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The Flash (1987-2009) #9-11 – The Chunk/Chunk in the Void/Chunk Barges In (Review)

So, I’m considering reviewing this season of The Flash, because the pilot looks interesting and I’ve always had a soft spot for the Scarlet Speedster. I’m also considering taking a storyline-by-storyline trek through the 1987-2009 Flash on-going series as a companion piece. If you are interested in reading either of these, please let me know in the comments.

While writing The Flash, Mike Baron tended to avoid established villains.

While appearances from Vandal Savage bookend the run, most of the character’s iconic rogues are completely missing from the first year of the title. There is no Reverse-Flash, no Captain Cold, no Weather Wizard, no Heatwave, no Captain Boomerang, no Trickster. Instead, Baron tended to create his own antagonists for Wally West. To be fair, his creatures tended to pop up here and there over the years, but none of them really broke through into the character’s regular supporting cast.

It's the end of the world as we know it...

It’s the end of the world as we know it…

Perhaps Chunk came closest. Chester Runk is the most memorable and well-defined new character to appear during Baron’s run on the title. The character would never become a regular fixture of The Flash, but he would pop up time and again over the years. It is easy to see that might be the case. He is rather distinct from most of the other baddies to debut under Baron’s pen. He looks visually distinctive, has a nice character hook, and fits quite comfortably in the world of The Flash. He’s a nice adversary.

Sadly, his debut story is not a good story.

The big man...

The big man…

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Non-Review Review: The Rover

The Rover isn’t quite a post-apocalyptic road movie. A title card places the story “ten years after the collapse”, but it’s never clear what exactly “the collapse” is. Buildings still stand. Trains still run. Telegraph polls are still connected. Cars still drive. Military units still offer some small semblance of law and order. This isn’t a world that has collapsed, it is the decaying structure of a world still struggling to stand.

The Rover is a starkly beautiful and haunting film, one that says a lot with only a few scattered words. It’s unsettling not in its portrayal of a world that is dead, but instead in its attempt to capture a world struggling to keep breathing.

As the world burns...

As the world burns…

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Non-Review Review: The Book of Eli

The Book of Eli is an interesting film. It’s undoubtedly well made, featuring a strong cast and a pretty great script. Being honest, we’ve had more than enough death and destruction amid post-apocalyptic wastelands, so a movie that doesn’t dwell too much on the soulless nihilism of the setting – well, relatively speaking. It’s sort of an action movie response to the after-the-end thrillers we’ve been seeing a lot of in recent years (The Road comes to mind, as does Carriers and Hollywood’s current fascination with zombies). However, the movie comes across as a little too polished and stylised for its own good – at times it seems as if the cast are recording a perfume commercial set amid the ruins of a world that once was.

Have we been down this road before?

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Non-Review Review: The Road

Fire is a recurring image in the work of Cormac McCarthy. Particularly the notion of a generational line “carrying the fire” and being the good guys. There’s a moment at the end of No Country For Old Men, another adaptation of McCarthy’s work, where the tired sheriff played by Tommy Lee Jones shares a weird dream he’s been having with his wife, where he finds himself walking down a long road, and he passes his father – who is carrying a torch. It’s a powerful image, which really cuts to the heart of the piece. For those wondering what that road and that torch may actually look like… well, there’s this.

The Road less traveled...

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It’s The End of The World As We Know It – And I Feel Fine

So last week we had the box office dominance of Zombieland, a post-apocalyptic comedy. Over the weekend we had the simultaneous broadcast across US network television of five minutes of Emmerich’s newest disaster flick 2012. We also may have the first post-apocalyptic Oscar-nominee in The Road this year. And that’s just in the last three months of the year. Looking back over the last decade alone there have been a million-and-one end-of-the-world thrillers, chillers, comedies and dramas. That’s a lot of apocalypse for a relatively small planet. So, what gives? is there a greater reason for the zeitgeist’s fascination with the end of the world?

Darth Vader offers an example of what the end of the world might just look like...

Darth Vader offers an example of what the end of the world might just look like...

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