DCAU #229: Not Always to the Swift

IN THIS ONE... Superboy challenges Flash to a race; Nightwing goes up against a more violent vigilante.

CREDITS: Written by Steve Vance; art by John Delaney, Ron Boyd and Ray Kryssing.

While Vance's 2-story issues continue to be word-intensive, cramming perhaps too much story and backstory into each installment, he produces a real comedy winner in this Flash/Superboy team-up that harks back to all those Flash-Superman racing issues. And I think it may just be one of my favorite Flash races!

It's the comedy, really. Flash vacationing with a hard-put-upon Linda as the media keeps hounding them to find out the REAL reason he's in Hawaii is fun enough. Now through a jealous and cocky Superboy into the mix wanting to prove he's still #1 even when a bigger hero - one he nevertheless has plenty in common with; I love the bit where Wally acknowledges that he once had that personality - is in town. Once the challenge is accepted, it becomes very clear that Superboy isn't even in Wally's class, and gets trolled for it. It's delightful. Usually, these races kind of end because of some threat that must be dealt with, so we never find out who won. That's fine when you're trying to make Superman save face, but since Superboy isn't a real contender, the heroes can deal with the threat, gain an appreciation for each other, and still make it to the finish line with a clear winner. EXCEPT Wally arranges it so it's so close as to be indeterminate. The cameras can't even do a proper photo-finish. It's his gift to Superboy, and he proves, at the same time, the maturity Linda questioned earlier when she told him not to humiliate the kid. I love it.
Continuing with the legacy hero theme, the back-up features Nightwing in "Bats", which is a more serious story to balance out the previous tale's humor. But it's no less a showcase for the hero's values and personality. In Blüdhaven, he bristles at the notion that crooks think he's not as scary as the other guy, and finds himself in the shadow, not of Batman, but of "Bats", a violet dishonored cop who wears the cowl and beats up bad guys with a bat, sometimes to death. It's a bit of action, with cool moody art from Delaney and Kryssing, with a strong meditative side about the use of necessary force. Superhero scribes sometimes forget the lessons Vance seems intent on teaching in these comics.

IN THE MAINSTREAM COMICS: While we saw Superboy in his mainstream DCU set-up in the Adventures Annual, we get more of his back story here, including first DCAU-style cameos for Guardian, the Newsboy Legion, and the Ravers. While Nightwing is established in the DCAU proper, they wink at his mainstream DCU title by setting his story in Blüdhaven, to which he's been "sent" rather than lives.

REREADABILITY: High - Wordiness aside, a strong issue that balances comedy and drama. Lots of fun.



Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zine