August 26, 2008
Newsarama has posted a 5-page preview of Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge #2, out in stores tomorrow.
Written by Geoff Johns; Art and covers by Scott Kolins.
Life was easier when the Rogues had Barry Allen for a foe — or at least it was a bit more fun. Now, hunted by Libra and the Secret Society for refusing to worship the impending evil that is prophesized to claim Earth, Cold and his crew find themselves attacked on several fronts…and that doesn’t sit well with the Rogues. Plus, a bizarre twist for Inertia!
A quick round-up of recent pop culture references to the Flash:
First, reader Will mentioned an episode of the comedy, The Big Bang Theory, in four characters showed up to a costume party, each dressed as the Flash. The episode, “The Middle Earth Paradigm,” aired last fall, but it’s still topical: The first season will be released on DVD next week (region 1).
Second, Esteban Pedreros of Comic Verso writes about the Chilean TV show, Estrellas en el hielo (Stars on Ice) — essentially Dancing with the Stars, with ice skating. One of the contestants is sprinter Sebastián_Keitel, nicknamed “The fastest white man on Earth.” He and his partner appeared on the show wearing Flash costumes (look for Capítulo 3). I had trouble getting the video to play (must be the intercontinental bandwidth), but I was able to check out the photo galleries.
Finally, Sports Illustrated compares Usain Bolt with the Flash, describing the real-world Olympic gold medalist sprinter from Jamaica and the fictional super-hero as “two guys with claims at being the world’s fastest.”
Sorry, no costumes on this one!
Update: One more: Collected Comics Library linked to the Detroit Free Press’ profiles of promising football players as super-heroes, including Oak Park’s running back Edwin Baker as the Flash. According to the profile, “When you have been timed at 10.5 in the 100 meters, what other superhero is there? Maybe Quicksilver?” Other players have been profiled as Hulk and Thor.
August 25, 2008
CBR talks with Dan Didio about Flash:Rebirth and why Geoff Johns & Ethan Van Sciver are right for the job — namely, their work relaunching Green Lantern. “They are going to embrace everything there is about The Flash, not ignore it, and I think the story lends itself to the whole Flash legacy and how important Barry is to it.”
Meanwhile, Occasional Superheroine’s Valerie D’Orazio comments on Didio’s “rebooting was a mistake” remarks from Fan Expo.
Newsarama’s Vaneta Rogers has a trio of interviews. First she talks with Humberto Ramos, original artist on Impulse, about the upcoming relaunch of Runaways. Next, Geoff Johns discusses Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds. Finally, Marc Guggenheim is writing another Flash: a Spider-Man spotlight on Flash Thompson, drawn by Flash/Green Lantern: The Brave and the Bold artist Barry Kitson.
Girl-Wonder.org has launched the Con Anti-Harassment Project.
Brian Cronin of Comics Should Be Good presents the Cronin Theory of Comics – Comics Tend to Eventually Regress to the Mean. For the most part, characters will reset over time to the “standard” interpretation. Rarely, that standard will change, such as Dick Grayson as Nightwing, rather than Robin. It will be interesting to see how this applies to Wally West, now that DC is pushing Barry Allen as, in EVS’ words, “The King of Flashes.”
The blog Crimson Lightning chronicled the adventures of the Scarlet Speedster for just over a year, from July 2006 through August 2007. Brian Dixon (who has also indexed most of Flash v.2 and all of Flash: The Fastest Man Alive) provided commentary, historical notes, and links to Flash-related news. Early last year, he embarked on a project to review every episode of the 1990 Flash TV series.
A year ago, 2/3 of the way through the TV project, he stopped updating the blog. His last post was August 24, a year ago yesterday. Crimson Lightning was actually part of what inspired me to launch Speed Force. Its demise had left a vacuum to be filled.
Dixon posted again today, declaring his intent to pick up the blog again.
At the very least, I vow to complete my project of cataloguing and reviewing the episodes of The Flash television series. I’d also like to offer occasional commentary, panels and pages, and general tomfoolery when time allows for it, particularly since the coming months promise big things for the Flash family. Indeed, although the comic book crossovers of the modern era take themselves deathly seriously, I’m interested in reminding everyone–myself included–why we all turned to comic books in the first place. Superheroes are fun, they make us smile. Comic blogs should make us smile, too.
From CBR’s write-up of Saturday’s DC: A Guide to Your Universe panel at Fan Expo, here’s some more commentary on the future of the Flash.
[Dan] Didio said, “I don’t think I ever said Bart Allen was dead. I am serious.”
“We all wish it,” added Giffen to a chorus laughs.
“There were changes that were going to be made,” continued Didio. “There were stories that were going to be told and there were definite crossovers taking place at the moment of the death of Bart Allen. So there is a good chance there is going to be more resolutions to that character and what happened to him in the very near future or the very far future.”
Well, we already knew that Bart’s death was one of the major kick-offs for Salvation Run and all the threads in Countdown, Justice League, Checkmate, etc. that tied into it. But I’m not convinced that Dan Didio never said Bart was dead.
Ethan Van Sciver went into more detail on the future of the Flash franchise: Read the rest of this entry »
August 24, 2008
In 1967, the Filmation-produced Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure featured short animated segments with additional DC characters. The Superman and Aquaman segments have previously been released on DVD, and the rest are now available as the two-disc set, DC Super-Heroes: The Filmation Adventures.
These discs feature three seven-minute episodes each focusing on:
- The Atom
- The Flash
- Green Lantern
- The Justice League of America (made up of the above heroes, plus Superman)
- Teen Titans (Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Speedy, and Aqualad)
I’ve never seen these before (I grew up on Super Friends), and it’s hard to not compare them to the Bruce Timm-designed Justice League cartoons, which benefit from 30-odd years of advances in animation techniques (and technology) and storytelling — not to mention a decent budget. The stories are simplistic, the villains’ motivations even more so; lots of footage is re-used, and the heroes are flat. But the action tends to be wild and crazy, in keeping with the comics of the time.
In fact, a lot of the aspects that stand out when viewing these today are true to the source material. This was deep into the Silver Age at DC, and wild and crazy sci-fi adventure hadn’t yet given way to the more street-level storytelling of the Bronze Age. Read the rest of this entry »
August 23, 2008
CBR has posted a writeup of yesterday’s DC Nation panel at Fan Expo in Toronto, including this segment on Flash: Rebirth.
One series [Ethan] Van Sciver will be working on that could be talked about was the upcoming “Flash: Rebirth” series. When a fan asked why they would replace Wally West with Barry Allen when the former was the far more popular and successful version of the character, the artist said, “We have not said that Wally West will not be the Flash.”
When the conversation came to a chicken or the egg type of debate between the panelists and the audience about the scarlet speedster, [Dan] Didio explained, “Some of the more recognizable Wally West stories deal with the Barry Allen lore and what his legacy is. A lot of Wally can’t be explained without Barry, so therefore it was essential, we thought, for Barry to come back. And at that point, we’d undone so much of what Crisis On Infinite Earths was ” Supergirl was back, the multiverse was back ” there was only one last piece to decide upon, and it was Barry. And at that point, it didn’t make sense not to do it.”
“I used to be in taxi cabs with Dan and just say, ‘We have to bring Barry Allen back,’” Van Sciver explained finally. “Now is the time for this character. Flash is a CSI scientist. It’s a whole new avenue for Flash stories, and these are stories Geoff and I want to tell. And you have to give us the room now. This isn’t a reboot. We are going to make this part of one long continuous story. Just like with Hal Jordan…everything that was done even before us was part of a much larger picture. We’re going to do the same thing with Barry Allen and the entire Flash legacy.”
Also interesting, and relevant to the Flash, is the earlier section in which Dan Didio talks about realizing that repeated reboots and changes of direction are actually alienating readers, rather than bringing them in: Read the rest of this entry »
August 22, 2008
I found this bizarre ad in a copy of Flash #291 (November 1980)
If this isn’t crack, I don’t know what is.
Of course, with the Internet, nothing really disappears, and in a search for Znutar, I found the web page of the actual author of… The Awful Green Things From Outer Space.
Originally posted at scans_daily with a private post here to host the scan. Opened up after the S*D meltdown.
To follow up my review of Flash #243, here are a few other comics I read this week.
Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #1 (of 5). I’ve never been a big Legion of Super-Heroes fan (the only time I read it regularly was during the early 1990s “Five Years Later” run, which is not represented in this book), but I picked this up based on the hints we’ve been getting about Bart Allen’s possible role in this mini. Not surprisingly, it read a lot like Geoff Johns’ recent “Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes” arc, which I dropped half-way through. This issue seemed to be 90% introductions, just making sure the reader could recognize the characters, and 10% setup. Oh, and Superman: Good luck with your plan for dealing with Superboy Prime. You’re going to need it.
Questions: (1) Does this have anything to do with Final Crisis other than the name? (2) Has SBP’s multiverse-hopping genocide in Countdown to Final Crisis been retconned out of existence already, or can we simply assume that the characters don’t know about what he did between “Sinestro Corps War” and L3W?
Tangent: Superman’s Reign #6 (of 12). This issue is a pause in the action, as we finally get the explanation of how we got from the end of Tangent 98 to the beginning of Superman’s Reign. Oddly, despide the cover showcasing the DCU and Tangent Green Lanterns (though the Tangent GL gets the origin slot in this month’s backup), this is primarily a Batman story. It looks like, after the break, things will be picking up again next issue.
True Believers #2 (of 5). The miniseries from former Flash writer Cary Bates (more info) continues. After the first issue had the team exposing a kidnapping ring with forced gladiator games, the second issue exposes a police cover-up…of what appears to be Mr. Fantastic being arrested for DUI. (Well, technically, flying under the influence.) It continues to focus on Payback as the viewpoint character, and while she’s interesting, I’m starting to wonder whether there will be room to explore the other members of the team. Despite being right in the middle of Marvel-Universe New York (Payback works for S.H.I.E.L.D. in her civilian ID, the Fantastic Four are in this issue, etc.), it’s self-contained enough for someone like me who doesn’t read much Marvel. Easily the strongest book I read this week, and defintiely recommended.
Inspired by the wild success of The Dark Knight, Warner Bros. is going to be trimming its low-end movie production and focusing on the big tentpole films, the Wall Street Journal reports. So where to DC’s super-heroes stand?
With “Batman vs. Superman” and “Justice League” stalled, Warner Bros. has quietly adopted Marvel’s model of releasing a single film for each character, and then using those movies and their sequels to build up to a multicharacter film. “Along those lines, we have been developing every DC character that we own,” [Warner Bros. Pictures Group President Jeff] Robinov says.
Like the recent Batman sequel — which has become the highest-grossing film of the year thus far — Mr. Robinov wants his next pack of superhero movies to be bathed in the same brooding tone as “The Dark Knight.” Creatively, he sees exploring the evil side to characters as the key to unlocking some of Warner Bros.’ DC properties. “We’re going to try to go dark to the extent that the characters allow it,” he says. That goes for the company’s Superman franchise as well.
The studio is set to announce its plans for future DC movies in the next month. For now, though, it is focused on releasing four comic-book films in the next three years, including a third Batman film, a new film reintroducing Superman, and two movies focusing on other DC Comics characters. Movies featuring Green Lantern, Flash, Green Arrow, and Wonder Woman are all in active development.
While I hope they don’t go too dark with The Flash, I’m glad to hear that they’re pulling away from the light near-comedy suggested by the choices of Shawn Levy and later David Dobkin as director.
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