Flash Rising, by Martha Thomases

Martha Thomases

Martha Thomases brought more comics to the attention of more people than anyone else in the industry. Her work promoting The Death of Superman made an entire nation share in the tragedy of one of our most iconic American heroes. As a freelance journalist, she has been published in the Village Voice, High Times, Spy, the National Lampoon, Metropolitan Home, and more. For Marvel comics she created the series Dakota North. Martha worked as a researcher and assistant for the author Norman Mailer on several of his books, including the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Executioner's Song, On Women and Their Elegance, Ancient Evenings, and Harlot's Ghost.

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20 Responses

  1. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    As one of the founding members of the First Church os Saint Barry the Swift, I was against the idea of Barry returning for a lone time. His sacrifice was perfection – he knew exactly what was going to happen, knew he stood no chance of survival, and went in anyway. You have to know the reprecussions of your actions to be a hero. Firemen = Hero. Guy who gets hit by car while walking on sidewalk = not hero.If Barry thought "Oh heck, the way everybody comes back around here, I'll be fine", he'd still have been brave, but not a hero.So just bringing Barry back hale and hearty and save for a 23-year-long nap, with no issues and give him his own book back, I don't think so. But that's not what it looks like they're going for here. When Johns was writing Flash, he introduced the idea that Barry was going to come back to help Wally three times, on the three worst days of his life. This is gonna be time three. I really don't think they are going to keep him afterwards.Of course, if the pattern from 52 and Countdown is to be followed, they'll do such a good job of building him up as a character (like they did for Vic Sage, The Jokester, Isia and a lot more) that when it's over and Barry leaves, we'll all be disappointed about it after it all.

    • Mike Gold says:

      This whole thing was telegraphed a long time ago; I even said so in my column a few weeks back. DC's done this so often that my outrage at their creative bankruptcy is drained.So I'll settle for Barry's crew-cut. And somebody will have to tell me about that, because now that DC's dramatically lowered the retailer's discount, I'm cutting back my DC purchases equally dramatically. Right now, the only way I'll learn about Barry is if he turns out to be a skrull.

      • Alan Coil says:

        This is the first I've heard about the discount being changed.

        • Alan Coil says:

          Okay, to respond to myself—Ignore the part in my previous post about not hearing about this before. Swiss-cheese-brained me just remembered the LCS saying something about it. I really wasn't paying that much attention, but I think the change is that the level was changed, but that ALL sales during the month would now count toward the discount level, not just the initial orders.Guessing, I'd say that DC will try this for a few months to see how it goes with each different retailer, then make any adjustments where they see a problem.

  2. John Tebbel says:

    Adding death to the mix makes popular serial fiction capable of rising above itself. I think Sherlock Holmes would have been a better character if he never came back from Reichenbach Falls.And leaving it out disables a powerful level of suspense in the storytelling. I forget what movie it was that tickled me because they croaked the first person narrator in contravention of convention.

  3. Rick Taylor says:

    I dunno.How is this different from the last four times they've blown up the universe?Let's just tell some good stories, OK?I'm big on the conspiracy theory that DC is out to basically 'reshape' the characters so they can avoid the copyright situation they have with Superman

    • John Tebbel says:

      Re: "I'm big . . . with Superman." That's why the lemurs always beat the giant reptiles to the buffet. The majors forget that Supes, and most of the best stuff, came over the transom. Building an Atlantic Wall around your already overworked real estate is a fool's errand.

  4. Rick Taylor says:

    Rilly!Find a NEW story to tell.The 'blow up the universe' or 'kill the hero' stories have been WAY over-told! And not EVEN that good.The start painting a new universe then find they're STUCK in the corner.

    • Elayne Riggs says:

      New stories don't translate into sales. We all want this to be primarily about good stories, but DC needs it to be primarily about the bottom line.

      • Rick Taylor says:

        They still need to find some new stunts.The 'kill the hero/blow up the universe' thing got old a long time ago.

      • Mike Gold says:

        Compared to what? Comic book sales — in pamphlet form — are so tiny that even these repetitive stunts are nothing more than farts in a blizzard. If Warner Bros. ever figures out that Disney's been merchandising Mickey Mouse for decades very, very little creative support, well, on that day you'll be able to rent office space across from Letterman real cheap.

        • Rick Taylor says:

          Just tired of the same five or six things they use to sell their books.The same 'Supergirl/Robin' of the week stuff.As much as DC couldn't wait to blow it up in the 80's they've gotten less and less milage out of everything they've replaced it it with since.Yawn.

          • Alan Coil says:

            Not to argue with you, Rick, because I agree about the 'big death', 'big blowup' being overused, but…Big events mean big sales. It doesn't matter what the vocal few think, because the non-vocal readers buy the big events by the truck load. As long as the sales go up with every big event, the big events will continue—even if the big events eventually ruin the industry.

          • Rick Taylor says:

            It's probably just Barry's 'evil twin' anyway.

          • Mike Gold says:

            What? Mark Waid?

          • Rick Taylor says:

            Mark Waid is the Flash's eveil twin?No way!

          • Mike Gold says:


  5. mike weber says:

    "I was sad when he died. Not as sad as I was when Supergirl died, but sad. "That "Crisis" cover with the mightiest mortal in the universe absolutely racked with grief, cradling the lifeless body of his cousin he could not save – that was and is one of the strongest images in the history of comics. Susan, my first wife, read that iossue, and at the end, said, with feeling, "How dare they make me feel so bad about a character I don't even like?" Barry Allen's death – the next issue, as i recall, fell flat – partly, i suppose, because of the contrasting intensity of the "death of Supergirl" story.I can't see that bringing Barry Allen back at this late date would serve any useful purpose – ulness, maybe, there's a new "Flash" TV series or a movie in the offing whose producers want to use Barry Allen?

  6. Walt says:

    Stop talking nonsense, Martha. Barry hasn't been dead for 23 years. I think you meant to say 23 months. If he died 23 years ago, that would make me nearly 42 years old. I don't think that's right.

  7. Neil in Nashville says:

    Martha, you hit the nail right on the head. It's like the little fashionistas who only know of Karl Lagerfeld yet don't even know Chanel was a person in her own right. Great job!