parusmajor (parusmajor) wrote in noscans_daily,

Flash Appreciation Post

I just recently saw the entirety of "Justice League" and "Justice League Unlimited" animated series. I had seen a couple of episodes before, but now I finally sat through all the episodes of it. I really, really enjoyed the show and wanted to fangasm.

I've got tons of thoughts. I wanted to comment on stuff like Huntress/Question, politics in Cadmus arc, some concepts that were used in the time-travel episodes... but this entry is already ridiculously long, so I'm cutting out all the other stuff and focusing on just one aspect for now: DCAU Flash.

If you haven't seen JL/JLU, there are lots of spoilers behind the cut.

Here's the main thought that JLU provoked in me: IS FLASH THE COOLEST SUPERHERO EVER OR WHAT?!! Holy crap I didn't expect him to be so cool. Mind you, I really love Impulse!Bart and his AD/HD cheerful optimism, but other than Bart's comics, I'm fairly unfamiliar with the Flash. Flash actually gave me a huge headache when I first got into American superhero comics. There's Bart Allen, Barry Allen, Wally West, all with highly similar names and the same stupid costume, and it's so easy to mix them up. Oh and Jay Garrick too, and something weird about post-crisis and pre-crisis and timelines, continuities, multiple Earths, some kind of weird "Speed Force", odd vibrating powers... I was _seriously_ confused about who was who and what was going on, and this didn't endear me to Flash(es). It took me months, even years, to figure out how the different Flash characters work.

But the cartoon version of Flash? He made me think: "now THAT's what a true superhero is like!".

Let's see:

His cheerful attitude and sense of humor is cool. Brooding, serious grimdark characters are really tiring, I don't feel like reading their gloomy adventures. In Justice League cartoons, Flash was a really funny character with his jokes, flirting, and optimistic outlook on life. Flash had many of the funniest lines in the series and it was always a joy when he was on the screen.
I also enjoyed Flash's reaction to finding out Batman's identity; he was concerned why a billionaire playboy can't smile a little sometimes.

Flash really cares about everyone and takes the time to show it. In "Flash and substance", he's running around the city, stopping by to do small-talk with fishermen and taxi drivers and everyone, calling many of the people by their names. Later in a ceremony, he again says greetings to everyone in the crowd, and it turns out that when he's not busy at JLU stuff, he's doing mundane things with normal people (such as painting an old lady's fence and playing minigolf with some dude). Flash is just so caring and frickin' nice guy, and after seeing that episode, I finally understand why Central City is so proud and affectionate of Flash.
(In the earlier episodes Flash had some ego problems and he was letting his popularity get in his head somewhat. But he matures soon enough. He's still fully aware that Central City people love and almost worship him, and he enjoys the spotlight and plays the big hero for them because they want him to. But other than that, he's not acting condescending or as if he were superior to others; he's really casual and easy-to-approach around non-super-powered people. And that's really cool.)

I've seen superheroes saving the world from alien invasions and everything, but seeing Flash being so caring of everyone in his vicinity? That felt much more superheroic to me than anything else I've ever seen. If a superhero saves an airplane that's about to crash, you can feel thankful to him and admire him. But I was much more impressed by Flash just being so darn nice, and that he always had time to talk with the normal people, spend his sparetime with them, and comfort them in their time of need (I liked how he went to help people after the big kablooie in "Flashpoint", and saved some little girl's cat). People loved him, but he wasn't putting himself on a pedestal or distancing himself from normal people. He was casual and friendly around people, making it sure they wouldn't have to feel scared, shy or awkward around him.

I like it when superheroes do little things that matter. Like when Superman and Tommy Monaghan had that talk in "Hitman"; Supes was really polite, shared thoughts with a stranger, and then gave him an autograph in the end. I'm just kind of touched when superheroes take a pause from the world-saving and find time to think about the little people. Like, having a friendly talk with your fan. I think that sets maybe even a better rolemodel than a big superheroic deed; a normal person can't imitate a superhero and stop a meteor from hitting the Earth, but he can imitate a hero who's considerate towards other people.
Anyway, Flash had TONS of touching, sweet moments and they made me feel like he's totally the bestest Justice League member ever; the best rolemodel, the one hero you can really look up to.

Rather than beating the shit out of his enemies, Flash _talks_ them out of violence when possible. Now that's awesome. Again, he _really_ cares about everyone, even about his enemies, and attempts to minimalize the need for them getting hurt. Like the time when he stopped Orion from roughing up Trickster, and instead simply had a friendly chat with Trickster in order to get him help out. (I also loved how he promised to play darts with the guy. And the way he just asked Trickster to go to the jail on his own, and Trickster was totally cool with that.)
Other examples of Flash talking people away from using violence are when he stopped Wondy from killing Toyman, and put himself between Kalibak and Big Barda when their tempers flares. Then there was the episode where he convinced Ultra-Humanite into the Christmas spirit <3 He was so sweet to the kids and to the villain guy.
Also, it was cool that Flash quoted Gandhi's "eye for an eye" comment when Superman was getting really agitated about all the Luthor/Cadmus stuff.

Flash had some really heartwarming scenes with Hawkgirl. At the end of "Starcrossed", when Hawkgirl is leaving and everybody just watches in silence, he comes to give her a hug. Awwwww <3 Much later when Flash is pulled out of the speed force (with Hawkgirl taking the lead), Hawkgirl's embracing him and that's another "awwwwwww" moment for me.

Once again, I love how caring Flash is to everyone, and how he forgives Hawkgirl at the end of "Starcrossed". Oh, and his attempt to make Wondy and Hawkgirl make up in "The Balance"? Even though it didn't work, it was really sweet of him to try that.
I just like how Flash tries to build bridges rather than punch faces.

Moments when Flash is not wearing his costume are interesting. He's most of the time in-costume and his face isn't seen, but in "Starcrossed" the League are forced to give away their secret identities, and that scene is pretty funny :) Bats-ownage. Another unmasked!Wally scene is in "Flash and substance". I think it's cute how polite, nice and social guy Flash is in his civilian identity too, greeting all his workfriends. And I enjoy the scene in "Great brain robbery". Luthor unmasks Flash to find out who he is, only to get disappointed; he doesn't recognise the face and unmasking Flash was completely useless.

Flash seems to be a lot smarter and more competent than he usually acts. He's a forensic scientist as his non-superhero day job and he even manages to outwit a supervillain genius in "The brave and the bold". I was like "oh my god what are you doing you adorable dumbass" until Grodd fried his own brains and it turned out that Flash actually had a plan there. I find it interesting when Flash has his moments. "Divided we fall" and "Eclipsed" are other cool moments of Flash single-handedly kicking ass. All the other JL members are taken out, and he has to step up and do what's gotta be done, all by himself.

Flash owning Luthoriac was just kickass. Holy shit.
It had been an interesting storyarc that had been going on for a long while. "A better world" introduced the concept that Flash is the heart and soul of the League, and if he were to die, that would send the League off the edge. I loved when Flash joked about it by saying something like "just make sure I won't get killed and the League will never go rogue", with a big smile on his face, and all the other League members looked at him with faces that said "...right". Then we got Question's theory about everything being predetermined, and how it's fate that Flash will die, Superman will kill Luthor in retaliation, and then everything will go to hell. Question was wondering if this fate could be averted, and how the future could be changed by taking a different course of actions. Regardless of how right or wrong Question would be with his theories, it was obvious that the tension between JLU/Cadmus/Luthor was escalating and bad things were on their way. And finally it all culminates to Flash beating up Luthoriac. The guy who was supposed to get killed, the guy who's always cracking jokes and never serious; that guy saves the day while the rest of the JL is struck down, watching the big showdown from the sidelines, as if they were just bystanders and out of their league there.

It was weird to see the carefree, goofy nice-guy going all badass and unleashing everything he's got. I particularly liked the shot when Flash stops running and for a brief moment, he stands in front of Luthoriac glaring at him ominously, his whole body is vibrating, lightning thingies are crackling around him. He's looking just plain dangerous and it's obvious that Luthoriac messed with the wrong guy.

And some additional comments about various episodes:

"My fellow bad guys..." Flash impersonating Luthor was hilarious :D I especially love how his Lex is so terribly evil that he doesn't even wash his hands! *gasp*

I enjoyed "I am legion" episode and the subplot of Flash having a crush on Fire. I wish something more had been done with that, it was really cute. Flash used to flirt with women in the earlier episodes, and he's always talkative and making jokes, but him having a crush on Fire made him uncharacteristically quiet and reserved. It was fun seeing him so shy. His reactions to Fire (and Hawkgirl teasing him) were just adorable <3 I wish that Flash/Fire (and Fire/Ice?) had been used in more episodes.
Another fav moment in that episode was Flash telling Fire to drop him and go help Hawkgirl, even though he couldn't fly. I like how unselfish and stupidly brave he was there, and how he acted as if he had some kind of plan thought out.

And yet another great Flash episode was "The ties that bind". Barda and Scott were asking League's help, but J'onn didn't want get involved in Apokalips power struggles and denied help. But Flash was his usual caring self and went behind J'onn's back, offering Scott and Barda help without the Martian's permission. He later turns out to be very competent and useful help, which is cool.
I love the scene where Scott and Barda are sceptical about Flash and certain that he won't be able to help them, but then Flash convinces them by running around with Barda's boomtube and giving her a flower, asking "friends?". Aww<3
The episode also had this little fighting robots game that provided for some funny scenes :)

One thing though... what was with Giganta kissing Flash at the end of the last episode? That seemed to come from out of nowhere. It would've been sweet if it were Tala instead of Giganta, that would've made a lot more sense (I know, Tala was killed off earlier, but still).

Okay, that was enough gushing. Like I said, I've got a lot more thoughts typed up, so this may possibly be part 1 in a series of entries that I'm posting later on. Maybe.

And one additional thing that's completely unrelated to JLU: is Jubilee cool? I was browsing and saw some covers of a Jubilee comic book over here. Those look like really cheerful, fun and unique covers and they got me curious. I've never read anything with Jubilee and I've got no idea who she is (except that she's in X-men I think?). The covers make me want to know more about her. Does she have fans over here? Opinions on her?
Tags: animation, dc, dcau, justice league unlimited, the flash

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  • DC, number four publisher?

    I stopped by my new local comic store on Saturday and was browsing while the owner talked with another customer (I ended up getting the Thrilling…

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    I have a question about the current incarnation of Wonder Woman. Where does it fit into the DCnU continuity? That is, is all this running around…

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