Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Flash #4

Last issue we left Barry shot in the head. So that's what the readers want to read about this issue.

That's why this issue starts off with a nice long origin story about Mob Rule!

Manuel talks like a true Villain of the Month here. All black and white and needing meaning and a purpose no matter what the cost. When Barry says he's a scientist and not a hero, Manuel's return that Barry is selling himself short is just plain idiotic.

M: You gotta find something meaningful in your life...
B: I said I'm a scientist!
M: Take a stand!
B: I am! For science! I help solve crimes with science!
M: It's time you find out what that is for you.

After that flashback exchange, we see Mob Rule after having kidnapped Dr. Elias. And their motivation for their recent crime spree that started off the whole comic is a little Electric Sheepian: they want to live!

As an aside: I'd mentioned Multi-man earlier as being the old guy like Mob Rule. I was wrong. Multi-man is a villain who resurrects with a new super power every time he dies. Multiple Man is from Marvel and it looks like Peter David already played with the idea of the Multiples having independent minds and wanting to remain alive. So even if this comic wasn't about clones and was the way I wished it had been, Peter David (and Red Dwarf, remember!) already did it.

And so the Super Secret Origin Story continues as the clones tell Dr. Elias about Manuel.

Which one of those guys could regenerate? James Bond? Or Batman? I forget!

The origin story is told and we basically discover that Mob Rule is Planarian Man! Manuel is tortured by Basilisk (some terrorist organization that will probably start some kind of DC Crossover event at some point) and all of his fingers and toes and limbs that are cut off during the process become clones of him. Stupid clones who think the name Mob Rule is cool!

When the clones begin to die off, Manuel reacts:

It's like Manapul can't help himself! Someone has to run at some point in the comic because it's a Flash comic! I don't think any other comic makes this big a deal about running ever! It couldn't say, "Instead of helping us, he abandoned us"?

I guess that's worth 1 Speed Force Point. This issue isn't going to score very many though, what with The Flash being dead and all that!

Luckily, Manapul can't help himself and a page later Patty says, "I don't run away at the first sign of trouble." That's worth another point!

Does this count as a point? Sure! Why not?

Page Sixteen. Manuel Clone: Stop running and face the truth!
And then later on the same page: You don't have to run, not anymore.

Geez. This guy really can't stop using the running thing! At least get creative, SIR!

Anyway, near the end of the comic, we get back to The Flash. He froze up from all the choices and did indeed get shot. But just barely. As soon as the bullet touched his head, his instincts kicked in and he dodged it. But he somehow bashed his head into the wall afterward which somehow made it look like his brains had been splattered against the wall instead of looking like a guy falling and hitting his head. Again, Mob Rule must be truly stupid!

Barry chalks all this up to 'freezing' when prevented with too many choices. But that's just an inaccurate conclusion he makes after going over what happened:

Um, Barry? Sounds a bit like schizophrenia!

Man! Now that would make a great Flash comic as he thinks he's running around super fast but isn't.

Here's to hoping this entire run of The Flash isn't all about people running from the truth! Or running from their past! It's okay if they run from giant mutant killer fish though.

So after a few more running toward dangers and won't stop runnings and this is what I do running things so we remember this is a comic about a guy who runs, the issue ends with at least 8 Speed Force Points! I think the count was up to 5 and then they just finished off with a big speech about 'less thinking, more running'! Plus I forgot to add one for the cover which says "Too Much Too Fast"!

Here's hoping that The Flash gets more interesting Villains of the Month now that Captain Cold and the other Rogues have busted out of prison. Because this Mob Rule is just lame!

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