ABRA KADABRA, PUPPET MASTER! Review of TITANS #2

https://speedforce.org/2016/08/abra-kadabra-puppet-master-review-titans-2/

titans 2 coverThe title may say TITANS, but make no mistake – this first arc is definitely a Wally West title. Who’s complaining? Not this fan – and this arc is the perfect way to continue the re-introduction of the Titans into mainstream DC continuity. Abra Kadabra is back, and he had nothing more than vengeance on his mind…so what’s next? Follow us after the jump to learn more!

SPOILERS AHEAD

The Titans are standing in the middle of the street, frozen in place.  Linda Park, Super News (read the book and you’ll understand why I’m referring to her that way) recognizes everyone…just not as Titans. She even…finally…recognizes the guy in the Kid Flash uniform as Wally West! Wait…Kid Flash uniform? Didn’t Wally ditch that outfit? And…why is Dick Grayson in a Robin uniform? Why are the rest in their old outfits?

Okay, you can guess by now that these are the real Titans…they are exact magical duplicates created by none other than Abra Kadabra! Kadabra believes that Wally took everything from him, and he is determined to do the same in return. The Titans fight their doppelgangers, and the battle is intense in more ways than one. During the battle, Roy confesses his love for Donna…and both versions of Donna (real and duplicate) are stopped in their tracks for a moment.  “Kid Flash” tries to trick Wally into going full speed into the Speed Force, but Wally is too smart to take the bait.  Omen’s duplicate picks up on Wally’s feelings for Linda Park, Super News, which is a BIG surprise to Kadabra (for reasons we’ll discuss below)…

…but before much more can happen the team finds out about Kadabra, and Garth goes to a rooftop after him. That leads to a shocker panel at the end…and we’ll have to get the next issue to see how that plays out.

NOTES: We learn some things in this issue that play into the overall REBIRTH story. For example, Kadabra says that Wally and Linda aren’t supposed to meet for several more years (“I’ve read the chronicles. They’re not supposed to know each other yet”).  Could this be connected to the 10 years that were taken out of continuity when the New52 came to be? Were Wally and Linda meant to meet somewhere during that missing 10 years instead of “now”? And, what happens now that they have meant years “early”? One other interesting note is that Linda Park, Super News remembers Robin, Speedy, Wonder Girl and Aqualad…but not that they were ever a group.  What happens as the Titans come back into the consciousness of the people of DC’s main Earth? I have a feeling we’ll explore both of those issues as TITANS moves through this arc.

We also learn how this Kadabra’s “magic” works in the REBIRTH universe. He didn’t steal a time machine to come back to our century, and he isn’t using true sorcery (as after the Neron storyline). But, he has a “priceless M-Metal” wand, with “properties of trans-temporal warping”. It’s how he got here, and it isn’t fully charged anymore…but obviously it has enough power to create the duplicate Titans…and possibly to do something much worse at issue’s end. No matter what, this Abra Kadabra is no pushover.

ONE LAST NOTE: The main cover is a nod to a classic FLASH story from years ago, when Barry Allen was turned into a puppet by Abra Kadabra in the Silver Age. Nice tribute, updated for the Titans. The alt cover is simply outstanding, with Wally prominently featured over zoomed-in portraits of the other Titans.

SUMMARY: TITANS is one of the best series DC has put together in several years. The combination of THE FLASH and TITANS may well be the best one-two punch DC publishes right now.  If you were an old fan of the original Titans, this is your book. If you were a fan of Wally West’s iconic run as The Flash, this is your book. Even if you are new to DC, you won’t feel lost…and this could very well be your book. Dan Abnett is giving us an outstanding re-introduction to the Titans. The artwork is amazing…outstanding…can we throw in a couple of more words here?…thanks to the fantastic team of Brett Booth (pencils), Norm Rapmund (inks) and Andrew Dalhouse & Carrie Strachan (colors). This is a 10/10 for me.

Of course, that’s my opinion – what’s yours? Leave your comments below!

-- Ed Garrett.

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Barry’s (Bad) Day Off – Review of THE FLASH #5

https://speedforce.org/2016/08/barrys-bad-day-off-review-flash-5/

flash 5 coverWith so many super-speedsters around and Godspeed seemingly defeated, Barry finally decides to take at least part of a day off. How well did that go? Take a guess…and then follow us after the jump to learn more about another great issue of THE FLASH!

SPOILERS AHEAD

Okay folks, you asked for a more new-Wally-centric article, and for much of this issue you’ve got it! While Barry and Meena enjoy a tropical sunrise, Wally is trying to decide whether he will go to S.T.A.R. Labs for training…and just when he’s ready to turn away, Meena arrives from that spectacular morning with Barry to talk to him. While Wally isn’t quite ready to take formal training, Meena’s connection to the Flash convinces him to try some informal training alongside her. We get to see young Wally at his best, demonstrating something unique to him…the ability to project speed force lightning! And, we see a great rescue as Meena teaches Wally how to run up the side of a building…and to use a vortex to cushion the way back down as they save two workers from a broken window washing platform.

Just before that, Barry returns to the Gem Cities as well to talk with Iris, where a planned discussion of cases quickly is replaced by talk about Barry’s love life. Nope, we aren’t getting Barry & Iris yet, but the basis of a close friendship is definitely in place. When Barry heads to work, he finds that August is showing him up a bit, handling the balance between super-heroics and police procedurals better (at least for now).

Now, all this action and fun was predicated on the idea that Godspeed was Dr. Carver, right? Everything is cool now, yes? Not on your life! Meena leaves her session with Wally to return to a S.T.A.R. Labs that is under attack by Godspeed! By the time Barry and August can arrive, all that is left of many of the speedsters are dead bodies…and all that is left of Meena is her uniform!

QUICK NOTE #1: Okay, it looks bad for Meena, but as we all know from the laws of dead comic book characters, an empty costume does not equal a dead person.  We’ll have to wait to see what happens next.

QUICK NOTE #2: No reason to complain about Wally not getting into action anymore. Not only do we see him running, but we see him in an actual rescue…and we see him demonstrate a special ability that surprises his mentor (in this case Meena).

SUMMARY: This arc has been simply outstanding. The pacing is excellent. The character voices are genuine. We get enough plot development to keep us coming back – not so much as to spoil everything, but more than enough to make us realize our hard-earned comics dollars were well spent. Young Wally gets some time in a very positive spotlight, something that by now this character well deserves. And, we get a build-up for the big bad that is effective without beating us over the head with exposition. What’s not to love? Joshua Williamson continues to write exceptional scripts for the series…simply outstanding! And, the artwork continues to win me over, with pencils by Felipe Watanabe, inks by Andrew Currie & Oclair Albert, and colors by Ivan Plascencia. For me, this is a 10/10

Of course, that’s just my opinion – what’s yours? Leave your comments below!

-- Ed Garrett.

The post Barry’s (Bad) Day Off – Review of THE FLASH #5 appeared first on Speed Force.

New Season Three Details

https://speedforce.org/2016/08/new-season-three-details/

There’s been some confusion about the The Flash casting today, but details seem to be falling into place now. Spoilers behind the jump.

Earlier today it was reported that the mystery speedster played by Todd Lasance would be Savitar, but that was quickly corrected by showrunner Greg Berlanti. Berlanti says that Savitar hasn’t been cast yet.

Later, TVLine reported that Todd Lasance will be playing the Rival. If this is true, you can see that he looks nothing like Jay Garrick, so it’ll be interesting to see what his deal is on the show.

The article also tells us a bit about Savitar as well.

“Savitar in Hindu means ‘the god of speed,’ and he has this sort of cult-like essence, where he’s sort of like the speed god,” co-showrunner Todd Helbing recently told TVLine. “But everything about him is different than Zoom or Reverse-Flash. I can’t go into too much detail, but he’s quite a bit different.”

(The language is Hindi, whereas ‘Hindu’ refers to a practitioner of a religion. Pet peeve of mine.)

So Savitar will apparently have his cult, and the show will still be using his ties to Hinduism and the god of speed. That should be good. There are a few more hints about Savitar, Dr Alchemy, and Flashpoint in this IGN interview with Todd Helbing. However, thus far we don’t know much about Savitar or the Rival.

And here’s a twenty-second promo for Season Three. As TVLine says, it possibly gives us a glimpse of Savitar’s cult.

Excited for Savitar and the Rival? Share your thoughts!

-- Lia.

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The Shade returns to Flash comics in November

https://speedforce.org/2016/08/nov-2016-solicits/

Flash #10

DC’s November 2016 solicitations are out!

THE FLASH #10
Written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON
Art by FELIPE WATANABE and OCLAIR ALBERT
Cover by CARMINE DI GIANDOMENICO
Variant cover by DAVE JOHNSON

“THE SPEED OF DARKNESS” part one! A villain from The Flash’s history returns for the first time in years when The Shade visits Central City. But what does Opal City’s master of shadow want with Barry Allen and the newly christened Kid Flash?
On sale NOVEMBER 9 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

THE FLASH #11
Written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON
Art by DAVIDE GIANFELICE
Cover by CARMINE DI GIANDOMENICO
Variant cover by DAVE JOHNSON

“THE SPEED OF DARKNESS” part two! Lost in the infinite horror of the Shadowlands, The Flash and Kid Flash’s new partnership is tested as they fight to uncover the dark secrets of the Shade and his mysterious plans for the speedster duo.
On sale NOVEMBER 23 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

TITANS #5
Written by DAN ABNETT
Art and cover by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND
Variant cover by MIKE CHOI

“The Return of Wally West” part five! Wally West will do anything to save his friends—even at the cost of his own life! The full extent of Abra Kadabra’s greatest trick is finally revealed!
On sale NOVEMBER 23 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Titans 5

THE FLASH BY MARK WAID BOOK ONE TP
Written by MARK WAID
Art by GREG LAROCQUE, JOSE MARZAN JR., MICHAEL COLLINS, TRAVIS CHAREST, MIKE PAROBECK and others
Montage cover

In 1990, Mark Waid’s legendary writing career began when he scripted his first issue of THE FLASH. Waid would continue to work on Wally West for nearly a decade, building a world that would keep the character running for years. In this first volume of a new series, Young Wally West is quickly in danger—not only from The Flash’s enemies, but from powers that he doesn’t know how to control! Collects THE FLASH SPECIAL #1, THE FLASH #62-68 and THE FLASH ANNUAL #4-5.
RESOLICIT • On sale DECEMBER 7 • 368 pg, FC, $24.99 US

-- Kelson.

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Another Rogue Cast For Season Three

https://speedforce.org/2016/08/another-rogue-cast-season-three/

The Flash has cast a new Rogue for the upcoming season, and it’s another one who was hinted at earlier. Spoilers behind the jump.

Independence Day: Resurgence actress Joey King has been cast as Magenta. She’s described thusly:

A meta-human with the ability to control metal… but her powers come with a dangerous side-effect, causing her villainous alter ego known as Magenta to emerge.

In the comics, Magenta was named Frances/Francis (the spelling varied) Kane and was a girlfriend of Wally West. She’d never wanted her magnetic powers and sought to live a normal life, but eventually her powers caused a split personality which made her switch between good and evil. It’s not known whether she’ll be associated with Wally in the show, or will be more of a foil for Barry.

Eager to see Magenta on the show? What do you hope will be done with her? Share your thoughts!

-- Lia.

The post Another Rogue Cast For Season Three appeared first on Speed Force.

New Rogue Cast For Season Three

https://speedforce.org/2016/08/new-rogue-cast-season-three/

Casting news behind the jump. Spoilers ahead!

CBR is reporting that The Flash TV series has indeed cast its gender-swapped Top. Awkward star Ashley Rickards will play Rosalind ‘Rosa’ Dillon, who’s apparently Mirror Master’s partner.

According to the character’s description, she “has the power to make people’s heads spin… she’s the Bonnie to Mirror Master’s Clyde and one of the most dangerous members of the gallery of Rogues.”

“It’s kind of the origin of Mirror Master…We’re really excited,” explained executive producer Aaron Helbing. Todd Helbing, his brother and fellow executive producer, added, “It’s the origin story of him, but it’s this struggle between Mirror Master and Captain Cold and you get to see who comes out on top.”

The most interesting aspect of this is that Captain Cold will be back with the Rogues next season. It’s kind of crummy that the announcement is about Rosa but actually tells us more about Mirror Master than her, which doesn’t bode well for the treatment of a female character, but maybe the showrunners are keeping something under wraps. With the classic Top it wouldn’t be unexpected for him to let the others fight over leadership and then swoop in to take power for himself; I’d actually be pretty excited if Rosa did that. We’ll see, I guess.

What does everyone think? Looking forward to Bonnie and Clyde on the Rogues, and the return of Captain Cold? Share your thoughts!

-- Lia.

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Musical Crossover Announced, And A Major Villain

https://speedforce.org/2016/08/musical-crossover-announced-major-villain/

The CW gave their DC TV presentation today at the Television Critics Association (TCA), and released some new details about The Flash‘s third season. They announced that there will be a Flash/Supergirl crossover which will also be a musical episode, and declared who the other main villain of Season Three will be. More behind the jump.

CBR reports that the as-yet unknown Season Three villain will be Savitar, whose casting hasn’t been announced. It was already known that a mystery speedster would share the role as the season’s big bad with Dr Alchemy, who had a cameo in the SDCC teaser reel. In the comics, Savitar styled himself after the Hindu god of motion and fought Wally West, so it’ll be interesting to see if he’s a villain for Wally or Barry or both in the TV show.

The other bit of big news is the Flash/Supergirl musical crossover. It will be independent of the major Flash/Arrow/Legends Of Tomorrow/Supergirl mega-crossover, and perhaps a musical was a natural fit considering that both Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist are former castmembers of Glee. As reported by Comicbook.com:

The crossover will include one episode of each series. While they plan to use “pre-existing songs” for the bulk of the musical numbers, they’re exploring writing one original song for each episode, giving The Flash and Supergirl each their own brand-new song.

“So many times, it’s a musical episode off the set,” EP Greg Berlanti said. “On all of the shows we like to use all of the actors’ talents.” He teased that there will “probably be an element of the songs being in the characters’ heads,” rather than them being a main plot point. While nothing is confirmed, Berlanti does hope to bring in some actors from Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow for a musical number or two, as well. Victor Garber, John Barrowman, and more actors have singing backgrounds, after all.

Many of the core cast of The Flash have musical backgrounds, actually, so maybe it won’t just be Barry and Kara singing.

Excited for Savitar? What do you hope to see in the musical episodes? Share your thoughts!

-- Lia.

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