Library Trades for 2-6: Y The Last Man and The Flash of Two Worlds

Y: The Last Man Volume 5: Ring of Truth
by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra
collecting issues #24-31

The story of the last man on Earth continues! Yorick Brown and his traveling entourage find asylum in San Francisco, where the surviving women have pulled up their bootstraps to maintain civilization -- there are even women's league professional basketball! There are two storyarcs contained in this volume: the first is Yorick visiting a church to confess the sins of last volume -- only to commit another carnal sin with the woman who's lodging inside the church. Then, in the second storyarc, a group of crazed women steal Yorick's wedding band, meant for his girlfriend Beth in Australia. It's at this point that Yorick's sister Hero returns and there's a crucial change in her character.

They share a tender moment, and Yorick reminisces about his big sister. A lot of important things happen in this volume: Dr. Mann discovers why Yorick was immune from the epidemic, and Hero is deprogrammed from the Amazons, a terror group that's emerged from the no-man post-apocalypse. There's a unique amount of women's history and American history embedded in the trade, so you might even learn something.

Y: The Last Man never fails to impress, so follow me along as I read through all the trades.

DC Comics Classics Library: The Flash of Two Worlds
By Gardner Fox, Carmine Infantino, John Broome and friends
Collecting The Flash #'s 123, 129, 137, 151, 170 and 173
cover by Carmine Infantino?

This isn't a widely-touted fact, but the Flash is the heart of the DC Universe. Think about that for a while. He doesn't have a big-budget film coming out next summer, and he doesn't have 17 monthly adventures detailing his and his family's adventures, but he is the reason the DC Universe exists -- the Flash is the key to DC's 52 Earths, because he was the first to discover them, due to his vibrational powers!

from DC Comics Classics Library: The Flash of Two WorldsThis edition of DC Comics Classics begins with that premise, of the very first team-up between Barry (Flash!) Allen and his childhood hero, Jay (Flash!) Garrick. This issue, #123, contains two major comic-book ideas that are important to the super hero genre: comic books are part fantasy, and not only does the reader get to live in Barry Allen's life and share his superpowers, they get to team up with their hero the same way Barry gets to team up with his. The relationship isn't subtle at all, when Barry tells Jay about the comic books he's read about Jay, in the comic book itself. The idea that you can just start shaking yourself and vibrate into a world where you can talk to your hero epitomizes comic books.

from DC Comics Classics Library: The Flash of Two WorldsThe second major comic book idea comes from Flash's superpowers. All he can do is move really fast, but he makes so much of it. Gardner Fox finds so many exciting ways to use these powers, whether it's spinning your arms to create a cushion of air, or vibrating your body to run through a wall. These two major ideas create a powerful, optimistic comic book experience.

When I was looking on goodreads for the trade cover, I ran into some reviews. They weren't exactly positive: there are a few people who would take these ideas for granted, and claim that these stories have reached their expiration date and aren't relevant to comic books anymore. They're wrong. Comic books are at their most optimistic, and their most creative when they're introducing new worlds, new characters and exciting super powers. With the Flash, the possibilities are nearly endless with his one super power. There's so much creative potential with the Flash, and Carmine Infantino and friends take advantage of it to the fullest. To write these stories off as dated and boring is ignorant and close-minded.

Because you demanded it -- it's nude Flash! Abra Kadabra, the 64th century scientist who poses as a 21st century magician, squeezes the Flash in his already-tight spandex. To escape it, he vibrates out of his costume for a quick KO punch and runs back to his costume! Look at that grin on the Flash's face, in that last panel. Barry genuinely enjoys his powers. It's a great sequence from Infantino.

Next week: BPRD 1946 and Ultimate Spider-Man: Carnage. I'm going to be taking a break on substantial posts until then, so see you guys in a week.

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