ;-)

    I think that if there is any DC character that can work as a family man, it is The Flash, especially the Wally West Flash. More than nearly any other character, the Flash is part of a family. Wally’s uncle was the Flash that everyone still holds as the gold standard for heroic sacrifice. His cousin Bart was a Flash who also sacrificed himself. The first Flash, Jay Garrick, is presented as a defacto father figure to him and an adopted grandfather to his own children. His voyage from immature wise-acre to adult with responsibilites has been one of the more complete journeys in comics.

    We have had a Dark Flash already. Remember the Hyper-time story where Linda was killed and the dark-red and silver clad Flash with a scar appeared? The problem with changing a light character to a dark character is how easily you can fall into cliche’. See Eradicator-Superman, Az-Bats, and Parallax

    While I may not agree with how the kids where aged, I think that the kids, as well as the marriage, are part of the evolution of the character. I think that, in Wally, older readers have a situation that they can look at and think, I understand how he feels. When Wallyis told he is not qualified for a security job, and when the cable is turned off, I identify with that. He has to juggle being a husband, a father and a hero, and the fact that he actually has a problem doing it and worries about doing it wrong humanizes him as a character.

    I find it funny that so many people want the return of Barry Allen. This was a Flash whos series was cancelled due to low sales. He was considered more whitebread than Captain Marvel. Remember, that was at a time when their low sales are better than our good sales. As for Bart, people complained endlessly about how he “inherited” the lighting during the Fastest Man Alive series, and it wasn’t until he was killed that they realized what had happened. He was a plot devise that never really got a chance to evolve into a full character. He went from an impulsive kid, to a mature teen, to a full adult with the burden of a highly public legacy all with a year or so. His journey, like his life, was cut short.

    To simply kill off a wife and or kid character simply because they are an inconvience to a writer is a sign of a poor writer. That was the type of writing that was done back in the Golden Age, where if the hero was married or had any family, they where certain to die to “free” the character up.

    But you know what, there is a Crisis coming. And Flashes don’t fare well during Crisis. I wonder if, by the end, all this discussion won’t be a moot point.

  3. Luis
    May 5, 2008 at 11:50 pm — Reply

    I sstill don’t like it Stacy! And you can’t make me.. YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!!! but you may have some good points.. for a girl.

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