It wasn’t until this past episode that I finally realized it: The Flash is a Pokemon. I don’t know how I didn’t see it until now. His trainers periodically teach him new attacks like Thunderbolt and Hurricane in order to overpower and capture other super-powered creatures in the vicinity, who will be stored in impossibly small cells where basic requirements like eating, drinking and exercise are apparently suspended indefinitely. You’ll get around to letting them out and leveling them up … eventually. Or maybe you’ll just trade them to the Green version for a higher-level character from Iron Heights (just be sure you have enough experience to control him). Speaking of gaining experience, battle injuries should be attended to, of course — but after a good five-second rest your Flash will be fighting fit!
If you’re not sure how something works, never fear; the disembodied voice of the Professor will probably kick in if you try to do something stupid.
I realize this isn’t really an unusual superhero formula, but last Tuesday … last Tuesday was Flash vs. King Shark. Man. I had SO many potential scenes to illustrate my point here, so I’m going to list some of the options I didn’t go with:
TRAINER threw some BAIT at KINGSHARK!
KINGSHARK is eating!
LYLA: PIKAFLASH has already beaten KINGSHARK once before — this gym should be a snap!
[characters pass a CENTRAL CITY STADIUM sign]
[they find themselves on a dock facing an expanse of water with a single stone outcropping, the familiar stadium lines marked with a string of buoys]
DIGGLE: [with a classic buzzkill BROCK-frown] Water is KINGSHARK’s natural habitat. It’s gonna be a lot stronger here.
The list goes on, really. But for simplicity’s sake, I wound up with this:
Didn’t even need to change the main dialogue for this one, it was THAT “mid-battle physics break for the kiddies” already. Would’ve been better to have Wells’ face on a little screen, phoning in Oak-style from the lab, instead of moving the dialogue to a character in the actual scene, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to draw a little silhouette in “enthusiastic trainer pose.”
King Shark is, of course, a Sharpedo/Mega Sharpedo (is there really a difference?). Raichu would have more Flash-like ears and better contrast with the suit, but the idea of little Pikachu winning with its speed moves (in the spirit of that fateful battle with Surge) won out.
Also, convenient coincidence, today is Pokemon’s 20th anniversary! Festivity! Events! Limited-edition things! An opportunity for 20-somethings to feel old! I wore my Marowak dogtag (“Copyright Nintendo 1998”) to work, tucked under my shirt so I could look all respectable and library-y while totally keeping an eye out for wild Pokemon. I may have to break out my old Pokemon battle coins that neither I nor anyone I knew EVER learned how to play with….
(BONUS nostalgia round: a drawing, circa I-have-no-idea-how-long-ago, of my gen. 2 Pokemon team, which apparently consisted of Dragonair @ King’s Rock, Furret @ Pink Bow, Sandslash @ Soft Sand, Umbreon @ Blackglasses, Typhlosion — because you always choose the Fire starter — @ Charcoal, and Houndoom being a grumpus because it’s Umbreon’s turn to wear the glasses and she doesn’t even have a proper nose to keep them on straight)