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Friday, August 27, 2010 

Some examples from Geoff Johns' worst work on the Flash

I recently scanned some pictures from a Flash: Blood Will Run TPB I once had access to, which is surely the worst, most disgustingly violent and vulgar of Geoff Johns' work on the Flash when he was just starting his career a decade ago. I decided to post them here so that everyone would get an idea of just how crude he could be, and still is, and that goes for Scott Kolins too. For example:
One of his mistakes was embarrassing Frances Kane more than a bit. Another, seen here on this page, was the shock tactic of her ripping the policeman's gold fillings out with her magnetic powers. Crudeness at its worst.

It gets worse:

I decided not to bother about the rest of that page. What's the use of seeing the poor young infant, Josh Jackam, crying in misery over the loss of his mother? As if that weren't bad enough, young Josh was obliterated altogether about 7 years after this story had been written, in Rogues' Revenge. Johns doesn't really have much affection for children, does he?

Here's another example:

This is extremely vicious and sensationalistic with its stabbing and blood dripping, as some more of the people whom Wally helped out in one way or another are sacrificed for the sake of more shock tactics.

And here, the Flash asks a very good question: "Why?" Yes, why did this have to be? Why did we need to wade through only so much bloodletting? This is NOT entertainment, nor was it needed for a series like this.
This little scene here in the Tarpit tale, where Captain Cold goes out with a hooker, seemed done for little more than for the sake of it too.

And even after the Blood Will Run story concluded, the bloodletting did not end there:
That's one of Johns' other "creations", a mad serial killer named Murmur, because he cut out his tongue(!). The Flash may have saved that radio host, but it still doesn't wipe away the disgust of seeing that blood-dripping knife being wielded over the target. Thank goodness we never saw the bodies of the radio host's colleages; this was revolting enough. Another problem is that Murmur is in the wrong book. In Batman, we'd expect this, but here? Completely unsuitable.

And those are some of the most disturbing examples from the collection of Johns' second storyline in the Flash, by far the worst he did, which don't mesh well with the elements that made the series work in the first place. The man was not doing it for the audience, he was only doing it for himself, and that's one of his biggest problems.

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Where to start... Oh anywhere will do...

1. gold is not magnetic. so not only is the ripping-out-fillings thing gratuitous it's also particularly scientifically inaccurate, even judged against the bordering-on-creationism level of scientific ignorance at DC

2. why no minorities? the reverse racism of the sadistic violence at DC is to put it mildly hypocritical

3. as goes science, so goes abnormal psychology... murmur makes no sense. At all.

I've always said as a writer that you write for yourself. However, when you're writing something like this in a comic where it doesn't belong (as you said, better suited for Batman than the Flash), then you shouldn't be writing that comic.

Johns likes to talk about how he's a fan of the series, but I wonder if he's been reading a different Flash or if he just knows "how I can make it better", a mentality that is all ego and has ruined other projects (One More Day, the Spirit movie, the list goes on).


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