The Flash Season 3 confirms Kid Flash! (and Daniel West?)

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Thought October 4th is still a long way away there is no doubt that after the spectacular 2nd season of the Flash many fans are waiting in anticipation for Season 3. Now, with Comic Con just around the corner, DC Entertainment has released an image of Wally West in his Kid Flash outfit, and fans are going ballistic.

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As DC fans can tell, this is a faithful representation of the current Wally West Kid Flash in comics. The yellow used in the design on the torso and mask really pops and makes the outfit more eye-catching alongside the bold red chosen for the legs, gloves and detailing. The design is almost identical in nature through little details such as the addition of the little ‘fins’ replacing the lightning earpiece accessory worn by Barry. However, it stills bears traits found in the other CW Flash outfits such as the belt and chest emblem, though some fans think that the open head, albeit accurate, seems very awkward in the photo. Wally West actor Keiynan Lonsdale seems to fit perfectly in the outfit and hopefully we will be seeing a lot more Kid Flash in the season to come, as Wally’s character progression throughout Season 2 was a main highlight for me and made him my favorite character on the show. Sorry Cisco.

However, I woke up this morning to similar but more mysterious news regarding Flash Season 3. The pilot episode is currently filming in Vancouver and Keiynan was spotted on set in outfit shooting several scenes. However, he was accompanied by another person in a Flash outfit.

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What we see is a costume unlike any other in the show before. Ok, that’s not entirely true as Zoom’s suit was a dark black, but this looks more like a charcoal or a brimstone accompanied by the lava and flame outlines on the suit. It’s also worthwhile noting the ears which look demonic and very goblin-like. Which begs the question: is this the Daniel West Reverse Flash from the comics? For the sake of less clutter, the Daniel West image will be at the end of the post, but essentially Daniel West is the uncle of Wally West  who gained Speed Force abilities through colliding with a Speed Force battery, which drove him insane and led him to becoming the Reverse Flash in DC’s New 52 line. As you can see in the image, while the color scheme is not exactly identical, the prominent theme of a demonic look and the streaks coming off  his suit are reminiscent of the lava streaks on this suit. Say my theory were proven true, what would this picture now mean? Is Daniel West the Reverse Flash of this new altered timeline? Is he the new Flash and Wally is his Kid Flash? While I originally theorized that newly-cast Tom Felton was inside the suit Australian actor Todd Lasance is reportedly the person in the above image, but no light has been shed on his role as of now, so we will have to wait until Comic Con for potential news.

Once again Flash aims to impress by utilizing the rich and wonderful lore of the Flash by portraying an amazingly designed Kid Flash suit, all while teasing a new mystery character that could be Daniel West. Only time will tell as the release date of the Season 3 premier “Flashpoint” draws nearer.

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Mary Jane Watson as Iron Spider: A great idea that isn’t happening

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Most Spiderman fans can agree that after the events of the universally disliked story arc “Spiderman: One More Day”, which bears the disappointing legacy of retconning Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson’s marriage out of continuity, the character of Mary-Jane Watson has served little to no purpose in Marvel Comics. She briefly gained her own set of powers during the “Spider-Island” story arc and appeared for a brief period of time in the ‘Superior Spiderman’ series, but besides that it is if she had ceased to exist further. That is, until Brian Michael Bendis brought Mary Jane back in the pages of ‘Invincible Iron Man’ series as Tony Stark’s personal assistant. Furthermore, current Spiderman writer Dan Slott used Mary Jane in his comic in a more heroic light by means of allowing her to don the Iron Spider costume to save Peter, Tony and many other heroes from the villainous Regent. Not only did this make for a fun story but it also showed something in Mary Jane: potential for becoming a hero. Unfortunately, her time in the suit comes to a grinding halt as not only does it get rendered useless in combat, but the following exchange occurs:

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“Never again.” says Mary Jane Watson. I honestly don’t know if this was a decision by Slott or Marvel, but I feel that not letting Mary Jane keep the Iron Spider suit was a poor decision for several reasons.

1) Nothing interesting is happening with the character

Sure, Mary Jane is now working for Tony Stark and features in his series, but what else is she doing other that being a secretary? The book is still going to be heavily focused on Tony Stark. Well, it was until the new ‘Invincible Iron Man’ series was announced which focuses on Riri Williams instead of Stark. So what happens to Mary Jane now that the only series that she contributed to majorly has had a switch in focus? Is she still around, and if so, what will she do? The answer is easy: give her a series of her own. It doesn’t have to be big, it could be a small mini-series of 5 issues in order to test the waters, but she definitely shouldn’t be underused ever again. Mary Jane has appeared in many adaptations of the Spiderman mythos and has attracted a small yet proud fan-base over the years; reintroducing her with a superhero persona would be a great way to start making her more prominent in the female of the new Marvel universe. Plus, you have a new female lead, what’s not to love?

2) It makes sense from a story perspective

When you write a story set in a universe with years upon years of character interaction, relationships and history, you would naturally want to work your story into this lore in order to make it seem grounded and not out of nowhere. So when you have Mary Jane working for Tony Stark, a businessman and an Avenger with a plethora of enemies, it would make sense to present your secretary with a form of protection from harm. And naturally when your boss is Tony Stark you can expect that to come in the form of a suit of armor like his own. So giving Mary Jane the Iron Spider armor would make sense in this regard for many reasons:

  1. It was found in a box located in the Avengers Warehouse. It wasn’t being used for anything else. Why not donate it to someone in need?
  2. Mary Jane knows that Peter once wore the armor. Her now wearing the armor would making sense as the mantle is effectively being passed from one Spiderman character to the next, not to mention these characters had close relations
  3. She’s worked a suit of Tony’s design before. She’s not an amateur. Amazing Spiderman #15 goes as far as to list those exact instances in which she used a suit.

3) Marvel is pushing for representation

Marvel has been on a heavy diversity agenda in the past few years. They’ve introduced many characters of color (Kamala Khan, Riri Williams), characters of the LGBTQ+ community (America Chavez, Angela Odinsdottir) and many females characters have started to lead their own titles (Jessica Drew, Cindy Moon). So why not use Mary Jane, an existing character that is widely recognized and loved, in her own series as the Iron Spider. There’s no groundwork that needs to be set, no history that needs to be created and as previously stated it won’t feel forced. It would be a welcome back to a character long gone from the attention of Marvel readers everywhere.

But that’s just my two-cents on the matter. Maybe Marvel has plans for Mary Jane. Maybe they don’t. But I can say that if they don’t make use of this prime opportunity, then they are truly missing out.

USAvengers: My Initial Thoughts

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I’m a big fan of Al Ewing’s work on Marvel titles these past few months as I find that Ewing successfully creates a personal style for every title he writes. For his work on ‘The Ultimates’ Ewing roots the series heavily in the realm of science and the grander scale of the universe, utilizing cosmic characters such as Galactus and concepts such as the outside of the universe and quasi-dimensions. However, his work on New Avengers is a much different ball game , whereby a tone of fun, light-hearted humor and silly concepts make for an enjoyable romp through the wackier side of the Marvel Universe through lesser-known characters. Recently Marvel has announced that the ‘New Avengers’ title is to be cancelled and replaced with the ‘USAvengers’, the spiritual successor to the current story in the pages of ‘New Avengers’.
From the cover that Marvel released we get a solid glance as to the tone the title will embody and the initial roster of the team. From left to right we have Toni Ho, daughter of Iron Man’s old cave partner Ho Yinsen, sporting the Iron Patriot armor in what appears to be the promotion of a lifetime. Next is Pod, the planetary defense system who has been redesigned with a slimmer outfit. Standing proud in the center is Squirrel Girl followed by the surprise appearance of the Red Hulk, which is interesting since he was depowered in Gerry Duggan’s 2014 ‘Hulk’ series. On the far right we have a female Captain America, who Marvel has announced is the future version of Danielle Cage, daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. Finally, team leader Robert da Costa is returning as Sunspot alongside his best friend Samuel Guthrie aka Cannonball.

My immediate thought was that this looks like the dumbest title to be announced thus far. It looks silly, cheesy and nothing to take seriously. However, I remembered that I felt the same way about many other titles that were announced that I now thoroughly enjoy. I slammed ‘The Vision’ for a poor concept of Vision creating a family, but now it’s probably my favorite title currently on the market. The point is, opinions change over time. And while I don’t really have much to go on besides a cover and a snippet of information regarding the basic premise, I feel very on the fence about this title. On the one hand, this could be the defining story of Marvel NOW! by showcasing a cast of odd characters in a crazy situation and placing characters like Pod and Toni Ho in the limelight. On the other hand, this could just be another title with a lame concept, uninteresting characters and an annoying and aggravating story. Perhaps my biggest concern falls under the addition of a Danielle Cage Captain America. In a time now cluttered with various Captain America personas, including Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson and Roberta Mendez, I’m not entirely certain that Marvel needs another future female Captain America, but I don’t have any other information on her other than the fact that she’s there to hunt an enemy from her time.

My final verdict is that USAvengers looks like a silly and uninteresting concept, but based off of Al Ewing’s previous work, it has the potential to impress.