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The Flash: Stop Motion
Mark Schultz
Multi-cast recording, adaptation
GraphicAudio, 6 hours

The Flash: Stop Motion
Mark Schultz
Mark Schultz was born in 1955. His most widely-recognized work is his self-created and owned comic book series, Xenozoic Tales, about a post-apocalyptic world where dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures coexist with humans. He is also the current writer of the Prince Valiant comic strip.

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Past Feature Reviews
A review by Ivy Reisner

A series of grisly murders takes place in Keystone City and all evidence points to a metahuman (that is, someone with super-human powers) being responsible, most likely a speedster. All the murders took place at the same time. All involve the victim's head being blown open at the top, and the wound instantly cauterized. None of the victims realized they were in danger before they died. At the same time, strange objects appear in our solar system. As the Flash races to uncover the link between the two events, and put a stop to them, he finds himself drawn inexorably closer to something that cannot exist -- an enemy even faster than he is.

Let's categorize science fiction/fantasy books like food for a moment. You have your fruits and vegetables. These are good for you, and you should consume them often. They would include Frankenstein, 1984, and The Strange Tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Then you get the meat, cheese, and bread books. They're the daily fare of most readers. We've got Dragonlance, Isaac Asimov, and The Wizard of Earthsea in this category. Finally, you come to dessert. The light, fun books that aren't good for you, but sure are fun.

Using that analogy, The Flash: Stop Motion is like a chocolate brownie with two scoops of ice cream, whipped cream, hot fudge, and sprinkles on top. Totally empty reading calories, but oh so good, and it leaves you with a sugar-high buzz after you've consumed it.

We're playing with the current comic book Flash here, Wally West, in his younger, less secure days. He feels he has a lot to prove to the team, and to himself. Supporting cast include Superman, Wonder Woman, the Green Lantern, Batman, the Martian Manhunter, and Plastic Man. The inclusion of the last should show how little this book takes itself seriously.

It's not a superhero book, that is to say, it's not a story about a superhero, elevated in themes and structure to that of a novel. It's a comic book without the pictures. You have super powers mutating, then reconfigured back to what they were at the start of the story. You have links to prior events in the DC universe (each one explained as it comes up). You have action, action, and more action. It has the flavor, and the fun, of a great pulp comic.

The voice acting is excellent, and the production value is astounding. Wally's footsteps pound from one earphone to the next -- voices call from a distance -- explosions ring out in every direction. Televisions play in the background, barely audible at times above the characters' conversations. The traffic rushes along the streets. The sound world created is richly crafted. This audiobook is touted as a "movie in your mind" and it delivers.

DC Comics is in production with a Flash movie, to be released in 2010, but it's unclear at this time which Flash it will be -- Wally West, or Barry Allen.

Copyright © 2009 Ivy Reisner

Ivy Reisner is a writer, an obsessive knitter, and a podcaster. Find her at

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