Current Reviews


Flare #2

Posted: Saturday, November 20, 2004
By: Ray Tate

"Challenge of Whiperette"
"Ransom of Olga Gottmann"

Writer: Wilson Hill; Steve Perrin and Wilson Hill
Artists: Gordon Purcell & Terry Pallott;Henry Martinez;Mike Estlich(c)

The Flare revival continues with the super-hero's second issue. It's an opportune time since by judging by the Superman and Batman titles DC are attempting to rid themselves of super-heroes.

Fortunately, Heroic still has Eos--the Greek Goddess of the Dawn--in the incarnation of Terri Faren also known as Flare. This issue shows Terri becoming closer with the police officer introduced last issue. Things seem to move fast, but none of this evolution seems unnatural or unwarranted, and hey, how about that? Another female super-hero who actually enjoys sex and doesn't get killed because of it? I sound bitter don't I? Things are changing. Very slowly like a wasp swimming in amber, but they are changing. Terri incidentally has a brain and isn't merely defined by sex or tease. The lady is furthermore as powerful as a Greek goddess should be.

While last issue's plot was more by the numbers to showcase and reintroduce, this issue of Flare relies upon the character's history--and how nice of the creative team to present an interesting, quick and painless Flare timeline between the two stories--as well as a finely honed honest wit. Man, do I miss wit.

This issue the unctuous villain hires somebody who has a history with Flare to snuff out her light permanently. Whiperette--no, seriously--appears to repeat the mistake of her brother Ultra-Lash--seriously, that's his name--whom Flare some time ago blasted to the pokey. Flare treats her as the loser villain she seems to be. However, Hill isn't finished with the villain quite yet and this leads to a smart, original twist at the end of the tale.

Rendered by Gordon Purcell and Terry Pallot, the title character exhibits exquisite anatomy and action-packed displays of power. This is everything you would want in a super-hero book. Faces are as motile as players, and the settings are as full and richly textured as the fashion displayed.

Sparkplug, Flare's younger sister, electrifies the back up story with a captivating personality. The fun, wry plotting and an ear for dialogue portrays her well as an intelligent, experienced Germanic hero. This attention to international culture can also be found in the first story when the South American character plausibly objects to the United States' monopoly over being American.

While last issue I found the backup artist's work somewhat lacking. This issue marks a strong improvement that sports different camera angles and quick but sturdy panels capturing a sharp story.

A double pleasure of female heroics that merits your attention, Flare is an entertaining super-hero book that wants to be a super-hero book. Nobody has any reason to be embarrassed here.

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