Thursday, January 10, 2013

Underrated Heroes and Villains: The New 52

The New 52 

First of all, I want to say that this is not me bashing DC’sNew 52. I love the fact that they dida reboot. It gives a chance for new readers to learn about old-school heroeswithout them having to go broke buying back issues (I know all about thisbecause I have been buying comics since I was 7. Back then you could buy acomic for 55 cents; now the average issue costs between $2.99 and $3.99).  It gives certain characters the chance to getthe respect they deserve, such as Aquaman, Black Lightning, Animal Man,Firestorm, Etrigan the Demon, and Jonah Hex (I mean, if you think about it,Aquaman has been the butt of countless jokes. He was even joked about on The Big Bang Theory.)

 But with the reboot, he has become a kick-ass hero...

Also, it has introduced great new characters such as Team 7,Talon, and the Ravagers.

Don’t get me wrong, though, ithasn’t been all peaches and cream. DC has canceled some great New 52 books after only 8 to 12 issues.Come on now, can you really get the feel of sales if after only eight to twelveissues we lose Static Shock, Justice League International, Resurrection Man, andHawk and Dove?

My main point is this: too manygreat heroes and villains got lost in the reboot. For instance, take Wally West, thethird hero to carry the title of “The Flash: Fastest Man Alive.” DC brings backBarry Allen as The Flash of the Justice League, Bart Allen as Kid Flash of TeenTitans, and Jay Garrick as The Flash of the Earth 2. I love the factthat they brought back Barry; when I started reading comics he was the Flash.  Barry was great as Flash. But Wally was thegreatest Flash of them all.  He came into being his own hero. Wally started as the first Kid Flash, sidekick to Barryand took over the mantle of The Flash when Barry sacrificed his life for theuniverse in the 1985 series Crisis onInfinite Earths.  Wally is thefastest of all the Flashes, arguably even the fastest being that has everexisted. In fact, it is widely believed that Wally and Barry Allen are the onlytwo speedsters that were fast enough to outrun death. Even Superman can’t catchWally!  Here he is, outrunning Superman’sheat vision:


Wally is not only the fastest among DC heroes. Wally’s even faster than Marvel’sQuicksilver.  

Now Wally has the same powers as the other speedsters.  They all draw their speed from the Speed Force. While most to all speedsters can make aconnection and draw upon this force, Wally "mainlines" power from theSpeed Force itself and cannot be cut off from the source. This connection tothe Speed Force allows him additional abilities, such aslending or taking speed, which allows heroes like Wally to make others into speedsters or bolster others' metabolism and healingabilities (allowing them to recover from injuries in a fraction of the normaltime).  Wally can also absorb kinetic energy in a less direct manner.  He once stood at the North Pole and absorbed all the kinetic energy of the planet Earth so his teammates could move it out of harm's way.

Wally has also found a way to create a costume out ofpure Speed Force energy.  

Like all Flashes, Wally is surrounded by a protective aurathat allows him to resist the environmental consequences that superspeed motion causes, including the heat created by the pressure of compressed air. It is not known how Wally is able to do this. In addition, because of his powers and connection to theSpeed Force, he can run at varying speeds for extended periods of time withoutneeding rest or causing damage to his body. It is his connection to the SpeedForce that constantly rejuvenates him while running making it so he does notfeed upon his own body to generate the energy for superspeed. Evenso, as a consequence of his increased metabolism, he finds it necessary to eatoften and in great quantities to help supply the chemical energy needed to runlike he does.

Using his abilities, Wally can run at such speed that he canrun on water, create powerful vortices with his arms or body, and vibrate atsuch speeds that he becomes invisible to the naked eye. Wally can also matchthe vibrational constant of solid objects and vibrate through them, passing hismolecules through the spaces in between the atoms and molecules of the matterhe's vibrating through. Unlike other speedsters, once he became one with theSpeed Force some of his abilities changed, one of which is that the objectsWally is vibrating though become atomically unstable and explode a second ortwo later. While this has its drawbacks, Wally has learned to use thisoffensively in battle.

If you want to experience this for yourself, here is a list of a few titles I recommend featuring Wally West as the Flash: Flash #73-79:  The Return of BarryAllen; Flash #0, 95-100: Terminal Velocity; Flash #220-225: Rogue War; and Flash#197-200: Blitz.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Bart Allen; but they should have made Wally into the Kid Flash if they made Barry the Flash again.I mean, first Bart was Impulse, then Kid Flash, and finally The Flash, when Wally was turned into energy and vanished while fighting SuperboyPrime during the Infinite Crisis series.

Soon after Bart took over, DC killed off Bart andbrought Wally back as the Flash.

Now these are just my opinions. If youfeel differently, please feel free to comment. I wantto give credit to the following sources: DC comics, Wikipedia, my comic collection for the info, cko316, and FallenRedStar for the video clips. It’s time to get to steppingagain. I guess I will go for a run on the old cosmic treadmill -  maybe I'll go fast enough to bring back Wally.  But who knows? Only time will tell if DC hasplans to bring back Wally West -  the greatest Flash of all time.

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