On The Cheap: Your Best Bets For Comixology’s ‘Flash’ Sale
I think we can all agree that the best comics are cheap comics, which is why I always keep an eye on Comixology's sales page to see if there are any good deals to be had. This week, there's a massive sale going on featuring The Flash, which has pretty consistently been one of the best and most innovative comics at DC for the past 50 years.
But that presents a good problem to have: With so much on sale (and so many great comics out there), what are the hidden gems that you should look for while they're on sale? Fortunately for you, you have a guide that has read a lot of back issues and knows just which ones to check out!
Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo's tenure on Flash is a justifiably legendary, character-defining run, and to be honest, you're probably pretty well off just grabbing every issue of it, if you haven't already read it. If, however, you want a particular issue that shows just how much you can do with a guy who runs fast, this is the one to grab.
The premise here is that Wally West, the Flash, finds himself in a crisis where he's just not fast enough, and taps into the "Speed Formula" that gave the Golden Age hero Johnny Quick his speed powers — and amplifies his own speed to the point where everything around him is frozen in a single moment. The problem? He's trapped there with no idea how to slow down, and a city full of danger to help people avoid. It's awesome.
Story: William Messner-Loebs
Art: Greg Larocque and Larry Mahlstedt
Along the same lines, we have this story, arguably the best single issue of William Messner-Loebs' run. I may be misremembering, but I think Waid cites this as one of his favorites, too, and if so, it's easy to see why.
In this issue, Wally West is taking a day off by going to see a movie, when he suddenly feels something poking at the back of his head. Turns out it's a bullet, and his super speed kicked in reflexively to save his life, leaving him moving at super-speed in a movie theater full of machine gun fire. It's clever stuff, and Greg Larocque is seriously underrated as a Flash artist.
Okay, here's where things get weird. Morrison and Millar's year-long fill-in in the middle of the Waid run was marked by some pretty strange stories — including the one about the Black Flash, which is awesome — but this one takes the cake. Basically, the Flash is conscripted to run a race in order to stop an ultra-powerful bunch of aliens from destroying the planet, and his opponent is his childhood imaginary friend.
His imaginary friend who bears a suspicious resemblance to Sonic the Hedgehog.
So yeah: Flash vs. Sonic by Morrison and Millar, with great art from Ryan and Nyberg. It's as goofy and awesome as it sounds.
Story: Brian Augustyn and Mark Waid
Art: Eduardo Barretto, Gerry Fernandez and Ian Laughlin
The '90s were a time of one-shots that helped expand the universe, and while the "Plus" series was a pretty mixed bag, this is far and away the best. One of my favorite things about the DCU was that Wally West and Dick Grayson were best friends going back to their time on the Teen Titans, and this issue find the two pals going on their annual road trip. Because of course they go on an annual road trip. It's adorable.
Unfortunately, it's not a very relaxing vacation, as they head to New Orleans and end up caught in the supernatural horror of the DCU's equivalent of the Winchester Mystery House.
I'm going to go ahead and assume that you already have JLA: Year One, and if you haven't, you need to grab it while it's on sale too. But while that book was pretty popular, Waid, Peyer and Kitson's follow-up miniseries was slightly less well-known, and every bit as good.
It's a team-up series that takes place over the course of Barry Allen and Hal Jordan's heroic careers, with stuff like an interplanetary vacation with their Golden Age predecessors, and Kid Flash temporary switching sides to become Kid Lantern. It's pretty fun, even if the main purpose is to let you watch Hal Jordan's life slowly fall apart and Barry eventually die.
Story: Jim Shooter
Art: Wayne Boring, Jim Mooney, Stan Kay, Edwin J. Smalle Jr.
The Flash and Superman have raced on multiple occasions. I think all of them are on sale, and they're all pretty fun, but my particular favorite is definitely the story from 1967, mainly because the race is complicated by two different groups of gangsters who have placed billion-dollar bets on the outcome.
The result of all this is that the race gets real complicated real quick, including traps along the route, a pair of ringers who end up fighting each other, and a predictable ending. But then, if there was actually a winner, they wouldn't have been able to do this five more times.