March 16, 2015

Zoom! Flash #41 and Flash Season Zero #9 Covers (June 2015)

Category: Covers, Flash News — By

Flash 41 Cover

DC’s June solicitations are rolling out. We’ve already seen the design for the Flash’s new costume post-Convergence, and now we see Professor Zoom (apparently separate from the new Reverse-Flash?) and his new look.

And the Flash’s costume, but not the Flash…

THE FLASH #41
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI and VAN JENSEN
Art and cover by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND
THE JOKER Variant cover by EDDY BARROWS
On sale JUNE 24 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

Professor Zoom is back, and he’s not alone! Who’s along for the ride to kill the fastest man alive? Find out here!

Flash Season Zero 9

And, for the first time ever, Flash: Season Zero uses a cover that isn’t a repurposed publicity poster from the TV show.

THE FLASH SEASON ZERO #9
Written by ANDREW KREISBERG, KAI YU WU and LAUREN CENTO
Art by PHIL HESTER and ERIC GAPSTUR
Cover by JASON BADOWER
On sale JUNE 3 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST

Armed with information from Oliver Queen about the Suicide Squad, The Flash and the S.T.A.R. Labs team decide to break into A.R.G.U.S.!

March 12, 2015

Flash #41 in June: New Costume and ZOOM!

Category: Flash News — By

Flash #41

DC’s June solicitations are starting to roll out, including…

THE FLASH #41
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI and VAN JENSEN
Art and cover by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND
THE JOKER Variant cover by EDDY BARROWS
On sale JUNE 24 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

Professor Zoom is back, and he’s not alone! Who’s along for the ride to kill the fastest man alive? Find out here!

Interesting, considering that Reverse-Flash Daniel West is out and about in the relaunched Suicide Squad.

Also, what do you think of the adjustments to the costume?

Update: Artist Brett Booth tweets that this isn’t the issue’s cover, but the costume design drawing.

Also: A scan of some of the interior pencils showing the Flash in action with the new costume.

March 11, 2015

What’s in Flash: A Celebration of 75 Years? Now we know!

Category: Flash News — By

Flash: A Celebration of 75 Years

Amazon has a list of the contents for Flash: A Celebration of 75 Years, a deluxe hardcover coming out in April. I’m pleasantly surprised to see that the actually cover seven and a half decades. I was afraid DC would take their usual route and forget about anything before 1956 or between 1987 and 2008, but it’s a good sampling of all the Flashes.

I’m interspersing the contents with my commentary:

“Origin of the Flash”
FLASH COMICS #1 (1940)
Writer: Gardner Fox, Artist: Harry Lampert
Cover by Sheldon Moldoff

The story that started it all: The origin of Jay Garrick. Not necessarily the best of the series, but certainly the most important.

“The Secret City”
ALL-FLASH COMICS #31 (1947)
Writer: Robert Kanigher, Penciller: Carmine Infantino, Inker: Frank Giacoia
Cover by Evertt E. Hibbard

A Golden Age adventure story, and one that always sticks in my mind. Guest star Dr. Flura went on to appear in several more stories before the decade was out, including the one that introduced the original Star Sapphire. (Yes, she was a Flash villain before she was a Green Lantern villain.)

“The Planet of Sport”
ALL-FLASH COMICS #31 (1947)
Writer: Robert Kanigher, Artist: Evertt E. Hibbard

I don’t think I’ve read this one, but I recognize the cover. I believe it had something to do with alien gladiatorial games.

“The Rival Flash!”
FLASH COMICS #104 (1949)
Writer: John Broome, Penciller: Carmine Infantino, Inker: Bernard Sachs

Another classic, which actually introduced the idea of a reverse-Flash long before Professor Zoom.

“Mystery of the Human Thunderbolt!”
SHOWCASE #4 (1956)
Writer: Robert Kanigher, Penciller: Carmine Infantino, Inker: Joe Kubert
Cover by Carmine Infantino & Joe Kubert

It’s hard to argue with the first appearance of Barry Allen.

“Meet Kid Flash!”
THE FLASH #110 (December 1959-Jnaurary 1960)
Writer: John Broome, Penciller: Carmine Infantino, Inker: Joe Giella

Or, for that matter, the first appearance of Wally West.

“Flash of Two Worlds!”
THE FLASH #123 (1961)
Writer: Gardner Fox, Penciller: Carmine Infantino, Inker: Joe Giella
Cover by Carmine Infantino & Murphy Anderson

The cover for Flash of Two Worlds should be used as an illustration for the word “classic.” The story brought us Earth-2, the multiverse, the continued existence of Jay Garrick and the Justice Society, and the enduring popularity of the Shade, who would otherwise have been a forgotten one-off from the 1940s who created darkness using an air filter. No, really.

“The Conquerors of Time!”
THE FLASH #125 (1961)
Writer: John Broome, Penciller: Carmine Infantino, Inker: Joe Giella
Cover by Carmine Infantino & Joe Giella

Not the first Flash time travel story (Jay Garrick traveled through time himself), but the first to be epic in scope. Aliens try to invade in the future, and to ensure their victory, they alter the past. It’s up to Flash and Kid Flash to save the day.

“Superman’s Race With the Flash!”
SUPERMAN #199 (1967)
Writer: Jim Shooter, Penciller: Curt Swan, Inker: George Klein
Cover by Carmine Infantino & Murphy Anderson

The first Flash vs. Superman race. This one’s on ComicsAlliance’s recommended list for the Flash 500 sale.

“Stupendous Triumph of the Six Super-Villains!”
THE FLASH #174 (1967)
Writer: John Broome, Penciller: Carmine Infantio, Inker: Sid Greene
Cover by Carmine Infantino & Murphy Anderson

Classic Rogues story and another classic cover.

“Death of an Immortal!”
THE FLASH #215 (1972)
Writer: Len Wein, Penciller: Irv Novick, Inker: Dick Giordano
Cover by Neal Adams

Barry Allen and Jay Garrick vs. Vandal Savage. Epic.

“Deadly Secret of the Flash!”
THE FLASH #233 (1975)
Writer: Cary Bates, Penciller: Irv Novick, Inker: Tex Blaisdell
Cover by Dick Giordano

Barry Allen vs. Eobard Thawne in the distant future, with Iris Allen’s life at stake. Followed up in…

“The Last Dance!”
THE FLASH #275 (1979)
Writer: Cary Bates, Penciller: Alex Savuik, Inker: Frank Chiaramonte
Cover by Dick Giordano

The death of Iris Allen. This issue literally changed EVERYTHING about the series.

“A Flash of the Lightning!”
CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #8 (1985)
Writer: Marv Wolfman, Penciller: George Perez, Inker: Jerry Ordway
Cover by George Perez

On one hand it’s an odd choice because it’s not a Flash series, but come on — the death of Barry Allen. Have I used the word epic enough yet?

“Happy Birthday Wally”
THE FLASH #1 (1987)
Writer; Mike Baron, Penciller: Butch Guice, Inker: Larry Mahlstedt
Cover by Butch Guice & Larry Mahlstedt

Wally’s first solo outing under his own title. At first I thought this was a weird choice, but then I thought about what’s in this story: Wally runs across country to deliver a heart for a transplant patient, but runs into Vandal Savage along the way, and how it really established how different and how much more *personal* Wally’s series would be.

“The Unforgiving Minute”
SECRET ORIGINS ANNUAL #2 (1988)
Writer: William Messner-Loebs, Penciller: Mike Collins, Inkers: Frank McLaughlin & Donald Simpson
Cover by Carmine Infantino, Mike Collins & Murphy Anderson

Hell yeah. Updated version of Wally West’s origin, told through the framing device of the hero talking to his psychologist. Messner-Loebs doesn’t get nearly enough credit for his character work on this series.

“Flashing Back!”
FLASH #0 (1994)
Writer: Mark Waid, Penciller: Mike Wieringo, Inker: Jose Marzan, Jr.
Cover by Mike Wieringo & Jose Marzan, Jr.

Can I get another “Hell yeah?” Wally West is lost in time and has a conversation with his younger self that really sums up who he is.

“Rogue War: Conclusion”
FLASH #225 (2005)
Writer; Geoff Johns, Penciller: Howard Porter, Inker: John Livesay
Cover by Howard Porter & John Livesay

It’s a bit odd in that this is the end of a much longer story, but it’s also a crowning moment of awesome.

“Lighting in a Bottle Part One: Flashback”
FLASH: THE FASTEST MAN ALIVE #1 (2006)
Writers: Danny Bilson & Paul Demeo, Penciller: Ken Lashley, Inkers: Kwl Studio; Norm Rapmund; Marlo Alquiza; Jay Leisten
Cover by Ken Lashley & Greg Parkin

This is the only real quibble I have: I like that they included a Bart Allen as Flash story, and this is his first outing in the suit, and yes, it’s where the awesome Kubert cover for the collection comes from, but it’s a terrible example of Bart in general or of Bart as the Flash. It was specifically written as Bart being in an awful place so he’d have to step up and become a hero by the end of the story.

“Lightning Strikes Twice”
THE FLASH: REBIRTH #1 (2009)
Writer: Geoff Johns, Artist: Ethan Van Sciver
Cover by Ethan Van Sciver

On one hand Barry Allen’s return has some of the same problems as “Lightning in a Bottle,” especially in terms of characterization, but I remember reading it and thinking it was awesome. The first time through, anyway. (IMO, Flash: Rebirth really took a nosedive as the series went on and basically turned into 6 issues of rearranging furniture for the subsequent relaunch, and I’d much rather recommend “The Dastardly Death of the Rogues” to anyone new to the Flash.)

“Flashpoint Part Five”
FLASHPOINT #5 (2011)
Writer: Geoff Johns, Penciller: Andy Kubert, Inkers: Sandra Hope & Jesse Delpergang
Cover by Andy Kubert & Sandra Hope

This one’s a little iffy, but given that Flashpoint was a slow burn building to the finale, it’s a better choice than the first issue.

“Fear”
THE FLASH #9 (2012)
Writers: Francis Manupal & Brian Buccellato, Artist: Francis Manapul
Cover by Francis Manupal

If I had to choose one issue from the New 52 run so far, it would absolutely be a Manapul/Buccellato issue. I’m not sure it would be the first Grodd issue, but as with “Happy Birthday Wally,” the more I think about it, the more representative it is of this version of Barry, and this version of his powers.

While they’ve left out stories that really deserve to be included (like “Nobody Dies”), it’s hard to argue with most of their choices. Most of them are good, all of them represent an era of the Flash, and all four major Flashes appear — even Bart!

I’m definitely picking this one up. How about you? What do you think of this collection?

Thanks to @ZetaTweetz for the link!

March 10, 2015

Massive Flash 500 Sale at ComiXology

Category: Flash News — By

Flash 500 Sale (ComiXology)

To celebrate the Flash’s 75th Anniversary, DC and ComiXology are holding a gigantic sale with ~500 digital comics at 99¢ each — including many that are new to the digital backlist!

  • Flash (New 52 series) starring Barry Allen: complete including annuals, zero, etc.
  • Flash (1959) starring Barry Allen: 74 issues including #105-155 and scattered issues later in the run, 21 of which are newly digitized this week.
  • Flash (1987) starring Wally West: complete run (they’ve finally filled in the missing 5 issues from #226-230), not including annuals
  • Flash (2010) starring Barry Allen: complete run.
  • Flash: Rebirth
  • Flash: The Fastest Man Alive starring Bart Allen complete run (first time online)
  • Flashpoint, Citizen Cold, Kid Flash Lost and Reverse Flash.
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths
  • Flash: Season Zero set in the TV continuity (which, to be honest, is already 99¢ an issue)
  • JLA: Year One
  • Flash/Green Lantern: Brave and the Bold starring Barry Allen and Hal Jordan (new online)
  • Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion
  • Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge (new online)
  • Blackest Night: The Flash

Plus scattered single issues, some of them newly available digitally, including:

  • Flash Comics #1 (first appearance of Jay Garrick)
  • Showcase #4 (first appearance of Barry Allen)
  • All the Superman/Flash races
  • The “Dead Heat” crossover issues of Impulse
  • Flash Plus Nightwing
  • The first arc of the New 52 Justice League
  • The Legends of the DC Universe 3-parter starring Barry Allen (a great melding of the CSI and superhero sides of his life)
  • Secret Origins issues featuring the Rogues and the Flash
  • Speed Force
  • Flash Spectacular 1978
  • Team-up issues of DC Comics Presents, Brave and the Bold, and Booster Gold (including the issue that IIRC is the source of the Rainbow Raider “I believe in me!” panel).

There’s so much stuff here, and so much new stuff, that I can’t get too upset at them for not adding more Golden Age comics even though the Flash whose 75th anniversary is being celebrated is Jay Garrick. (They did at least make a point of including some of his guest spots in the Silver Age collection.)

The sale runs through March 16. Check it out – if you want to read some classic (or recent) Flash comics, now’s a good time to look.

Update: ComicsAlliance has a list of recommendations, since you probably don’t have a spare $495 lying around to buy the full set. Though somehow they left out Flash #54, “Nobody Die.”

February 19, 2015

Flash #39 Preview is Up!

Category: Flash News — By

The 13th Dimension has a preview of Flash #39, out in stores next week. We learn a little more about Overload, the top-hat-wearing buggy driver who’s been complaining about buzzing over the last few issues, and reporter Iris West meets with her source in the Central City Police Department to investigate just what’s changed about the Flash.

“Power Loss” written by Robert Venditti & Van Jensen, art & cover by Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund and by Andrew Dalhouse. Variant Harley Quinn cover by Amanda Conner and Paul Mounts.

Flash 39 Cover

February 18, 2015

Cover & Details: Flash Season Zero #8 in May

Category: Covers, Flash News — By

Flash Season Zero #8

DC Comics’ Beyond the New 52: May solicitations are out, including:

THE FLASH SEASON ZERO #8
Written by ANDREW KREISBERG, KAI WU and LAUREN CETO
Art by PHIL HESTER and ERIC GAPSTUR
Photo cover

On sale MAY 6 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
Barry and his team attempt to track down King Shark, but their mission grows complicated when they run into…the Suicide Squad!