The Misunderstood Anti-Heroine
May 14, 2003
By Avi Green
Flash #196: Helpless
Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciler and Inker: Phil Winslade
Peek-A-Boo, the would-be delinquent who tried to steal a heart
transplant to help her dying father, is trying to visit him at the
hospital. On her way out of the room, however, a security guard
makes the mistake of striking her over the head with a billy club,
causing her to react with her power of imploding/teleporting,
leaving the hospital hallway damaged as she goes out.
Lashawn Baez, introduced in issue #180, is a tragic character whoís
being misunderstood and mistaken for a villainess has certainly won
her my sympathies, and while the Flash may have to take her in here,
he still wants to help her.
In between these plot points, we get a look at how Hunter Zolomon
tries to talk Wally into using the Cosmic Treadmill to travel back
in time to repair a disastrous time in his life that he feels led to
a trail of disastrous dominos later on.
Wally refuses, however, due to the fact that time travel, as he
tries to point out, is too risky, since thereís no telling whatíll
happen if he were to try and change history, and no garuntee that
heíll be able to make things any better for the present and the
future either. Hunter isnít happy to hear it, of course.
We also get a pretty interesting explanation for why Linda wants to
keep her pregnancy a secret for now: because she doesnít want the
paparazzi banging down their door.
Makes sense. Wally may not be interested in fame and fortune, but
heís still a celebrity, more or less, and so it wouldnít surprise me
if any news of such an event would indeed get the tabloid press
harrassing them day and night. Not something a pregnant lady should
have to put up with, thatís for sure. Keep those nasty tabloid press
reporters away from their apartment at all costs!
Then, who should turn up, but Peek-A-Boo again, who doesnít want her
father to be subjected to the kind of operations theyíre giving
there to try and revive him, since now, heís sadly dying. She grabs
him up from the hospital bed and teleports him down to the parking
lot, leaving an explosion that prompts the Flash to evacuate
everyone in the vicinity as quickly as possible. (It makes me
wonder, how does Linda enjoy being swept off her feet by her
hurrying husband and sped around everywhere? Iíll bet for her all
these years, and even for Joan Williams Garrick and Iris West Allen,
it was quite a pleasure.)
In the parking lot below, Flash is knocked down and seriously
stunned by an implosion of Peek-A-Booís when he puts his hand on his
shoulder tyring to tell her that heís going to have to take her in,
which causes her to panic and do aforementioned technique, and
Linda, whoís still out there, is knocked back against a truck when
Lashawn rematerializes, which apparently also bears some force, and
Wally, unable to help his wife out for the moment, pleads with
Peek-A-Boo to help out by getting her to the medical ward upstairs.
She does, but having resentment for the Flash due to his initial
misunderstanding of her and getting her locked into a hellhole like
Iron Heights in the first place, she points out that sheís doing it
for Linda, not for him. Whatever, itís a very good story in telling
about how, while she may have pulled a crime by trying to steal a
heart transplant and bears dangerous powers, and, while she is mad
at Flash, sheís still a good person at heart who doesnít really want
to cause harm to anyone innocent.
She turns herself in afterwards. With her father now dead, and her
motivation for becoming Peek-A-Boo now gone, we probably wonít see
her again, but she was still a very touching character, and Iím very
impressed with Johnsí writing for her.
Later on, Linda tells Wally that she realizes that the time has come
to tell the Flash family, that being Jay and Joan Garrick, Impulse,
Iris Allen and Jesse Quick, about her pregnancy, and he's very
delighted indeed. As am I.
Phil Winsladeís guest artwork, while not as colorful as Scott
Kolinsí, is pretty good too. Speaking of Kolins, heíll be leaving
the title after the soon to be coming 200th issue. Itíll be sad to
see him go, since his was one of the most interesting styles Iíve
seen in recent years.
Now, Iím interested in seeing whatís to be in the next issue, when
Johns introduces an updated version of Barry Allenís worst
archnemesis, the Reverse-Flash. Itís already sold out recently in
sales, and itís bound to be very interesting.
2010 update: as of this
writing, I no longer stand by this review. I have since changed my
opinion and written this off as garbage, as explained over here.
Copyright 2003 Avi Green. All rights reserved.
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