The Flash by Mark Waid Finale Includes The Flash #142-159, 162, 1 Million, Speed Force #1, The Flash 80-Page Giant #1 Written by Mark Waid & Brian Augustyn, Michael Jan Friedman Art by Pop Mhan, Josh Hood, Paul Pelletier, and Jim Aparo
Two years ago, I started reading through and reviewing Mark Waid’s run on The Flash. When I decided to wrap up my George Perez/Wonder Woman run, I also chose to do the same with this series. Because there isn’t an omnibus out, I used the DC Universe app’s comics library to find the remaining couple years of issues that brought Waid’s landmark run to an end. I found myself enjoying these last three arcs a lot more than some of the previous storylines; however, Waid signs off in such an anti-climactic fashion. The story just sort of ends, he jumps on four months later for a last go, and then it’s over.
Black Lives Matter. If you find an issue with that statement, then your presence on my website is unneeded. The comment section of this post will not be allowed to house any sentiments contrary to this. There is no free speech in my little corner of the internet when it comes to white supremacy and fascist ideals. The history of abusing, mocking, torturing, and killing black people in my home country of the United States is too long and still happening. Cinema was used as a weapon against black lives during the early silent years and into the talkies. However, films have been made that lift up black people and show them as human beings. Here are some of those movies.
Robocop (1987, directed by Paul Verhoeven) As a kid, I thought movies like Robocop and Total Recall were cool for the special effects. As an adult, I’ve learned how subversive the pictures were on so many levels. There’s the over plot about OCP and its take over of the Detroit PD turning them into a private army. But there are some more nuanced points being presented in the film. Robocop represents the changes in industrialization. Once you have humans doing jobs like building cars in factories. Now robots do them more efficiently and at a faster pace. Robocop’s existence is a threat to the human police. However, he is also prophetic in his representation of the police’s militarization, and his counterpart ED-209 shows how this goes even more extreme. The world of Verhoeven’s future Detroit is chock full of commercials that represent different ideas that were present in 1980s America. There’s an advertisement for Nukem, a family board game where everyone engages in playing a nuclear war scenario and has a blast. The energy of these spots is so manic that it reflects the anxiety that comes with mass consumerism and a society moving inhumanely fast.
Stargirl by Geoff Johns (2020) Reprints Stars and STRIPE #0-14, JSA: All-Stars #4, excerpts from DCU Heroes Secret Files and DCU Villians Secret Files Written by Geoff Johns Art by Lee Moder
I can remember buying the first issue of Stars and STRIPE when it came out. I was an awkward eighteen-year-old in the summer before college, I cannot believe how much I’ve changed as a person. This comic was on sale at Piggly Wiggly, one of the few stores in my rural American Southeast town that still sold comics. I was excited to get in on the ground floor of a brand new character and especially loved the connection to the Golden Age heroes. Anytime I read a comic that embraces the depth of a universe’s history, I get happy. I kept picking up the title as it came out until I moved off to college and began going down a different path for a while. Eventually, I would come back to the character through Geoff Johns’ JSA run. With the debut of Stargirl’s series on The CW, DC Comics has collected her earliest appearances and repackaged them here.
Yesterday, I reviewed the atrocity that is Cats, a film that falls apart because of a mix of a muddled story and, most importantly, an over-reliance on computer-generated effects. I thought sharing my favorite musicals could be some fun. These are definitely all not your classic Broadway productions but things that skew more towards my particular tastes.
School of Rock (2003) Written by Mike White Directed by Richard Linklater
School of Rock is a film I’ve always found okay. I saw it in the theater during its theatrical run, amid Jack Black’s golden era in movies. He’s still around, but this was back when Tenacious D was being played on repeat in dorm rooms, and High Fidelity was oft-quoted. This marks a transition moment for the actor, going from raunchier fare (Orange County, Shallow Hal) to more family-friendly pictures. It’s a very smart career move, and the script seems tailor-made for Black’s specific persona.
The Palm Beach Story (1942, directed by Preston Sturges)
From my review: This is the ur-text of screwball comedies, every core element boiled down to its purest essence. There are pratfalls galore, windows getting smashed, and people confusing each other for others. It exists as both an ode to the comedies of mixed-up identities from Shakespeare and commentary on the late stages of the Great Depression. This film will inspire future pictures like Some Like It Hot and Intolerable Cruelty, but it doesn’t put on airs of being profound or world-changing. This is a pure character-centered comedy that understands how important it is to have a diverse variety of roles.
The Devil Wears Prada (2006) Written by Aline Brosh McKenna Directed by David Frankel
There is a certain kind of movie made in the first decade of the 21st century that faded away. I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but it is often derived from is referred to as “chick lit,” novels published for the demographic of women 18-40-ish. I believe everyone should read what they like, and there isn’t necessarily a line between “high art” and “low art,” you like what you like. I simply just don’t like this genre of literature or type of film. It doesn’t have the aesthetic qualities and thematic elements that appeal to me, but if you do enjoy these things, all the best to you. The Devil Wears Prada is one of these things.
The Hours (2002) Written by David Hare Directed by Stephen Daldry
A single day in the life of a human being can shake the foundations of the earth like an earthquake. The Hours takes place at three points in time following three women, each on a day that alters the course of their lives. Suicide is an element in each of their days, but not all attempts are successful; however, the suicides ripple through their world, much like that earthquake mentioned above. And always the interminable hours, time continues to tick by so slowly, making them feel each moment they endure life.
Adaptation (2002) Written by Charlie & Donald Kaufman Directed by Spike Jonze
The first thing you need to know is that there is no such person as Donald Kaufman. Writer Charlie Kaufman completely fabricated his identical twin brother for the purposes of this story and then included him in the writing credits. Adaptation is a movie intended to mess with your head and not hide its commentary on storytelling, films, and narcissism. To say what this movie’s plot is about is near impossible as it composes so many layers and goes deep into the mental recesses of Kaufman.