The Comic Book Alphabet of Cool - F

We continue our tour through the alphabet, with a different cool comic book item each day, from A to Z!

Today we look at a cool Marvel supporting character.

You know, I honestly don't know who came up with this idea, but the one bit that really turned Flash Thompson from your prototypical bully into a much more interesting character is the idea that Flash Thompson is a huge Spider-Man fan.

How cool is that?

The guy who is a total jerk to Peter Parker is also the biggest fan of Peter's alter-ego, Spider-Man? Besides the irony, it adds hidden depth to Flash, because it's not like being a Spider-Man fan was the "cool" thing to do - it really is NOT the cool thing to do, and yet Flash does it anyways, showing a bit more of a spine than we expected from him.

Some writer, Steven Grant, I believe, made the compelling argument at some point in the 1990s that Flash and Peter were an odd pair because, by 1994, they really weren't FRIENDS, were they? I mean, they hung out and all, but it was just this odd "I've known you for so long and I am friends with the same people you're friends with" thing where Flash was friends with Harry, MJ and Gwen, but not really so much with Peter - they just were THERE together for so long that they sort of became friends, but, as I believe Grant points out, that's not much of a basis for a real friendship, is it?

Later writers did not particularly seem to know what to do with Flash. Heck, Paul Jenkins literally put him into a coma.

Now, Marc Guggenheim has Flash as an Iraq veteran who lost his legs saving his comrades. It will be interesting to see how Flash plays out in his new condition. I'm betting he's the new superhero we see in those American Son promos Marvel has been doing.

What do you folks think?

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