April 30, 2011
Last night’s Smallville episode included a preview for next’s week’s, viewable on YouTube.
Geekasms has a screencap of and short article about the apparent Legion of Doom slated to appear, which includes Captain Cold and other villains amongst its members. Hopefully they’ll show up for more than just a cameo!
April 29, 2011
So, Wizard has just announced the return of
Wizard World Los Angeles Comic Con in September, stating that they’re filling “a real need for a Fall event that encompasses all the best that pop culture has to offer.”
The thing is, we’ve already got a Wizard con in the area (Anaheim Comic Con, running this weekend), and we’ve already got a fall convention of about the same size (Long Beach Comic Con in October). The three convention centers are all within 30 miles of each other, so they’re going to draw from the same pool of attendees, and the same pool of comics guests. And since Wizard is big on trying to present a uniform experience for all of their cons, we can expect Anaheim and Los Angeles to be basically the same.
I can only think of two reasons for Wizard to add Los Angeles at this time:
- They’re planning to move back to the more well-known location after moving out to Anaheim last year. Is anyone here at Anaheim right now? Can you tell me whether they’ve announced dates for next year?
- In keeping with past Wizard convention behavior, they’re trying to muscle out Long Beach for daring to step in and put together a successful convention from scratch (and one that actually focuses on the “Comic” part of “Comic Con”) when Wizard canceled WWLA 2009.
(via Bleeding Cool)
If I go into a McDonalds and say “Hey, I love your McRibwiches. I don’t always see them all the time, though. When are you guys bringing back the McRibwich?”
the manager doesn’t flip me off and say “The McRibwich sucks, buy a Big Mac.”
– Comic Bloc message board poster Stephen Henel writes on DC’s approach to “Where’s Wally?” inquiries in a discussion of Flash #10.
So, even when asked point blank, “Are we going to be seeing Wally in Flashpoint at all?” Geoff Johns can’t bring himself to say anything more than “It’s more focused on Barry and the DC Universe.”
Look, we know Barry’s the star. We get that. But it seems that in a gigantic, sprawling event centered on The Flash, with a central miniseries, 16 miniseries and at least four one-shots telling side stories, there ought to be room for Jay Garrick (yeah, him too) and Wally West somewhere. Bart gets a miniseries, and even Professor Zoom gets a one-shot.
The question wasn’t, “Will Wally West be a major player?” It was “Will Wally West appear.”
How hard is it to say, “Yes, he’ll be there, but he isn’t the focus of the book.”
I can only assume at this point that Wally West isn’t anywhere in the event, or that if he is, it’ll be in line with his appearance in this week’s issue of The Flash: a cameo as part of Barry’s cheerleading section. Or dead. Because let’s be honest: DC hasn’t given me any reason to believe anything else.
Back when DC canceled their plans for Wally West backup stories, Geoff Johns assured fans that Wally would not only be fine — he was going to kick ass. I’m still waiting.
At this point, I’m beginning to wish DC would just stop talking about Flashpoint until it launches. (Or maybe I should stop covering it.) I was pumped at the beginning — finally, the Flash is at the center of a big DC event, and there will be room for everyone! And I figured on buying 5 or 6 of the tie-ins, a big jump from the one tie-in I bought for Blackest Night. But far from piquing my interest, it seems like every “Flashpoint Friday” kills a little more of my enthusiasm.
Anyway, head over to the full interview at IGN. He talks about Flashpoint and Green Lantern, and of course doesn’t reveal a whole lot, since this is spoiler-free “wait and see” Geoff Johns.
On one hand, I found Flash #11 — chapter 3 of “The Road to Flashpoint” — to be a lot more engaging than the previous issue. On the other, it highlights some problems with the series.
I was disappointed to see that Francis Manapul didn’t draw this issue, though seeing Scott Kolins’ name was a relief. That said, while I normally like Kolins’ art on The Flash, it actually looks rushed, especially on the early pages. I have to wonder how much time DC gave him to draw the issue.
The pacing, however, is much better than the previous two issues. After an issue-long teaser and another issue that was 50% exposition, we actually get into the meat of the story here — a story very much about Barry Allen, the man who works as a police scientist, not the Flash who happens to be Barry Allen (which may be part of why I liked it better than #10).
It was nice to see the story actually address some of the problems with Barry’s post-Rebirth isolation, though I get the impression that this was intended to develop over more story arcs. As with the artist change, I can’t help but wonder what we might have seen if they’d been able to keep this book on time. Monthly from April 2010 through May 2011 would only have included two more issues, but the two Rogue Profiles wouldn’t have been added. Under those circumstances, Johns could have fit another 4-issue story between “Dastardly Death…” and “Road to Flashpoint.”
Geoff Johns does a good job of keeping Hot Pursuit’s motivation and methods ambiguous throughout the issue, keeping it unclear whether he’s causing or tracking the murders. The super-heroics kick into gear at the very end, with not one but two cliffhangers to be resolved in next month’s series finale…though with a title like “The Road to Flashpoint,” it seems pretty clear that it’ll wrap with some sort of transition. I expect the “last issue” to end in one of two ways: Either it will feature a teaser with Barry in the altered reality of Flashpoint, or it will end with a fade to white like all of DC’s “Zero Hour” tie-ins back in 1994.
So, let’s move on to some talk including SPOILERS… Read the rest of this entry »
April 28, 2011
As Flash comics go, issue #275 is right up there on the impact meter. One of the definitive issues of the 1959-1985 volume, it molts characters and standards, experimenting with tone and depth not before seen in the Flash title. It cast a long shadow over Barry Allen, extending to his death in Crisis on Infinite Earths. It is also the first recognizable installment in the drama that arguably ended with the return of Allen to the DC Universe proper, and eventually the current Flash series.
This is the latest installment in our breakdowns of writer Cary Bates’ Flash saga, leading up to Showcase Presents: The Trial of the Flash. Links to additional artwork and research are included throughout this post.
UP TO SPEED: Last week, we witnessed the demise of Dr. Nephron and the escape of his deranged guinea pig, convict Clive Yorkin. Barry teamed up with Detective Frank Curtis, a fellow cop who was investigating the heroin smuggling operation based in Barry’s police lab. Iris’ concern over Barry’s attentions continued to grow, while an ESP-powered teenaged fan named Melanie once again established her mental hold on our hero. Meanwhile, Yorkin trailed Barry home and found Iris, alone…
Read the rest of this entry »
April 27, 2011
Those of you who pick up your comics on Wednesdays have no doubt already noticed: Although Francis Manapul was scheduled to draw both Flash #11 and Flash #12, his art only appeared on the cover of this week’s issue. Instead, Scott Kolins provides the interior artwork this time around.
The one-time regular Flash artist explains on Twitter:
Sorry guys I didn’t do flash 11 and only came back to help on 12. Editorial decided to get me started on the next project
Clearly Editorial wanted to get those last two issues of The Flash out before Flashpoint, and the clock was ticking. Manapul doesn’t say what the “next project” is, but I’m guessing it’s either not tied to DC’s event schedule or has a lot of lead time.
My guess: Someone else will pick up the inevitable post-Flashpoint Flash relaunch, but we may see Francis Manapul back for the equally-inevitable Flash: Secret Origin.
Personally I’m sad to see him go. His art was a big part of what I enjoyed about this run, and I do think that “The Road to Flashpoint” will ultimately suffer a bit for being split between two artists with different styles. It really makes me wish DC and/or Geoff Johns hadn’t tied the series to another event with its own deadlines.
One last note: It’s not clear whether Scott Kolins is doing the art for next month’s series finale (except for the 5 pages that Francis Manapul mentions elsewhere on Twitter), but after the two Rogue Profiles and #11, it seems like a safe bet.
UPDATE: Francis Manapul writes more about the move on his blog, saying: Read the rest of this entry »
It is convention season, and Flash fans across the country have been asking the same question: “Where is Wally West?”
While we do not know where Wally is now, where he will be, or how long it will be until he is anywhere, we certainly know where he was! With that knowledge, we introduce our new ongoing contest feature, “Where Was Wally West?”
On Wednesdays, we will post a panel or sequence from a classic comic featuring Wally West visiting an alternate reality, the past or a “possible future”. Every fan who can tell us the issue, writer, artist(s) and a reasonable description of the locale/era, by Friday, will be entered into a raffle for a cool Flash prize! Just send your responses to whereswally – at – speedforce.org, and we’ll announce the winner next week!
So check out the image to the right and ask yourself, WWWW?
This week’s prize is the Flash Final Crisis poster by JG Jones. Winners must live in the continental US or Canada.
Several long-awaited speedster books arrive in stores this week.
The Flash #11
Written by GEOFF JOHNS; Art and Cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL ; 1:10 Variant Cover by SCOTT KOLINS
The road to FLASHPOINT is paved with good intentions, but the Flash is about to learn the truth behind those good intentions — and the secret of Hot Pursuit!
DC Universe 32pg. Color $2.99 US
I’m guessing this isn’t Hot Pursuit’s secret. Also: Scott Kolins’ variant cover is pretty cool.
Flash: Rebirth (Softcover)
Written by GEOFF JOHNS; Art and cover by ETHAN VAN SCIVER
Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver, the writer/artist team behind the blockbuster GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH and THE SINESTRO CORPS WAR, create an explosive, jaw-dropping epic that reintroduces Barry Allen as The Flash in this new collection of the fast-paced 6-issue miniseries. But how will this greatest of all Flashes find his place in the 21st century?
DC Universe 168pg. Color Softcover $14.99 US
» Order from Amazon (available next week).
Has it really taken this long for the softcover collection to come out? It’s almost exactly a year since the hardcover release. (I guess they really are following a book publishing style schedule.)
story: Ron Marz
art & cover: Kenneth Rocafort
The clock counts down to zero as the taut, pulse pounding series races to its conclusion. Carin Taylor, the hero known as Velocity, has been infected with a deadly techno-virus. Thus far she has been successful in saving most of her teammates from the same virus, but now the exertion is taking its toil and the fastest girl in the world may not be able to win this race. The issue concludes the creative collaboration of writer Ron Marz (Witchblade, Angelus) and artist Kenneth Rocafort (Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer).
Full Color 32 pages $3.99 limited series
» Velocity preview at Newsarama.
Yeah, I’m way behind on reviewing The Flash. I thought about jumping straight in with #11 this week, but I decided I’d try to catch up if possible. Even if it is close to midnight.
So, the first two chapters of “The Road to Flashpoint,” by Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul…
This was a fun issue, with some nice shout outs for long-term readers, but didn’t feel like it had much substance. It was the first issue to feature DC’s new, shorter page count (20 pages instead of 22), which may have something to do with it. On the other hand, I remember reading the latest issue of The Unwritten the same night, which had so much going on that I didn’t even notice it was shorter than usual. I actually counted pages to verify.
I still love Francis Manapul’s art, and the large panels and splash pages help it shine, but I’m really starting to feel like pacing is becoming a problem. (More about that with #10.)
It was great to see Wally, Jay and the rest, even if only for a couple of pages. I’d like to see them actually do something by the end of this storyline, though.
The rift between Barry and the “real cops,” as Detective Jerkwad calls them, was infuriating…but sadly all too realistic. No one likes to get caught abusing their position, and it takes effort to move past “I’ve been caught” to “I need to change what I’m doing”…and the type of person who would frame innocents just to look like he’s doing his job probably wouldn’t be interested in making that leap.
Hot Pursuit’s real identity was unexpected, and kind of cool at first, but started to grate a little during the following issue.
To be honest, I was really underwhelmed by this one. Fully half the issue was exposition. Not just exposition, but a bunch of guys standing around talking. In a book that’s supposed to be “all about speed.” And the exposition isn’t even really for this storyline, it’s for another story that’s coming up.
Sure, I know the story is called “The Road to Flashpoint,” but it’s starting to feel like these four issues of The Flash are only a prologue, and not a story in its own right. Okay, long prologues worked for Robert Jordan (as he got further into The Wheel of Time, the prologues to each novel approached a hundred pages and were released ahead of time as stand-alone eBooks), but I feel like the book is in a holding pattern.
Fortunately, the second half of the issue was a lot more engaging…which is odd, because it dropped all elements of super-heroics and super-speed to become a purely character-driven police procedural….and again featured a lot of standing around talking. Other reviews I’ve seen have made similar comments, and I think they’re right that it’s a matter of matching the storytelling style with the genre.
I like that Geoff Johns has updated Patty Spivot* into a full-fledged police scientist in her own right, rather than leaving her as a lowly lab assistant, and the interaction between the two former colleagues was a great mix of awkwardness, joy, slipping into old roles, and establishing new boundaries. I especially liked the understated moment where Patty says to Barry, “I didn’t know…you were back,” rather than coming out and saying, “I didn’t know you were alive” — it’s got to be strange to get a phone call from an old friend you thought had died** years ago.
The last scene between Barry and Bart, though, where Bart asks Barry if he’s avoiding him (and Barry dodges the question), comes close.
Hot Pursuit talking about another story? Not so much. OK, he’s got a cool super-speed bike that transforms into a night stick that projects holograms. But the concept of a super-speed time cop is, so far, more interesting than the execution.
I do see some interesting parallels with “Chain Lightning” and the Dark Flash saga. “Chain Lightning” featured someone who looked exactly like Barry Allen. The Dark Flash saga featured an alternate reality version of the starring Flash. Both featured Angela Margolin, a Central City police scientist who bore a striking resemblance to one Patty Spivot…
The Flash #10 also made me realize something about this relaunch: I find the modern Barry Allen, Police Scientist a lot more interesting as a character than the modern Barry Allen, the Flash. I’m still not sure why that is, but it’s something I’ll have to think about.
*Coincidentally, Patty’s earliest appearances after the “Ms. Flash” imaginary story were the very issues that Greg Elias has been writing about in his Flash Annotations series, starting with Flash v.1 #270-275.
**Barry Allen went missing during the Flash’s trial, and would have eventually been presumed dead. His identity as the Flash became public knowledge after he died in Crisis on Infinite Earths, but was erased from everyone’s memory and all records by Hal Jordan when he was bound to the Spectre at the end of “Blitz.”