Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hidden Gems: Secret Origins Annual #2

How many times will this series appear in my 'Hidden Gems' feature. I must admit to all but ignoring the series when it was first released, thinking it merely contained rehashings of origins stories with which I was already all too familiar. Little did I know the modus operandi of the title was to expand and ameliorate the origins, adding all sorts of new details and characterizations. The lead story in this issue, involving Wally West and his psychiatrist, is average at best. Sure, it is good to infuse some literature into a funnybook tale (Kipling's If... in this case), but it seems to be trying too hard. What makes this issue special is the reunion and possible (by my count, at least) final appearance by the art team of Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson. I'm not a big fan of post-1975 Infantino has his style got too loose for my tastes, but Anderson helps tighten that like and make the reader feel as though they'd stepped on the Cosmic Treadmill. Their stories focus on a few key events in Barry Allen's life and culminate in a rather touching coda to the Crisis saga. I'm not sure if it is all part of today's canon, but it works for me.

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