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"Even more curious than that, and maybe more brave, we are proven something about Wally West here that has been starting to become distinctly clear since the second half of the Cadmus arc. The Flash is a superhero. He does good. Why, you might ask? "Because it needs to be done" is about the most reasoning you’d get from this Flash. That’s very square-jawed a concept, isn’t it? Well, couple that with his good-natured hedonism, or at the least, fun-loving. One might be tempted to get cynical when these personality elements join, but save his few youthful overindulgences or poorly-worded/timed comments, there is nothing contradictory about this union of characteristics. The real trick, it seems, is that it’s hard to look past his goofiness and see the hero within. That’s the problem that the other core Leaguers suffered under earlier in the show’s history, as the Flash’s complaints in The Ties That Bind attest to. But if the goofiness has no contradiction, why should it be so hard to bypass? Ah, the fault then lies with the beholder (that is, us), and not Wally. This is modern fatigue with idealism at its finest, ladies and gents. The idea that it is easier to accept an anti-hero with a scarred past and a difficulty telling right from wrong than it is to accept a happy-go-lucky guy who does the right thing because people would get hurt otherwise and then goes home to his modest apartment in satisfaction. Wally West, as Flash and Substance shows, has devoted his life to the people. It’s in his day job. It’s in his superheroics. It’s in his community service. Why? Because he can, and because it needs doing. “Because I can” has been a sad excuse of those who do bad things for years. Shouldn’t the do-gooders get to say it once in a while? Flash and Substance, in its own gentle and amusing way, reminds us that the only reason we would question a man like Wally West is that we are trying to justify our own inability to do the right thing when we know we both can and should. Wally seems to fit in a fence-painting into his busy schedule. When’s the last time you helped your neighbor when you saw him needing some assistance?"

This is taken from a forum poster who reviewed the Justice League Unlimited episode "Flash and substance", and it is... strangely thought provoking. We do get a lot of anti-heroes nowadays, but seldom do we get someone like Flash, yes?


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January 2016

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