Ever wanted to read a comic but didn't know where to start? Interested in superheroes, manga, romance, webcomics and more? Look no further! We have all the recommendations you'll ever need.

Monday, 31 May 2010

The Flash: Terminal Velocity

Writer: Mark Waid
Penciller: Salvadore Larocca, Carlos Pachecos and Oscar Jiminez
Layouts: Carlos Pachecos
Inker: Jose Marzan and Sergio Borgas
Colourer: Gina Going and Tom McCraw
Letterer: gaspar and Kevin Cunningham
Publisher: DC Comics

What's it about?
Wally West (seen previously in Teen Titans: Year One) is a speedster.  Dressed in scarlet and gold he is the second man to take the title of the Flash.  This book opens with his return from a previous adventure where he became stranded in time.  On his way back to the present day he sees a terrible vision of the future and, with the aid of all other speedsters, Wally decides to do all he can to prevent his vision occurring.

What's good about it?
Although this book doesn't collect the start of Wally's first run it is nevertheless a really good jumping on point for anyone unfamiliar with the Flash mythology.  This collection represents the start of a new chapter in Wally West's story and incorporates several brief histories of the main characters, making it accessible to all.  In addition, it lays the groundwork for future plots, should you decide to read more.

It's also a romance story between Wally West and his partner, Linda Parks.  Linda is Korean American and a news reporter in the style of Lois Lane.  She is no weeping damsel in distress, but someone who will get in the thick of it and fight for what's right, despite the fact she has no superpowers.  She's independent, satisfied with her life and has interests beyond her partner.  Compare this to most female leads in romantic comedies or in chick lit and she appears to be an absolute breath of fresh air.

While we're on the subject of women in the book, no women within this trade wear thongs, stand in unnatural positions or are otherwise objectified and the female speedster wears shorts.  The art will not make you embarrassed to read it in public, I promise.

For anybody who may have read Young Justice - A League Of Their Own, you will recognise Bart Allen aka Impulse within this trade.  The adventures within Terminal Velocity take place before A League Of Their Own.

What's bad about it?
It's a good solid read and while the art isn't sexual, it can appear a bit chaotic in places.  Some of the style appears dated and certain panels are quite densely packed.   Some of the characters suffer from big shoulder syndrome.  As ever, how you feel about this will depend on individual taste.  For more examples, see below.

What's the art like?
On the whole, I like the art very much.  Dependent on the scene, it can be very simple and clear.  For example:

If you look at the top right picture, you will see that Linda has been given a different skin tone to the Caucasian cast members.  This sort of thing should be a given, sadly, for both Marvel and DC publishing houses it's not, which is why it bears pointing out.

An example of the big shoulder syndrome can be seen below, in the middle panel:

While an example of chaotic art (on the left) and a dated style (on the right) can be seen here:

Women firing big guns was a very 90s phenomenon, which extended to all sorts of popular culture, not just comics.  Kobra (on the right and at the back of the panel) is an older character with an old costume design, that unfortunately doesn't hold up as stylish today.  However, if you can pass over that and focus more on the better parts of the art you could really enjoy this book.

Unfortunately the people working on the art changed from individual issue to issue, which may explain the inconsistencies in standard of the art.

More information
ISBN: 1563892499
Price: Approximately £10.99, possibly less.

1 comment:

  1. Nice to be back and see your articles again, Saranga ! Hope you're doing well ! :D