May 29, 2012

Question on Flash Omnibus Binding

Category: General — By

Who here has bought the Flash Omnibus by Geoff Johns collections? Reader Nick wrote in to ask about the size and quality of the binding on the first two volumes.

If you have photos, that would be even better. You can post a link to an image host in the comments, or send them to me by email (speedforce at pobox dot com) and I’ll add them to the main post.

Update: Josh has sent in these photos, adding, “Flash omnibus volume 2 is a much larger than volume 1. Two hundred pages larger, in fact.”

Thanks, Josh!

December 21, 2011

Reader Questions: Explain the Speed Force

Category: General — By

Steven Ogden asks:

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.

Then things get complicated. Read the rest of this entry »

November 28, 2011

50%-Off: Flash Companion, Carmine Infantino & More in TwoMorrows Sale

Category: General — By

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.

If you’ve been eyeing that Flash Companion cover in the sidebar for a while and haven’t picked it up, now’s your chance. I’m planning to pick up the hardcover edition of Carmine Infantino: Penciler Publisher Provocateur. Fans of the Flash in the 1990s may also be interested in the Modern Masters: Mike Wieringo book.

The sale on Twomorrows’ website runs through December 5.

October 31, 2011

New 52: Kid Flash Clarification

Category: General — By

For those who are still wondering, Teen Titans artist Brett Booth stepped in last week to clarify:

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.”

September 10, 2011

Who’s New (relatively speaking) in the DCU?

Category: General — By

On Thursday I asked for help on Twitter listing the most successful original (non-legacy/revamp) DCU characters created since 1990.

My original thought was to look for characters who had solo series lasting at least 5 years, and all I could come up with was Hitman. Maybe Impulse, depending on how you defined original. I asked on Twitter, and @JCorduroy suggested Harley Quinn, whose solo series didn’t last that long, but who has undoubtedly had a huge impact on the Batman corner of the DCU, and I realized the criteria might be a bit too tight.

Thanks to everyone who’s helped me come up with this list so far:

Characters/Teams with long-running series:

  • Azrael
  • Hitman
  • Impulse*
  • Static (Milestone)
  • Steel*
  • Stormwatch/The Authority (WildStorm)
  • Birds of Prey – new team with pre-existing characters

*I’m not 100% certain Impulse and Steel qualify as original. They’re spinoffs of existing characters, but they’re new roles and identities, so they’re certainly more original than, say, Kyle Rayner as Green Lantern, Cassie Sandsmark as Wonder Girl, Tim Drake as Robin, or Linda Danvers as Supergirl.

Characters with less successful or no series, but who have made a major impact:

  • Harley Quinn – import from Batman: The Animated series. Solo series was short, but hard to imagine the Bat-verse without her.
  • Renee Montoya – I’m a little less certain about her than Harley.
  • Bane
  • Doomsday

I’m not counting Young Justice, since there’s so much overlap with the Teen Titans in concept and membership that I’m not sure you can really consider it a new team. A couple of people suggested Resurrection Man, but his series only lasted about two years, and he basically disappeared afterward. We’ll have to see how well the new book does. Chase was also suggested, but sadly her series crashed and burned despite being made of awesome.

So…who am I missing?

Again, I’m looking for original DCU characters created since 1990 that have had a long-running series or made a huge long-term impact on the DCU.

I know there are more Milestone and Wildstorm characters or teams with long-running series, but I’m not familiar enough with them to be able to say which have been the most successful.

September 1, 2011

Flashpoint and the DC New 52 – Changing History in a Flash

Category: General — By

Flashpont #5 is out, and we now know how history was changed to create the Flashpoint universe, and how it was changed again to create the new DC Universe.

Well, sort of.

Obviously, spoilers for Flashpoint #5, so stop reading if you don’t want to know yet. Read the rest of this entry »