On the Enter Zoom episode of The Flash this week, we find our hero facing off against his nemesis from Earth 2. Jay Garrick, Harrison Wells, and a host of other Earth 2 migrants have been warning Barry and his crew that Zoom is a serious and dangerous adversary. Heck, Jay Garrick put his tail between his legs and ran after Barry said that he was going to take on Zoom. Garrison Wells’ motive became clear during this episode, as he’s trying to defeat Zoom so he can save his daughter. Barry’s motive was one of pure ignorance – he felt that he had the goods to take on Zoom and defeat him. Brazen in his belief, he confronted Zoom and……well, right now he can’t feel his legs. What the hell does that tell you?
When comic books hit the mainstream almost 80 years ago, there were many things going on in our great nation. The Great Depression. High unemployment. The United States, slowly drawn into World War II. Hope was fleeing fast, people needed diversions. And two of the greatest storytellers in comic book history had a vision.
When Action Comics #1 hit newsstands in 1938, it set the stage for a genre that serves as a foundation to the colossal superhero phenomenon that exists today. Yes, there were comic book characters created before Superman. Superman’s impact served as the greatest superhero representation at that time. Did Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster know that this comic book was going to be a blueprint used for iconic comic book sagas 77 years later? Absolutely not! BUT, they had to create something that allowed us to escape into a world not grounded in the swirling changes of our country and world. Our country, our people, our family and friends – they needed a beacon of hope. Why not create someone who embodied the good side of humanity, a person of integrity and resolve that persevered through the worst of times? Superman was created for that purpose. There are many stories written as to why Siegel and Shuster birthed Superman. The link between all of these stories indicates that Superman represented optimism for an ailing America – for truth and justice.
This brings me back to these great stories rolling around our cosmos in 2015. The superhero dynamic has shifted since Action Comics #1 burst onto the scene. The ‘good guy/bad guy’ core has remained the same for all intents and purposes. But many of the stories today have added certain vulnerabilities to our heroes, to seep them in realism of the times. Ignorance is bliss for new superheroes to the game and this is illustrated perfectly in this latest episode of The Flash.
Barry blindly believes that, with his S.T.A.R. lab team, he can defeat Zoom. His team seems to be hesitant but Barry is the one with powers – damn them all! His cockiness leads to his back being snapped and Zoom hovering over him in defeat.
Zoom, holding the Flash by his neck, boldly showcases him to his family and friends as a broken hero, a broken man that they put much trust and admiration in. Barry’s ego is ultimately going to be affected. This ultimately sets up the remainder of this season. Of course Zoom is going to be defeated. But the path to get there is going to be filled with pain, emotional crisis, betrayals, feelings of alienation – you get the picture. Everything WE may experience on a day-to-day basis. Just because you’re a president, police officer, judge, priest, garbage man……it doesn’t matter. Under all those layers, we are human. That’s what these tales constantly tell us. We can overcome ANY obstacle if we try harder. Don’t give up.
As I talked about in my previous blog (Montago – hyperlink on ‘blog’ please J), this is a great time to watch these stories parade in front of our screens. These stories have been tastefully told, blending old and new fans, updating stories for this era. I really enjoy the writing on The Flash. I mean, Barry’s young, energetic, and dumb about life. He has Joe West, who has been a rock in Barry’s life. Barry loves those people who are close to him and will do anything for them. His cockiness is his weakness. But Joe and others are always there to brush him off, talk to him, and then send him out in the world again. Experience has proven to be the best teacher for Barry. I expect him to evolve even further – as a man and superhero – as his story continues to be told. Barry overcame what happened to him last year during his standoff with Reverse Flash. We are going to see the maturation of what it means to be a hero, again showing what a beacon of hope looks like in 2015.
writer, proud Texan , Gamer, nerd
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K. Lorenzo is New to the FOP pose. Long time comic nerd and fan junky, He's a bit uncomfortable with the mic so he prefers to write.