Superman Through the Ages! Forum

The Superman Family! => Other Superfriends => Topic started by: Permanus on September 10, 2007, 06:08:33 PM

Title: Time keeps dragging on
Post by: Permanus on September 10, 2007, 06:08:33 PM
I'm pretty sure I've put this link up before, and if I haven't I shoulda, because nothing is cooler (as the kids say nowadays) than the fact that the song The Ballad of Barry Allenwas written by Carmine Infantino's nephew: Also, it's a really nice song: the fact that it has Barry reflecting on the beauty of a hummingbird suspended in "the aspic of the world" is worthy of Alan Moore's description of him as a man who's life is like a gallery of statues.

So would it have been so hard for DC to bring back Barry Allen as the Flash, so we could have the good times back? No, apparently that's too hard: instead we're stuck with Kid Flash moaning again, but I'll live with that because the artwork is so good. Seriously, the artwork on the new Flash title is really, really good.

Title: Re: Time keeps dragging on
Post by: JulianPerez on September 11, 2007, 07:43:18 AM
At this point I wouldn't mind seeing Barry Allen back.

Let me explain that:

I am a big fan of Wally West since the Baron/Guice stuff, and later Bill Messner-Loebs, who gave Wally such a wonderfully unique identity distinct from his predecessor. As much as I enjoy and love the Silver Age Flash, the fact is he died, and his death was used to drive forward everyone else, especially Wally. It would have been pointlessly regressive to bring Barry back in, say, the 1990s.

But now?

Wally's arc as a character is finished. He moved past the legacy of his mentor. At this point, it would not be damaging to Wally to bring Barry back.

Title: Re: Time keeps dragging on
Post by: Permanus on September 12, 2007, 12:42:36 AM
I agree it's largely pointless to bring Wally back, because he was so clearly given an ending (and a happy one at that). I always felt Barry Allen's death was completely gratuitous in the first place, on top of having him be accused of murder, and only served to browbeat us with stories of Wally feeling insecure about not being as good as him.

Title: Re: Time keeps dragging on
Post by: JulianPerez on September 12, 2007, 12:06:17 PM
I don't hold the Trial of Barry Allen against Cary Bates and the rest, because...from what I the second Spider-Clone saga or the death of Superman, it spiraled out of control from the writers' hands and became a Frankenstein.

As for Barry's death...well, what is meant by "gratuitous?" Barry was in the 30th Century with Iris West, and got a Happily Ever After. His book was canceled. It wasn't like the guy had his character development interrupted in the middle.

In fact, if I had to make a "Sophie's Choice" and be forced to select a high-level DC character to would be Barry, for all the reasons mentioned above.

Perhaps you are right, and Marv and the rest should have thought through the death of the Flash a little more...but whether Barry's death was needed or not, Baron and Messner-Loebs made Barry's death meaningful to the character of Wally West and influenced his development and characterization.

Actually, I think the death of Barry was the best thing that ever happened to him.

Alive, he was unpopular and had a canceled book. Dead, he became "St. Barry." Wally feeling he wasn't as good as his mentor? All that gave Barry a sense of grandiosity. After death he became larger than life and a martyr.

But now that it is Wally's turn to have a "completed" story and "ending..." it would not damage him to bring Barry back.

In fact, I can think of one good reason to bring Barry back now: can you imagine what a comic with a police scientist would look like in the age of CSI?

Also, I can think of another reason to bring Barry back. It's something utterly unthinkable, and how rare is that in comics, really? Captain America dies and everybody yawns. But bringing Barry back? That's why the current JSA has been so exciting: who'd ever think they'd bring Kingdom Come Superman into DC-proper?

Title: Re: Time keeps dragging on
Post by: Permanus on September 12, 2007, 02:34:25 PM
I agree with you that Baron and Messner-Loebs turned Barry's death into something fairly constructive; oddly enough, I disliked what they were doing, despite the fact that I'd always liked their other work (Nexus, Journey). One thing I didn't like was the introduction of the idea that being the Flash was somehow part of a lineage, as though there were some sort of "there can be only one" deal going on and it was all about The Phantom or something, and passing the legacy on to the next generation. Well, boo to that: either you're the Flash or you're not, and that's all there is to say about that. It's not an inheritance.

Come to think of it, this seems to have been an obsession of DC's during the 1980s/90s: the idea of having superheroes be lotsa guys. Hence, Batman turned into that other guy when he broke his back, Superman turned into four guys, Green Lantern turned into anyone who wasn't ill that day and anyone who ran fast and had red pyjamas was the Flash.

You raise an interesting point that I have often wondered about, Julian: why was Barry Allen's work never much referred to in the comics? Police scientist, that's exciting! Yet in the comics, he was only ever shown to be mixing two chemicals together or something. As you say, in CSI world, you should have him investigating a murder scene, with lots of gory bits. I can't think of a single way superspeed would help him there!

Title: Re: Time keeps dragging on
Post by: AMAZO on September 12, 2007, 03:36:10 PM
It would be cool to see him doing various tests and investigations at superspeed though.