Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  This week, Bennett looks at the changes coming from Flashpoint, and lists the Top 3 changes he wants.

In the ramp-up to the release of Flashpoint there was an AP piece written by Matt Moore titled "Geoff Johns trying to make Flash one of the greats with 'Flashpoint'."  It has this quote from him:

"I do think that everyone at DC believes that Flash is another character that, like Green Lantern, deserves a lot of the spotlight and can grow both inside and outside of the comics," he said.  "Why is The Flash more compelling than all these other heroes you're bombarded with and why does he deserve to be up there among the greats?" Johns said.  "That's my goal with the book."

Johns' thinking appears to be that to become a really popular character Flash needs to be the focus of a company-wide event and have an element of tragedy introduced to his origin.  Tragedy appears to be the absolutely essential element in a superhero's origin: Batman has it, Superman comes from it, Green Lantern's history is now tinged with it and DC definitely seems like they want to introduce it into Wonder Woman's (at least in both the J. Michael Straczynski comic book reboot and the failed David Kelley TV pilot Diana was no longer able to go home to Themiscyra on the weekends).

Even I, someone perfectly happy with nice, boring Barry Allen, have to concede he’s a character solely lacking in anything like conflict or drama.  "Doused by chemicals and struck by lightning, receives powers and automatically uses them to fight crime" wouldn’t make for much of a movie, and DC desperately wants a Flash movie.  Any scriptwriter working today will tell you the main character of a movie (especially a big summer blockbuster) can’t just be some random guy.  No, he has to be (a) somehow relatable and (b) have an "arc."

Which is why I'm guessing in current continuity Barry, the consummate professional forensic scientist, is constantly and needlessly being berated by his superior Inspector Singh (five points for diversity) like he was so much Peter Parker*.  And he’s haunted by the death of his mother as a child, killed by his arch-enemy Professor Zoom to punish the man he'll become.  Even I have to admit that sounds like the plot of a movie you could sell to a world where 'Flash' means Adobe software and not a superhero.

Flashpoint #1 is a pretty solid comic and it seems to be selling pretty well, though I suppose we’ll find out just how much interest there is in this event when the mini-series start shipping.  But, I know fun doesn’t sell and nobody asked me (and no one is likely to) but if anybody did I'd say that the perfect take for Flash comes from the "Flash and Substance" episode of Justice League Unlimited written by Matt Wayne.  There he was a real hometown hero; people in the streets were thrilled to see him; he knew their names, etc.  And given the flashback in Flashpoint #1 Central City should be the one city in America where no motorist’s car would ever be left stuck on the side of the road.

Since "everything changes" with Flashpoint, hopefully DC will use it as opportunity to fix some of their characters who have gone horribly, horribly wrong.  I know that this is highly indulgent but for a couple of moments I'm going to shut down all of my filters and be totally fan-ish.  I'm sure you’ve got your own list of changes you’d like to see, but this one’s mine.

(1) Get rid of the current 'demon' origin of The Creeper and use the one from the "Beware The Creeper" episode of New Batman Adventures written by the late, great Steve Gerber (hint; it's no coincidence he kind of looks like The Joker).  While they're at it they could finally use Rich (Roachmill) Hedden's old pitch for the character where The Creeper isn’t so much a crime fighter as the ultimate club kid, crashing parties and messing with people until somebody messes with him.

(2) Looker isn't a vampire anymore.  She's hardly my favorite character, I'm guessing her entire fan club could fit under my sink, but this is just sad and embarrassing.  Why not just make Detective Chimp a vampire while you’re at it?

(3) Bring Marvin and Wonder Dog back from the dead.  You don’t actually have to use them, just every couple of years establish they're working in the gift shop of the Hall of Justice (and shooting The Wonder Twins dirty looks every time Zan and Jayna show up).

* Maybe things just work differently in Central City but I’m fairly certain that chain of command (not to mention union rules) prevents detectives from yelling at the lab guys to hurry up whenever they feel like it.

The opinions expressed in this column are solely  those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of