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Archive for March 13, 2010

Superman vs. The Flash

Courtesy of the library, I recently read a trade paperback collection called Superman vs. The Flash, collecting their various races in the comics.  The first race ends in a deliberate draw, the second too close to call, and one of the later ones is aborted in order to fight the bad guys, although you could say it’s another deliberate draw; there’s a “cosmic curtain” that only one person can penetrate and Superman and the Flash contrive to go through it simultaneously.  But in the other races — SPOILER ALERT — the winner is consistently the Flash, whether Barry Allen, Wally West, or Jay Garrick.  And I like that.  It makes sense.  As one of the later stories points out (“Speed Kills” by Dan Jurgens, from the post-John Byrne era when Superman was powered down to a more reasonable level), Superman isn’t trained as a runner.  When he needs to go somewhere fast, he flies.  So it’s logical that he’d be outmatched in a footrace by the Flash.  (Though this logic wouldn’t apply to Smallville‘s Clark, who still doesn’t fly after nine seasons.)

My favorite race, though, is the Denny O’Neil one from World’s Finest Comics #198-199.  Both Superman and Flash end up wounded and weakened and must drag themselves forward with their arms to reach and deactivate a doomsday device before time runs out.  It’s a lovely twist, and I love the narration:

It is insane..!  It is ludicrous..!  And, yes — it is comical! These two renowned warriors dragging themselves on their stomachs…  Yet mark this moment well!  For behold — they are injured, shocks of agony scream along their limbs!  And still they go forward, fired by the most gallant determination…  Never have Superman and The Flash stood so tall

This is the first race the Flash wins, thus averting the cliche of ending in a draw, but still letting Superman fans feel satisfied that maybe their guy could’ve won if he’d been at full strength.  The Jurgens story has a similarly ambiguous ending, implying that Superman might’ve thrown the race and leaving it to the reader to decide.

There’s at least one Superman-Flash race not in the collection, the Superman: The Animated Series episode “Speed Demons.”  In that one, they abandon the race to stop the Weather Wizard, then at the end they start racing again to resolve who’s faster, with the answer never revealed.

What I don’t get is that the front of the TPB says “Seven of the greatest races of all time!”  There are eight issues including two 2-parters, for six races overall.

Categories: Reviews Tags: , , , ,

Under the weather

With that new gig coming up soon, I really should be getting some work done on my spec novel while I can.  But I’ve been feeling under the weather for the past few days and I’m not quite up to it mentally.  I tried getting back into the revisions yesterday, but I realized a certain sequence was way too talky and that I’d ended up glossing over a revelation that was actually pretty important, or that I’d set up earlier as pretty important.  I’ve been trying to think about how to fix it, but I just keep coming up with more possibilities that warrant more careful thought.  I can’t just toss something off here, especially when I’m not at my peak mentally.

So I’m just gonna ramble about various stuff to keep me occupied.  Let’s see.  I figured out my money situtation’s a bit better than I thought.  Still not great, but I now know I’ll at least be able to pay all my bills and rent on time this month, before things start to improve financially next month.  So that’s reassuring.  It’s still a bit frustrating to know I’ll be able to buy stuff I need and stuff I want in the near future but not be able to just yet; but on the other hand, it’s better knowing that it will happen than not being sure at all.

I’m liking my “new” recliner chair.  It’s fairly comfortable.  Unfortunately, my apartment’s too small to put it in the optimal place, which would be facing the TV and under the torchiere lamp.  My couch takes up virtually all the space between the corner and the door.  Theoretically I could reverse the positions of the couch and the audio/video stuff, but then I’d need to have the TV cable stretching across the floor, which wouldn’t really work.  Plus it would be too hard to move it all on my own.

However, the chair’s much lighter than the old one, as I mentioned before.  One day, I just moved the chair into the middle of the living room, in front of the couch, and sat in it to watch TV.  Worked nicely, but too impractical to do regularly.  Sigh.  As for the lamp thing, I figure once my money situation’s better, I can buy a reading lamp to put next to the chair.

Okay, I’m all rambled out, save for one bit that turned out long enough that I’m gonna split it off into a second post.

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