Saturday, 8 June 2013

If the Flash is so Fast, How Come the Bad Guys Can Run Away?

The Flash superpower is super-speed which he acquires by being able to tap into the 'Speed Force', a mystical source of energy that makes people really fast and stuff. With this, he can do some really neat stuff aside from just ran really fast. For instance, he has complete control over all his molecules and being able to vibrate them at supersonic speeds such that he can pass through walls. He can also use this to obscure his features by vibrating them such that they're blurred to preserve his identity, as the Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick did because his costume was modeled on the Greek/Roman god, Hermes/Mercury and that did not leave any creative room for a mask, because that would be a far too simple an alternative. The Flash can also time-travel, initially with the aid of his Cosmis Treadmill, which was literally a treadmill he used to travel in time.

With a treadmill. Of course.

Here it is in action.

No Bruce, I told you I wouldn't travel back in time to dye Jason Todd's red hair black. I'm... I'm just going to the gym.   

But seriously, how else do you explain Todd going from this,

Sure, Jason... terrific...

To this?

Did he pass mustard? What?

Later the Flash could do time travel without it just because he can tap properly into the Speed Force, run really fast and because he is the Flash.

Of course, I have been saying the Flash rather indiscriminately without clarifying which actual Flash I am talking about, because there have been several. I already discussed Jay Garrick's outstanding lack of a mask for fear of obscuring his dazzling features, but when people talk about the Flash they usually mean either Barry Allen or Wally West, although there is a whole Flash family of super-speeders.

Time for a race at the family reunion? Because what else are people who can ran really fast gonna do? Play Wii?

Personally, my favourite Flash was always Wally. Predominantly because I loved him in Justice League Unlimited. The way in which the writers would have him run in battle, nearly always tripping over or colliding into something, like cracks in the road or a falling car, and his goofy manner resonated with me as a kid.

What can I say?

Wally also had the best rogues gallery, and while a number of his foes were leftovers from Barry Allen's turn as the Fastest Man Alive, Wally's rogues were a collective who conspired crimes together, unlike Batman's own impressive collection of rogues, who often got in each others way or hated each other.

Yeah, Bruce. It must be so hard for you, dealing with the Joker... by himself. With no other super-villains. So hard.
But there was villain of the Flash that does not get the recognition he deserves as one of comic's most creative characters. I am, of course, talking about the Turtle.

Oh , yeah.
Firstly, aside from the fact he should be named the Tortoise rather than the Turtle, since turtles are actually kinda fast when you put them in water but tortoises are slow no matter what, this is a great idea for a villain of a guy who's really fast. Fast hero = Slow villain. That is mathematics at its most basic. He was a Barry Allen villain and the Flash's first gimmicky villain. However, the Turtle's initial 'power' was his "slow, deliberate planning". No shit. That was his schtick. Making slow and deliberate plans. Apparently he was so successful that he spawned an imitator, Turtle Man, who, in addition to using slow, deliberate planning as a weapon, actually made devices that had a slow theme.

Oh, yeah. 

In his first appearance, Turtle Man broke into a bank and hide himself inside. He then left with the gold/money long after the police came to investigate and it was blocked off as a crime scene. That was some slow and deliberate planning right there. He then tricks the Flash into running into a wall by projecting his shadow on it, just because he can. Later the Turtle takes Turtle Man under his wing as they create an underground crime syndicate without the Flash's knowledge, using that to humiliate and discourage the Flash, eventually kidnapping him because slow and deliberate planning.

The Turtlefather will see you now.

However, when the Flash's super friends came to save him, they eventually got discovered and as Turtle Man want into custody, the Turtle is caught in an explosion as he destroyed his base of operations, although he survives and goes into prison. And this is where it gets cool, somehow, through means never explained in any shape or form, aside from what we gather was some slow and deliberate planning, the Turtle gains the power to steal speed from people, slowing them to a crawl. This is a power which he obviously uses against the Flash, who must run faster than ever before just to break free of the Turtle's deadly speed-stealing powers.

He also got creepy... turtles are supposed to be cute...
But yeah, this was a nice change of pace for the Flash, since he usually fights humans with gimmick guns rather than actual super-villains. Which is why he totally owns them when they're not fighting together, like how he nails Deathstroke here.

No fair, that's cheating. Move like a faster than average person, supersonic is not cool. Not cool.
Poor Wilson. Although good on him for being brave enough to think he could pull off those boots, I mean, wow. I did not know bell bottom boots were even a thing.


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