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Friday, September 03, 2010 

Extra examples from Geoff Johns' worst work on the Flash

In a followup to the previous post, I even managed to scan several pictures from the TPB that followed, simply called "Rogues", which features this:
Just the world needs, that even Chunk shed blood! This story existed for little more than to show off Chunk's power, and to "advance" to the next thing, which was "Crossfire".
Here's a picture from this series' tie-in to Joker's Last Laugh, where Wally gets stuck in the leg by a Jokerized Capt. Boomerang.
This is Johns' humorless depiction of Gorilla Grodd. It's quite possible to depict Grodd in a more sophisticated approach without losing any humor potential, but Johns does not have what it takes to master that.
And if the above scene was meant to be funny, I'm afraid it bombs big time. Grodd is causing a ruckus, potentially endangering lives, the Flash's presence notwithstanding, and Goldface is asking the guy to join his union? Please. He was a supervillain once, surely he could think of something to help stop Grodd before someone innocent gets hurt? Why is he concerned about getting people to join the union at a time like this?
Johns seems to have forgotten that Vic Stone was burned by a giant, flammable alien worm his father, Silas, accidentally teleported into his workplace in STAR Labs, which also took the life of Vic's mother, Elinore. The true origin story can be found in the 4-part Tales of the New Teen Titans miniseries from 1982. It wasn't a mere explosion that damaged his body.

Johns made Capt. Cold and Golden Glider's backgrounds worse than need be. This also seems to include an ambiguous retcon of how Lisa Snart became a Rogue, which was not in order to join the rest of them, but rather, to seek revenge upon the Scarlet Speedster, whom she blamed for the death of the Top, her boyfriend (who technically came back in the body of a politician, possibly in Hawk and Dove in 1989, and was later seen in the Flash in late 1996, some time after her death). Here, Johns retcons that, making her more of a tagalong who wants to be just like her brother, taking up a life of crime for the sport of it.
This is a bio for both Iron Heights and, more importantly, warden Gregory Wolfe. I could be mistaken, but I get the feeling that Wolfe was written as a subtle attack on Rudy Giuliani, who was a federal prosecutor in New York years before he became NYC mayor.
In this scene from "Crossfire", the villainess Blacksmith kills the Rainbow Raider, apparently because Johns didn't like him. Well gee whiz, if he didn't like or want to use him, he didn't even have to come up with this pointless scene! Besides, Blacksmith's powers were nothing to write home about.
Here's a picture scanned from the "Crossfire" TPB, where Murmer, alas, drives blades drawing blood into more victims again, and to make matters worse, the new Trickster applauds this.

And then, here's a really weird scene that bears some scrutiny:
Let me get this straight. All the thieving the Rogues did helped the 2 cities' economy? For heaven't sake, that doesn't make any sense! The insurance companies wouldn't be able to cover for that much stolen loot, if it was never recovered, and the businesses victimized by their thefts would be on the verge of bankruptcy. What it does imply is that Barry Allen failed to recover more than half the goods they stole, and that Keystone/Central's businesses and leaderships were all just corrupt. Ludicrous.
In another lack of imagination, Johns depicts the Pied Piper summoning an army of rats. Yawn.
Oh, that's just what we need! A supervillain who threatens a pregnant woman! Even this scene in retrospect is embarrassing. What will Johns think of next, a villain who goes all the way and aborts her pregnancy? Oh wait, he did, in the Blitz storyline that came later, where the new Zoom accomplished what Brother Grimm failed, its subsequent reversal notwithstanding. In fact, here's one panel from that lowly story right here:
I don't like this either. Neo-Zoom was little more than a cardboard caricature of the first Reverse-Flash (who comes off pretty weakly under Johns' pen too). Just more awful sensationalism, that's what that story was.

And that sums up another batch of Johns' limpest work from the early part of his career. A man with little to no creativity, only bankruptcy.

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