July 31, 2008

Linkage: Scott Kolins on Rogues’ Revenge and the Future of the Flash

Category: Flash News — By

Newsarama’s Vaneta Rogers interviewed Scott Kolins on Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge and Barry Allen’s return in Flash: Rebirth

You know, we’ve talked about doing a “Rogues” mini-series since… well, ever since back when I was on The Flash with Geoff. But last year in San Diego, I got a phone call from Geoff saying he’d just had a big meeting, and he said, “Dude! Now’s the time to do Rogues! I’ve got all these ideas. We’re going to do this, and it’s going to lead to all this stuff going on in the DC Universe. We’ve got all these things going on, so now’s the time to do it! Come on back! Come on back!” And I thought, OK, this sounds great! So I came back to DC.

And he told me right then what was going on with the Rogues. And we’d talk every once in awhile, getting ready for it. But there would be a couple weeks that would go by that I wouldn’t hear from him because he was busy writing all his 20 million other books he’s working on. And finally, he called up and said, “I just got something! I want to bounce it off of you and see what you think!” And he does that. He always tells me his latest ideas. And he told me the one about Zoom, and my jaw just fell on the floor.

More at Newsarama.

July 30, 2008

Flash Companion Preview: Mark Waid on Impulse

Category: Flash History — By

TwoMorrows’ book, The Flash Companion is now available! It debuted at Comic-Con last week, Amazon orders have been shipping, and it’s been showing up in stores.

Here’s one more excerpt to round out the quartet of Scarlet Speedsters. As with the others, it’s posted here with permission of the book’s main author, Keith Dallas.

Mark Waid: Running on Impulse (excerpt)

By John Wells

WELLS: Why call him “Impulse,” rather than “Kid Flash”?

WAID: Because it was a perfect name. We didn’t want to call him “Kid Flash” because it sounded a little corny, and I still think it sounds a little corny. “Impulse” is the perfect confluence of a character’s name, his powers, and his personality, all in one word. And once we had the name — and I can’t swear it wasn’t Kurt Busiek’s suggestion — it completely summed up the character. Thought to deed in one motion without all those pesky synapses getting in the way.

WELLS: [laughs] It really did. Whose idea was that hair?

WAID: I think it was Humberto’s. Pure Humberto [Ramos]. Mike Wieringo had done the initial costume design, without the mask, but boy, Humberto went to town with the look, with the giant hair and the gigantic feet.

WELLS: Now kind of earlier on, you’d had the Tornado Twins revived in 1991’s Legion of Super-Heroes #18 and immediately had them executed by the Dominators.

WAID: [chuckles] “You” meaning “the Legion editors and writers after you left staff.” Don’t look at me, man.

WELLS: And later on, their DNA created a female speedster called Rush. And meantime, Don Allen was said to have been survived by his wife, Carmen Johnson and their two-year old son, Barry II. So what came first? You said you had the teen speedster idea for the Justice League story []earlier in the interview], was that before or after?

WAID: A little after, so that would have been the “Barry II” that we were talking about at the time, I suppose. But at that point, we were going to reboot the Legion with Zero Hour, so I knew that all bets were off in terms of Rush and those characters. It also freed up the name “Impulse,” which I believe was the codename of —

WELLS: Kent Shakespeare.

WAID: Kent Shakespeare, yeah.

WELLS: Iris brought Bart back to the 20th Century in the hope that Wally could cure her grandson, but she also wanted Wally to rein in Bart and train him in the use of his powers. Why was that not going to work?

WAID: It was so not going to work because Bart and Wally just hated each other. Wally saw in Impulse all of his own negative characteristics, so it put his teeth on edge.

WELLS: On the other hand, Max [Mercury] and Bart did work out pretty well, even though they didn’t think it was going to. How did you see that relationship?

WAID: We went into the Impulse series not sure who the mentor figure was going to be. And for a long time, I think we were talking about it being Jay, but Jay has his wife, Joan, and I don’t know what they could have brought to the series that wouldn’ t have been Ma and Pa Kent. Making Bart’s mentor Max, somebody who was so dry and so much the opposite of Bart, was too much comic potential to let go.

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This Week (July 30): Welcome to Earth-2

Category: Out This Week — By

There are no Flash-specific titles this week, but the Golden-Age Flash, Jay Garrick, appears regularly in Justice Society of America.

Justice Society of America Annual #1

“Welcome to Earth-2!” Power Girl has made a life for herself on our world, as a member and chairwoman of the Justice Society of America and as a hero in her own right.

But she’s never stopped dreaming of one day returning to her Earth — the parallel world where the members of the Justice Society were the only heroes. Where her best friend was Helena Wayne, the daughter of Batman. And where evil was a little easier to fight…wasn’t it? As her greatest wish comes true, Power Girl’s about to find herself back on Earth-2, surrounded by friends she thought she’d lost forever.

Written by Geoff Johns; Art by Jerry Ordway; Cover by Alex Ross

Update: As it turns out, the Flash doesn’t appear in this issue, except as part of a full-team pin-up.

July 29, 2008

Filling in the San Diego Gaps

Category: Flash News — By

Some Flash news bits from Comic-Con panels that I missed this weekend, dealing with DC news in general and Flash: Rebirth in particular.

DC: A Guide to Your Universe at CBR

A fan asked whether Flash Wally West would be replaced by Barry Allen. “You’ll have to read ‘Flash Rebirth,” Johns said. “I hope I’ve shown I am a Wally West fan–I wrote the book for five years.”

On the final page of “All Flash” which includes an image of a Batman costume coming out of a Flash ring, Johns said “I think Mark [Waid] just wanted to put a Batman suit in a ring.”

A fan asked whether Flash Wally West would be replaced by Barry Allen. “You’ll have to read ‘Flash Rebirth,” Johns said. “I hope I’ve shown I am a Wally West fan–I wrote the book for five years.”

Newsarama adds:

Any chance of a Hal/Barry team-up book? “It’s too early for that,” said Johns, but adding that Hal Jordan will be in The Flash: Rebirth.

As for the Geoff Johns Spotlight, CBR’s write-up has a ton of Flash-related info (and now I’m really annoyed I couldn’t make it). Some highlights:

Were the Rogues’ statements that they didn’t mean to kill Bart Allen a retcon on Johns’s part, or a self-justification on the part of the Rogues themselves? Johns said it was a bit of both, and that more will be revealed regarding their motivations in the next two issues…Johns said he thought they’d be smart enough to know that killing a Flash would bring down a lot of heat, which it did….they mostly feel bad about being caught. Johns teased that we would soon discover that one of the Rogues actually was trying to kill Bart.

He then quoted from his “Flash: Rebirth” script: “One of Barry’s good friends says, ‘Has the world gotten too fast for you?’ Barry smiles and says, ‘The world’s finally catching up.'”

As I said, there’s a ton of Flash info in that panel, and I highly recommend reading the whole thing.

CBR has a video interview with Geoff Johns, which I have not yet had time to watch.

CBR also interviewed Ethan Van Sciver about Rebirth.

Gaming Bits from San Diego

Category: Flash News, Media — By

I didn’t manage to try out DC Universe Online myself — there was always a longer line than I wanted to wait for — and I missed the two gaming panels on Friday. (I think it was Friday. It’s all sort of blurred together.) So here are some write-ups I found online.

Newsarama’s J.K. Parkin writes about playing a speedster in the DCU Online demo:

The coolest part, though, was when I hit the right joystick and turned on the Speed Force. Throwing rocks at my enemies and slamming them with my staff was cool and all, but you’d expect that in any superhero-based MMO. Having my character run through the streets of Metropolis at super speed, trailed by what looked like the Speed Force that all comic fans know from the comics? That’s the kind of detail this game needed to really set it apart. And from what I’ve seen so far, it has it in spades.

They’ve also got an article on the DC Universe Online presentation that Sony made Wednesday night.

IGN has extensive coverage of the gaming side of the con, including a write-up of Friday’s DCUO panel, video clips, an interview with Jim Lee before the show, and Greg Miller’s demo experience:

I chose to quit, take Jim Lee’s advice, and try out the speedster.

Named Rock Solid and decked out in black and gold, the speedster was just about everything I could want in a low-level superhero. Clicking L3 put the dude into super-speed mode so that he could scoot around Metropolis with a wicked speed effect at his feet, run up the sides of buildings, and get away from foes, but being earth-based gave him some more nifty powers.

Moving on to Mortal Combat vs. DC Universe, Newsarama’s article on the MK vs. DC panel, includes a description of one of the fights in the preview video:

Finally, the Flash darted around Soyna, leaving her spinning and dazed before running her off a cliff, the pair trading blows all the way down before the Flash got the upper hand and whipped his opponent into the ground, creating a small crater.

Each brutal blow drew “oooohhhs” from the crowd, who also cheered when Superman cut loose with his heat vision, and when Flash delivered several attacks at his trademark speed.

IGN had its own panel write-up, including the video clip, and added that gameplay is structured in chapters, with each character associated with a chapter. That might explain why we keep seeing the same match-ups in the demo footage.

(Images via IGN)

July 28, 2008

Geoff Johns: Why the Flash?

Category: Creators — By

From CCI: Johns, Van Sciver Present “The Flash: Rebirth”:

“I think everybody, at one time or another, wishes they were faster. Everyone wishes they had more time. Everyone wishes they were never late. Everyone wishes they just had a little bit more time to do something. And that’s a really important element to the Flash,” said Johns. “Because if we had super-speed, we could get everything done that we wanted to do. What would you do if you could do everything that you wanted to do? Instead of thinking, ‘Hey, I could run 10 miles in a second,’ what if you could do everything on your ‘Hey, I want to do this,’ list? If you could do all of that, what would you do? Everyone has a stack of books that they say, ‘Oh, I’m never going to read those.’ What if you could? What if you got all of them done? Then what? You want to learn a language? You just did it.”