Flash: Ignition

Flash: Ignition
Flash_Ignition review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: DC - 1-4012-0463-5
  • Release date: 2005
  • UPC: 9781401204631
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes
  • CATEGORIES: Superhero

It’s all change in Ignition as police vehicle mechanic Wally West clocks in for job every night during a period where the Flash has disappeared, no-one recalls his civilian identity and the villains are taking the opportunity to run riot.

That was all set up by events at the end of Blitz, and the opening chapter is a real change of pace spotlighting the police failing to cope and West getting on with his life until a strange experience offers a new perspective. On the chapter’s final page an unidentified stranger slaps a ring in West’s hand and intones “Time to run again.” It’s superbly dramatic.

The shift in tone is reflected by new series artist Alberto Dose whose Keystone City is perpetually shrouded in gloom and dusted by rainstorms. His Flash is slim and muscular, and in keeping with the story clumsy and lacking in confidence, but surely someone in editorial might have asked questions about how realistic it was to depict a new police profiler parading around the office in short black backless dress.

Among the problems faced by the police department is several of their number murdered by being frozen then decapitated in their brittle state. The only suspect is Captain Cold, but West has been having his early morning snack in a diner also frequented by a guy named Len who drops ice cubes in his coffee. Len will be familiar to regular readers.

By the end of the book Wally West is again fit for purpose as the Flash. Ignition is more an interesting diversion than essential Johns Flash, but a noir feel has never mixed well with Flash, and the light shining on Keystone City once again over the final pages is welcome. Next up is The Secret of Barry Allen. That’s collected along with Ignition and Rogue War in The Flash by Geoff Johns Omnibus volume three.