if you are into comics--and who ISN'T?!--and for some reason, haven't heard--who HASN'T?!--the latest issue of the flash (#13) features the death of bart allen.
created by my pal, mark waid, and designed by my tellos brother, mike wieringo, impulse jumped out of the pages of the flash back in the early 90's like some kinda cartoon version of everything flash! in fact, he was created to be just that--a sitcom sorta comic book where mark could make all the jokes and have all the fun that wouldn't quite fit in the more serious flash comic.
bart was fast, he was impulsive, and he was FUN!
impulse's monthly book was then drawn by the great humberto ramos--also fast and fun--and quickly became one of my all-time favorite comic books! soon, i myself got into the business and mark himself suggested me to take over the writing chores when other projects made him have to give up the book. (unfortunately, dc was still mad that i had walked away from young justice and so i didn't get the book...) bart's adventures continued under the guidance of bill messner loebs and drawn by our own burgeoning superstar, CRAIG E. ROUSSEAU!! woo hoo!
one day, i was called up and told that bill was leaving the book and would i be interested in taking on the writing chores...
(i guess they weren't mad anymore...)
and work with craig?! (whom i had met at an earlier heroescon and got to be friends, hoping to one day have a chance to work together...)
i called craig to celebrate when he told me that he had just quit the book, seeing some kind of writing on the wall, and feeling that they were looking for a whole new team. waa waaaah!
but i still got to write impulse.
and for about 3 and a half years i had a ball with that little ball of lightning!
bart was fun, he was naive, he was impulse--eager to leap before he looked!
his every adventure was trial and error, always screwing up three times before he'd ever get it right. and isn't that just like life? well, maybe not three times--bart was afforded more screw ups because he could quickly fix things with his super speed.
bart and i became friends.
sure, there were some tough times in my last year or so on the book.
dc threw so many crossovers and editorial edicts at us that it was almost impossible to keep any kind of storyline going.
but it was still fun. i got to hang out with my friend.
much like my run on spider-man at marvel, when dc decided that the sales were too low and that something had to be done with impulse, i couldn't read on. they grew him up and made him kid flash, made him serious, took bart away.
i really think that that was the day that impulse died.
then, i heard from friends and fans, that they made him the flash, that now, along with barry, wally was dead, and bart wore the mantle of the fastest man alive. but i guess that wasn't working, 'cause now he's dead too.
(for a beautifully and truly passionate--mike you are so eloquent--essay on the "darkening" of comics and the characters of light and hope that we love[d] so much, check out mike wieringo's blog at www.mikewieringo.com )
as i said, i actually mourned bart's passing years ago.
this, however, is not my tribute to impulse, to my friend, bart.
a week or so ago, editor eddie berganza called to ask me if i'd contribute a page to the upcoming teen titans #50. the idea, he said, was to have the original young justice team of todd nauck and myself add a page of robin and wonder girl reminiscing about what a fun and funny goofball bart had been/could be. what i sent in are a few of the ideas that i'd had for young justice had i stayed on the book, the adventures that the team would've gone on if i hadn't left. adventures that, at times, bart had made somewhat more...tense.
(i've said that a lot of what i'd had planned for yj can now be found popping up in the perhapanauts. maybe you can see a few similarities...)
pick up the book when it comes out--or just read that page in the comic shop, it's 34, i think...
so that's my tribute to bart.
i will miss you.
apologies: a bit emotional and also on the run, the grammer in the above post is horrendous--but i didn't have time to go back and fix it!