Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Flash #110

Dead Heat Fourth Lap: Cut to the Quick

Mark Waid, Story
Oscar Jimenez, Pencils
Jose Marzan, Jr., Inks
Gaspar, Letters
Tom McCraw, Colorist
Alisande Morales, Asst. Editor
Brian Augustyn, Editor

Our cover by Jimenez and Marzan Jr. uniquely features Jesse Quick and not the Flash. But I think its nice to feature Jesse every now and then, especially when she has a worthy female adversary to fight. And no, this girl she's fighting wasn't just made up for this story — more on her background later — and no, she doesn't have six arms, that's just her super speed in action.

Our story begins with Wally and Jesse arriving at Savitar's citadel in the Balkan Mountains (which could be either Bulgaria or Serbia). The two heroes sneak inside and briefly discuss Wally's journey to the Speed Force during the fight with Kobra. Wally admits he doesn't remember anything from the time he spent there, and is also worried that if he ever does return, he won't be able to come back. They then find out how Savitar stole everyone's speed — with a large room converted into a battery, using ninjas as living cells to store the excess energy Savitar can't hold. And this battery is powered by a large transformer, which gets its energy from the girl we saw on the cover.

Wally explains that this girl is Christina Alexandrova, a former Soviet speedster who spent time with the evil Vandal Savage and even called herself Lady Flash for a time. She tried to go out with Wally, but he brushed her off. And now he feels guilty to see Christina has allied herself with Savitar.

Even though Wally and Jesse believe they are hidden, Savitar can sense Wally's energy, and orders Christina to kill him. Wally quickly throws Christina off his trail and confronts Savitar directly, who displays a superior mastery over the Speed Force, by instantly healing his wounds and generating a protective force field by absorbing the motion of objects thrown at him and redirecting them back at Wally.

Meanwhile, Christina finds Jesse trying to shut down the giant battery, and the two girls battle just like on the cover. The fight is as emotional as it is physical, with Jesse insisting that Savitar is using Christina, and Christina threatening to kill Jesse's friends and father. Threatening family is too much for Jesse, and she manages to destroy the turbine, which restores the super speed to all the speedsters, just as we saw in Impulse #10.

Savitar quickly realizes what's happened, and leaves the Flash to knock out Jesse and take Christina away to be punished. Wally revives Jesse just in time to hear Savitar announce he has unleashed 50 of his best ninjas. Just when all hope seems lost, Max Mercury, Jay Garrick, Johnny Quick and Impulse arrive to save the day.

Not a whole lot of Impulse here, but his arrival at the end with everybody was pretty cool. And seeing Savitar's power was great. But mostly, this issue was about Jesse Quick, who rarely gets a chance to shine. Finally, she had a worthy opponent — girls have to fight girls, that's just the way it is — and credit to Mark Waid for digging through old Flash history to find an existing female villain with super speed and bring her back in a unique, yet sensible way.

Only one Speed Reading letter mentions Impulse, and that is Chris Khalef, of Houston, simply saying he's a fan of Impulse and excited for Dead Heat. So let's move on to the ads now.

Now with 50% more beef, pork and puppies. Earthworm Jim 2. I absolutely loved this game on Super Nintendo. It was unique, funny and cool. But astonishingly short. You literally could beat the whole game in a couple of hours.

Treasure awaits on Cutthroat Island! (If you survive.) For Super NES, Genesis, Game Gear and Game Boy.

Aquaman. A past as mysterious and tumultuous as the sea itself is revealed at last. Peter David, Kirk Jarvinen and Brad Vancata.

It's airtight. It's ecologically balanced. It's party time. Bio-Dome starring Pauly Shore, Stephen Baldwin and William Atherton.

Conformity Bytes! Revolution X for all video game systems, featuring the music of Aerosmith.

Next time: Impulse #11 for Dead Heat chapter 5. Savitar raises the stakes and a speedster runs his last race.

No comments:

Post a Comment