Justice League: Speed Trap

    (Random House, 2003)
™ and © DC Comics, Inc.

Written by former Flash scribe (and editor) Brian Augustyn, Speed Trap is marred by one key flaw that nearly ruins the entire reading experience. The linchpin plot point of the book — the idea of Flash having to rescue the rest of The Justice League without using his powers — never truly comes to pass. After being zapped by a mysterious form of energy by a rogue, The Flash supposedly loses his vaunted super-speed. The idea is to force Wally West to overcome his lack of powers by using stealth, strategy, and out-and-out bravery. However, while fighting the bad guys, Flash still manages to pull off a speed trick or two, leaving readers feeling bewildered and even a bit cheated.

For those who can put aside the overriding (should that be overrunning?) flaw, Speed Trap is an otherwise hugely entertaining novel for readers of all ages. The dialogue nails the animated-series versions of the various leaguers (Flash’s cockiness and impulsiveness get him into trouble); there’s plenty of action (Augustyn does an excellent job of describing Flash moving at super-speed); Flash’s bravery and respect for the others comes through loud and clear; and there are plenty of good ideas at play, including having a mysterious voice telling rogues about a kinder, gentler era (the Silver Age of Comics) to kill The Flash.

—Brett Weiss

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Mass-market paperback; 128 pages; Text story, not illustratedBrian Augustyn