Alex Ross is probably the most famous artist working in comics today. An intense realist painter, he gives superheroes a sense of humanity by using live models for his work, much like Norman Rockwell did.
If that's the case, Rockwell must have had a lot more friends than Ross, because his chracters didn't all have the same face.
Wally West, the Fastest Man Alive, lives his extraordinary life at high velocity, consumed by the power of the Speed Force. Correcting the course of evil while living in simultaneous planes of existence, the Flash no longer can slow down to live among those he protects.
As written by Mark Waid in the monthly series, Wally West was always trying to push his powers further, so it makes sense that by the future period of Kingdom Come we would be more godlike in ability. Emanating from the Speed Force, the Flash is never portrayed distinctly; he is instead a constant blur of motion. So how do you capture that in an action figure?
If ToyBiz was handling this line, they would have given us a plain figure, painted red, with a wind-up vibrating action feature. But DC Direct is more interested in the art than the action, so they gave us something better.
To suggest the intangible nature of this vibrating motion blur, the Flash is molded from translucent red plastic. Only the exagerrated Hermes helmet, a nod to the legacy of original Flash Jay Garrick, has a solid color - gray with big yellow wings. Those wings help Flash top the 7 1/4" mark, and the figure moves at the Big Five. Though the construction of the joints can be seen through the plastic, they don't disrupt the look of the figure inside or out.
The face is definitely based on Ross's work, which can sometimes be hard to tell on an unpainted figure. The thing is, he looks just the same as Batman, Superman or Captain America. It's that general meaty, jowly male face that so many of his characters have. The static pose is acceptable, because if he wasnt standing still, the Flash would just be a red streak of lightning.
Okay, so part of the point of Kingdom Come was that he never stood still, but the idea's the same.
Flash has no accessories and no costume other than the non-removable helmet, so this figure was a chance for Tim Bruckner to show off his command of anatomy. Don't worry, gentle prudes: while Mr. West does have individual toes on his bare feet, he won't be flashing you his Wally.
Right now, there are no plans for a fourth series of Kingdom Come figures from DC Direct, which is sort of a disappointment. Not only are there plenty of cool characters left to explore, but we have 3/5ths of the original Teen Titans with the adult versions of Robin, Speedy and now Kid Flash - give us Aqualad and Wonder Girl, DC!
Who would you want to see in Kingdom Come series 4? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.