July 27, 2011
One of the booths I stumbled across at Comic-Con was selling trading cards and books featuring the Union of Superlative Heroes and Order of Nefarious Villains: steampunk characters inspired by certain well-known super-heroes and villains.
I had to pick up a set just for this one:
Phineas Fleetfoot, able to run at more than 800mph, phase into the fifth and sixth dimensions, and protect the world from the likes of King Congo, Frankenfahrenheit, Professor Perpetual Motion, Abra Le Clobber, and Dr. Didgeridoo.
The heroes set includes Marquis Le Bat and Duchesse Le Bat, Flatiron Knight, Arachno Kid, the Magic Lantern, Baron von Ocular, and more.
I was sorely tempted by the hand-bound flip book featuring both heroes and villains with additional stories, but couldn’t quite bring myself to spend $45 on it. Then I got home, really looked through the cards I’d bought, and regretted missing my chance.
Huzzah for the internet. When the artists got back from the con, they made the remaining stock available through Etsy.
Image c/o Chet Phillips Illustration.
Lost in the speed force, Kid Flash is trapped in a distorted future world. After a startling revelation, Bart Allen realizes he must surrender himself to the criminal mastermind, Braniac. Only then will he be able to manipulate his way back to a point in time that he (at least somewhat) recognizes and seek out his grandfather. But what happens if Braniac catches on to Bart’s plan?
Set one thousand years after the Flashpoint, FLASHPOINT: KID FLASH LOST #2 is by Sterling Gates, Oliver Nome, Trevor Scott, and Brian Buccellato. Look for it when it hits stores on Wednesday.
A preview is available.
Other comics with Flashes this week:
- DC Retroactive: Justice League of America – 1970s
- Justice (complete HC)
- Justice Society of America #53
- Teen Titans #98
July 26, 2011
It has been over 25 years since Cary Bates’ last Flash story was published in Flash #350, but his DC Retroactive: 1970s issue shows he hasn’t forgotten how to have fun with the Scarlet Speedster.
Opening with a page that would have been right at home in any Julius Schwartz-edited Flash magazine, Bates crafts a story that recalls his many years as writer on the book, while also addressing a lingering question regarding Barry Allen’s relationship with his wife Iris. The pitch-perfect plot and dialog give this book a place in the story of the Allens’ marriage. It could easily be slotted at any point during the early-to-mid 70s and would not feel out of place in terms of narrative.
The artwork by Benito Gallego and the legendary Sal Buscema is great, and more than appropriate for this story. Based on the cover pencils, Buscema’s inks are a comfortable compliment to Gallego’s style. It took me a few minutes, but Gallego’s Flash and Barry Allen portrayals are occasionally reminiscent of Joe Kubert’s late-60s Flash covers. It is also easy to picture this story illustrated by the late, great Irv Novick, especially considering the pacing and structure of Bates’ plot.
For further analysis, including spoilers, see you after the jump…
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Well, Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #2 was certainly something. If you like prison break stories, you’ll probably enjoy it, because it doesn’t disappoint in that respect. However if you dislike blood and violence in your comics, you won’t be thrilled with this one at all. More after the cut.
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Newsarama interviews Scott Lobdell about his new Teen Titans series:
Nrama: We’ve got Kid Flash, who has been confirmed as Bart Allen. Based on the very little that’s been revealed thus far, it sounds like the character might be returning a bit more to his Impulse days — or is that way off base?
Lobdell: Maybe we are both off base! [Laughs.] I love the idea that Bart is the only Flash (Kid or otherwise) to maintain the ability to remember everything he’s ever read — and I also love the notion that knowledge and experience are two separate tools that aren’t always used together.
But I also think that what makes Bart different from every other Flash (Kid or otherwise) is that his mind races almost as fast as his feet! I love that Bart is more inclined to speak before he actually thinks about what it is he’s saying. I love that he’s not a Barry who understands instinctually that the quickest way between two points is usually a straight line. I like that Bart’s mind is always racing and I don’t want to ever lose that: is that a trait from his Impulse days? Not exclusively, no.
July 25, 2011
DC editorial insisted repeatedly over the weekend that there’s no escape hatch, no trap door, no possible way for the old DC Universe to return after the New 52 establishes itself post-Flashpoint.
This is, to put it mildly, an exaggeration.
If the last decade at DC comics has shown us anything, it’s that a determined writer with a supportive editor (or a determined editor with a willing writer) can undo any change he wants, no matter how set in stone it was before.
There was no back door put in place during Crisis on Infinite Earths to bring back Kara Zor-El as Supergirl, or Krypto, or any of the Silver-Age elements of the Superman mythos that were removed by the “Man of Steel” reboot, but they came back anyway. Emerald Twilight was deliberately written to make it impossible to bring back Hal Jordan as Green Lantern, but we not only got Hal back, we got the Guardians and the entire Corps. Neither the reboot nor threeboot Legion of Super-Heroes set up a way to go back to the previous version, and yet the pre-Zero Hour Legion is back in action.
Marv Wolfman actually did write a trap door into Barry Allen’s death in Crisis on Infinite Earths. The idea was that, since he was running through time at the time he died, he could be plucked out of that run at any point for more adventures, but would live always knowing that he would eventually have to go back and sacrifice himself. It sat there, unused, for over 20 years, and when DC eventually brought Barry back to life, they did it another way, without using the trap door.
Trap doors don’t matter.
What matters is editorial direction.
When Dan Didio, or Eddie Berganza, or Jim Lee stands up there on stage at Comic-Con and says, “There’s no escape hatch,” they don’t mean they’ve set up the premise so that no one can go back. If they really want to, they’ll find a way.
It’s just an “in-story” way of saying that they’re committed to the new direction and determined to see it through.
The frenzy of Comic-Con International is over, and San Diego returns to normal…until next year. I was only there one day this year, but Devin and I both followed the event online to collect all the Flash news we could find.
Here’s a quick round-up of Speed Force’s convention coverage.
Flash Comics News
A special thanks to @SpeedsterSite, @BitterWallyWest and @TheFlashReborn for asking questions in DC’s panels and around the floor, and posting about their experiences on Twitter. It was also great to meet all three of you finally.
Flash Collectibles News
Around the Con
Analysis and Commentary
I should have my convention write-up finished
tonight or tomorrow soon. [Update: It's up!] In a week or so, after everyone has had a chance to post their convention photos, I’ll publish a full round-up of costume sightings.
At Comic-Con’s Sunday “The New 52″ panel, Dan Didio stated that he’d wanted to reboot the DC Universe for five years, since Infinite Crisis*, but that the time didn’t seem right. Why not? And why is it happening now?
It makes more sense to tie it to Infinite Crisis: follow up a classic universe-changing event with a new universe-changing event 20 years later and usher in a new “age” of DC comics.
It seems clear that his plans morphed into One Year Later. Like the New 52, it was an attempt to establish a new status quo and provide a new jumping-on point for the entire line.
Something else Didio wanted to do with Infinite Crisis was bring back Barry Allen. He was coy about it for several years, but in the DC Nation column that ran the week of the last issue of Wally West’s Flash series, he explained that he’d wanted to bring Barry back with Infinite Crisis, but things didn’t work out, so they set up Bart instead. Then he’d wanted to bring Barry back in The Lightning Saga, but again, things didn’t work out, so they brought Wally back instead.
So what does it mean that things didn’t work out? Read the rest of this entry »
Sorry it has taken me a while to get this up. I’ve been busy with work and family over the last few days so I’ve only been able to pop on the ‘net every once in a while. In any case there is a lot of good and not so good news spinning out of SDCC 2011 and not all fans are going to be too thrilled.
First up we had some major news as DC Direct announced and unveiled several prototypes for the Jim Lee designed DCnU Justice League action figure line including the redesigned Flash:
Thanks to Toynewsi.com for the pics
Next we got a great look at the Flashpoint Flash and SDCC 2011 Exclusive Reverse Flash Action Figures also from DC Direct (pictures also courtesy of Toynewsi.com):
Mattel had quite a few announcements of their own. First off the last wave of DC Universe Classics will be Wave 20 and after that the line will be rebranded and offered mainly through Mattel’s Collector web store, Mattycollector.com via subscription. There will still be a retail presence but for the most part, rare figures that would normally be doomed to shelf warmer status will be released primarily through the subscription. The remaining figures that are left over after all the subscriptions are filled will be released to the masses in the middle of the month. But there will be club exclusive figures released that will not be able to be procured without signing up for a subscription (or tracking them down on eBay for exorbitant prices).
Now how the subscription works is you pay 30 dollars for the club membership. After that you are locked in and guaranteed to receive every DC Universe figure that will be released in that years time. The only rub is that you are forced to buy into all of the figures released, whether you would normally purchase them or not. Now if you are a DCUC completist then this is a dream come true, basically all you have to do is sit and wait for your collection to be filled out nicely with relatively no bumps or snags. But more importantly no more ridiculous hunts. This hobby can take up not only a lot of money but a lot of time also.
Now on the opposite end of the spectrum someone like me could be completely screwed if I don’t sign up. I’m a cherry picker collector which means that I only ever collect Flash-related releases. Nothing that DC Universe Classics has shown me tells me that they have The Flash in mind as a primary interest. Yes we’ve got a couple Rogues and a few Flash repaints (none of which I actually cared that much about, why do we get one off costumes like Blue Lantern Flash when actual characters like Wally were constantly looked over?) but the vast majority is understandably but still annoyingly Batman, Superman and Green Lantern-related. The chances of me getting a good amount of Flash figures to justify the 300 or so bucks that I’m locked in to spend automatically are pretty slim. The cherry on this is that they have teased us with the first pictures of the DC Universe Classics style Jay Garrick, but instead of putting him in the JSA-themed DC Universe Classics wave 19 they decided to go with D-list characters like Magog. Really Magog gets a spot instead of highlydemanded Jay Garrick? The only explanation that I can think of for this is that they wanted to hold Jay “hostage” for subscriptions. Yes it makes sense from a business standpoint but from a fan standpoint this really sucks. In any case without further griping, Jay Garrick:
Picture courtesy of DCUC.INFO
Even though it looks like Jay has been using the Clear I still want this figure in my collection. Jay is my second favorite of the Flash family and to miss out on him because of some subscription nonsense would be terrible. I guess there is always eBay but I’m really getting annoyed paying all the crazy prices on eBay.
Now as for the last wave 20 we will be getting two Flash-related characters (and repaints): Professor Zoom and Mattel’s own version of the White Lantern Flash. There are no pics currently for White Lantern Flash but Toynewsi.com and DCUC.Info both have pics of Zoom:
Nice touch including the lightning staff even though he hasn’t used it in-story in quite a bit. At least it gives him something as opposed to the nothing that typically comes with Flash figures.
Speaking of which Mattel’s DC Universe Action League had some great announcements and some Flash goodness. We will be getting a new pack of two figures featuring The Flash with a new sculpt and Professor Zoom using the old Flash sculpt. Flash features an awesome accessory that makes it look as if he is whipping up a hand spun cyclone:
Picture courtesy of Actionfigureinsider.com
A Flashpoint Wave is also on the horizon and with that we will be getting a Flashpoint Flash (which is the old Flash sculpt) and Citizen Cold (which is essentially just like the regular Captain Cold):
Picture courtesy of Toynewsi.com
Last but not least is my favorite announcement of the show and one of the collectibles I’m most anxiously awaiting: Young Justice Six Inch Kid Flash (picture courtesy of Toynewsi.com):
WOW! Just look at all the cool accessories packed into this figure. I don’t think we’ve seen something like this since The Flash and Kid Flash Silver Age set from DC Direct that came with a Cosmic Treadmill and Costume Ring. We’ve got a hand spun cyclone, removable goggles and a display that simulates Kid Flash’s speed quite nicely. Great visuals. Only thing is we won’t be seeing this figure until Spring 2012. Phooey.
All in all a pretty solid SDCC this year with a number of great Flash collectibles forthcoming. The Jay Garrick/Subscriber thing has me a little worried, but I doubt it will be a huge hurdle to get one. Still not thrilled about never getting a Wally in the DC Universe Classics line but then again there were a lot of characters passed over so I can’t be too bitter. And at least we can count on Young Justice to keep supplying us with some Wally collectible love. Yeah it sucks that he has been marginalized and downgraded to Kid Flash again but hey it’s better than what we could be getting.
By the way if I missed anything new, please drop me a line here and let me know.
Thanks for reading,
-Devin “Flash” Johnson
July 24, 2011
DC released a lot of information over the weekend in San Diego, which I’ve pieced together from CBR, Newsarama, and reports from fans’ conversations with Dan Didio, Francis Manapul and others.
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