The Flash/Speed Buggy Special #1 – Scott Lobdell, Writer; Brett Booth, Penciller; Norm Rapmund, Mark Irwin, Marc Deering, Matt Banning, John Livesay, Inkers; Andrew Dalhouse, Pete Pantazis, Colorists
Ratings: Ray – 2/10
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Well, they can’t all be winners. Spinning out of the obscure talking-car cartoon and written by the man behind such brilliant (not) New 52 characters as Bar Tor and H’el, Flash/Speed Buggy Special #1 is easily the weakest of the entire wave of cartoon crossovers. It’s drawn by frequent DC artist Brett Booth, but for some reason the issue has five inkers, making the art feel wildly inconsistent even as the main penciller remains the same throughout. The issue stars Wally West – the older one, the current focus of the “Flash War” storyline in the parent title.
Lobdell has never written him at length, and it shows. There’s a ton of little inconsistencies in the issue, such as the fact that he seems to be close with Linda Park – a big part of his current status quo is that he doesn’t know where he fits in with Linda in this world and is desperately searching for a place to call his own. Besides that, his first villain this issue is the Cyborg cast-off Kilg%re, who is not a villain I ever expected to see again. All of this gives this comic the feeling of being an inventory story.
Then there’s Speed Buggy, here reinvented as a brilliant scientist who’s designed a high-tech high-speed car, but his obsession with his work has cost him his relationship with his daughter. Wally and the scientist travel into the Speed Force, where they encounter Savitar and – I’m not joking – Reverse Speed Buggy and Speed Demon Buggy.
And the epic battle between talking car and evil talking car is joined. The scientist winds up fused with his car and uses the opportunity to worm his way into his daughter’s life without her knowledge. Then it gets really bizarre, with a backup that almost seems to flagrantly show off just how little Lobdell knows about current DC status quo. Set up as a race between Wally and Speed Buggy, it features such bizarre touches as Bar Tor being a happy part of the Flash Family, and multiple other out-of-place characters hanging out in the crowd. A bizarre sideshow with disjointed art and a laughable plot, it’s truly bizarre how this issue made it past the editing phase.
But, hey, here’s the original Speed Buggy opening theme:
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.