Eternal Love

August 8, 2005

Flash: Terminal Velocity TPB
Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Mike Wieringo, Salvador Larroca, Carlos Pachecho

By Avi Green

Many consider this story to be the pinnacle of Mark Waid’s work on the Scarlet Speedster’s book in the 1990s, in which the meaning of the Speed Force was first fully introduced. And not only that, it was just a short while after Wally West’s little cousin Bart Allen was introduced as Impulse, and aunt Iris West Allen returned to the present after living in the future for many years, although now, of course, he’s been taking up the mantle as the new Kid Flash more recently.

And I’d certainly have to say that those who consider this one of the best storylines for the Fastest Man Alive are right. It’s a pretty good story, showing how Wally, hoping to save his lady love from impending danger that he sighted upon during a time travelling trip, in which Linda Park, his loving girlfriend and TV a reporter, would be targeted by the Kobra terrorist organization, whom she’s trying to investigate.

The problem Wally’s got is: he doesn’t want to terrify poor Linda, which he fears he’ll end up doing if he tells her that part. So he tries to get Bart to help him out. But as anyone who’s familiar with how Waid introduced Bart at the time knows, the junior speedster, having grown up in a virtual reality machine to slow down the way-too-fast growth he had a problem with until Wally was able to help slow it down to a normal level again, doesn’t truly get the seriousness of the situation at hand.

And even when Linda confronts Wally about all this later on, he’s far from actually telling her the fate that’s likely to happen to her, let alone himself. And it shows: he seems to be slowly turning into something like an energy being. So he also wants to find someone who can fill in for him, and even take his place as the resident speedster if needed. Not just Bart, but also Jesse Quick, the beautiful daughter of veteran speedster Johnny Quick and the veteran superheroine Liberty Belle. Together, they also go on a special trip, with Jay Garrick and Max Mercury included, to try and get Bart to take the going-ons around town seriously, which includes even an amusing scene where they foil a heist being pulled by Chillblaine.

This was written at a time when Waid was really at a peak in writing, and one of the things that charmed me about the story is how it also includes the concept of true love in it, which helps both Linda and Wally tremendously. And Jesse, I must say, looked so hot and sexy in that Flash costume that she wore during the story. It reminded me just how sexy a girl can look in a costume like that.

I would very strongly recommend this book as one of the Flash’s best tales from the 1990s, during a time when comics from DC were really good.

Copyright 2005 Avi Green. All rights reserved.

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