Those Who Ride the Lightning

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POSTED: August 10, 2005

One of the interesting things about the web is that it usually makes no distinction between the important and the trivial. This means that there is a wealth of detail available about almost anything.

Today I found a complete online reference to the world of The Flash with almost everything a Flash scholar could possibly want. The only thing obviously missing is an issue-by-issue plot synopsis. If you really need one of those you can at least find one for Barry Allen, the second Flash (the one who died saving us all during the Crisis on Infinite Earths).

One of the best things about the web is also, almost be definition, one of the worst things about the Wikipedia project. Although the individual articles may be accurate, and the communal editing process may tend to mean that they get more accurate over time, there is no way of providing an editorial guide to relative importance.

In a published guide to English literature the reader can gauge the (conventional view of the) relative importance of William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe from the length of their respective entries, regardless of the content of those entries. In the Wikipaedia this depends more on who has the most active fanbase.

Does this matter?

Not to me, but then I’m the kind of person whose quality of life is apparently enhanced by access to an online guide to The Flash…