From Collected Editions we get the news that not all of DC Comics’ Villains Month issues will be collected in trades, “only the ones that fully tie into an ongoing series.” (Dan Didio)
This has me wondering about the three Flash villain issues.
Reverse Flash appears to be essentially part 5 of the 6-part Reverse Flash story currently running through The Flash, so it’s safe to say it’ll be included in The Flash Vol.4: Reverse.
The Rogues is billed as having a Forever Evil connection and is by the same creative team as Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion, so it seems likely to appear as a prologue in the collected edition of that series.
Grodd, however? It’s hard to say. Based on the way DC put the Captain Cold two-parter in with Mob Rule for the Move Forward collection, and tossed in the Trickster two-parter with Gorilla Warfare, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it in the pages of Reverse.
Incidentally, when I asked Brian Buccellato about it, he sidestepped the question (it may not be decided yet anyway), but he and Retcon Punch got into a gorilla pun war that can’t be missed.
DC recently announced that a new Reverse-Flash will debut in Flash #17, the final chapter of “Gorilla Warfare,” and will feature in the story beginning in Flash #20. Writers Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato wouldn’t reveal much this early, though the next story is going to focus on the question of “Who is the Reverse-Flash?”
Looking back at the interview, they don’t outright say that it won’t be Eobard Thawne or Hunter Zolomon, though that’s the way Comic Book Resources took it (and in the New 52, it makes sense to take that approach).
According to Manapul, the character “is going to be a complete re-imagining of him in the same way that we kind of tinkered with what the Speed Force is. We’re going to be explaining what the opposite side of that is.” Buccellato adds, “unlike previous Reverse-Flash iterations, we really take the ‘reverse’ part of it seriously.”
Of course, we’re comics fans, so it’s never too early to start speculating about the possibilities!
Dr. Darwin Elias. Initially an ally of the Flash, a scientist who has studied the speed force and the Flash’s powers. It turns out that he has a serious problem with ethics. He turned popular opinion against the Flash just to see what it would take, and gave the Rogues super-powers just to see what would happen. He and Barry Allen both being scientists could make for an interesting dynamic. Edit: On the downside, he’s already got potential in his current form, so folding him into an existing role takes what could be two villains and cuts them down to one.
Daniel West. Iris’ brother, recently released from jail after serving time for a job that was tharted by the Flash. He’s looking for his missing sister, who vanished during one of the Flash’s battles and is now trapped inside the speed force. It’s not hard to see motive, and if he somehow finds Iris, he could easily end up connected to the speed force in some way.
Iris West. The Flash could use some more female villains, she’s in the speed force right now, and it would be interesting to have the new Reverse Flash be someone with a romantic link to the Flash. That said, that angle has already been explored a lot with Batman, Catwoman and Talia Al Ghul; Iris doesn’t really have motivation to go villainous; and it would be a major change to a long-established character. On the other hand…
Patty Spivot. She’s mad at the Flash for “killing” Barry Allen. Unlike Iris, she’s actually dated Barry seriously in this timeline. She’s met someone (Turbine) who has been in the speed force, and could conceivably end up linked to it — in fact, in the last moments of the previous DCU timeline, she was linked to it, taking up Hot Pursuit’s outfit and speed force-powered motorcycle just before Flashpoint transformed the universe. She’s had enough page time for the audience to appreciate a switch, but not as much historical inertia as Iris.
Wally West. His fans have been clamoring for his return, and DC has been very coy: either they have no plans, or they’re saving him for something big. We don’t know what he’s up to in this timeline (if he even exists), but since Flashes have a history of dimension travel, we can imagine a pre-New 52 Wally West being trapped in this timeline, wanting to repair it, and blaming Barry for wiping his family out of existence. On the downside, DC has already gone down this road with Hal Jordan as Parallax and Superboy Prime (not that they’ve ever shied away from repetition). More importantly, perhaps, DC has been very insistent on not offering any “escape hatches” that might allow fans to think the old DCU could possibly come back, ever. Having a character explicitly from that old continuity sounds like something they’d want to stay away from. This option also didn’t fare well in the polls. 71% of Wally West fans and 64% of non-Wally fans, or 70% of the total responses, were opposed to the idea.* Update: Some additional thoughts on Wally West as a candidate.
Other possibilities: Bart Allen’s unlikely, as he’ll also be appearing in the same arc. There are other people at the crime lab, like Singh or Forrest. There’s Captain Frye or even Henry Allen. I’m fairly certain that Barry Allen’s literal evil twin, Cobalt Blue, has been long-since erased from history, but the science/magic dichotomy could still play out with another character.
My bet is either Dr. Elias or Daniel West, though I’d like to see what the book might do with Iris or Patty. What do you think?
Who do you think is going to be the new Reverse-Flash?
*The poll asked people to choose whether they were “a fan of Wally West” or “not particularly a fan of Wally West,” and whether they would be “OK with” the reveal. Of 106 votes: 67 fans opposed, 28 fans OK, 7 non-fans opposed, 4 non-fans OK.
I wasn’t originally planning on attending Thursday’s DC Now panel at Comic-Con International, but my feet were tired and I figured I might learn something. It was mainly an informational panel with writers talking about the book they’re working on.
Here’s my terribly incomplete live-tweet coverage.
DC Now moderator says they came up with name for panel & were quite surprised when “someone else” used it.
Jimmy Palmiotti: “I was in the Twilight panel, that’s why I was delayed.”
Batman: Earth One. @geoffjohns describes as “rollback Batman” who doesn’t know what he’s doing & does it for wrong reasons.
Justice League year 1 was about what the team IS. Year 2 about what it SHOULD be. @geoffjohns
Why is new GL carrying a gun? “These rings run out of energy, don’t they?”
Third Army premise (eliminate free will) sounds like Darkseid and the anti-life equation.
Scott Snyder: in the past, the Joker hasn’t really gone after Barbara, Jason or Dick PERSONALLY. Now he will.
(At this point I left to go to another panel that I really wanted to catch. SpeedsterSite was following another liveblog, though.)
@SpeedsterSite: Buccellato says Flash #0 will explore who Barry is, “and why he’s the guy who always needs to do the right thing.”
@SpeedsterSite: Buccellato: “And there is no Wally in this run at all, I’m sorry.” Crowd boos.
I’m a huge Flash fan. He’s without a doubt my favorite superhero. Unfortunately, there’s only one thing I don’t understand: the Speed Force. I don’t understand how Barry Allen created the Speed Force. Is it some kind of magical force? Hope not, not a big magic fan. If anyone can take the time to help a Flash fan out I’d appreciate it.
Well, Steve, there are a couple of ways to look at the speed force, from simple to complicated. Let’s start with simple.
The name is a little misleading. The speed force is basically a field of energy which exists just outside reality. Speedsters like the Flash can tap into this energy, which makes it possible for them to perform feats of amazing speed. With practice, they can learn to manipulate this energy as well, stealing and lending speed from other objects (or people). It also produces an aura that protects them from friction, so they don’t burn up running through the air at a zillion miles an hour.
If the Flash draws too much energy (basically, by running past the speed of light, the cosmic speed limit), he risks losing himself in the field. In the pre-Flashpoint universe, this has happened to Max Mercury, Johnny Quick, Barry Allen, Wally West and Savitar, among others. Wally was the first to return from this fate, but not the last.
TwoMorrows is going beyond Cyber Monday to hold a full “Cyber Week” sale, putting their entire back-stock of books on sale for 50% off. That includes the Companion books focusing on characters, teams and series, the Modern masters books focusing on artists, and more.
While DC hasn’t been very clear in the Teen Titans solicitations, Kid Flash has been identified as Bart Allen in articles and interviews as far back as June. Last week’s Teen Titans #2 explicitly referred to him as Bart Allen, so this should end speculation (most recently seen here) that the series features Wally West in line with the Young Justice cartoon.
Of course, there are still plenty of questions about Bart’s origins. Is he still related to Barry Allen? If so, how? Is he still from the future? How did he get his powers? (Come to think of it, Smallville never did reveal an origin for Bart beyond being in some sort of accident with a flash of light.)
If Bart is still from the future, and if he is still Barry and Iris’ grandson, the fact that they aren’t married in the present is no more a contradiction than the fact that Booster Gold’s grandparents haven’t even been born yet in the present day. In that case, he comes from a future in which they do. Even so, it doesn’t have to lock down the Barry/Iris question. As Yoda once said, “always in motion is future.”