November 18, 2013
Now this is interesting! According to Deadline, the CW has been happy enough with the two Arrow episodes featuring Grant Gustin as Barry Allen that instead of a backdoor Flash pilot near the end of this season, they want to do a stand-alone pilot. (Via Flash TV News.) No word yet on what this means for the originally-planned 20th episode of the season.
Arrow episode 2.8, “The Scientist,” airs December 4.
Update: There isn’t much more detail, but you can find more commentary at at Comic Book Movie, CBR, Newsarama etc.
A character is more than his or her code name, costume, and power set. He’s more than his civilian job, or external circumstances. A compelling character must have a personality, and similar characters must have different personalities.
I’ve tried to distill a core personality set for each of the major Flashes at DC Comics, in a way would set them apart from each other even if you put them all in the same outfit.
Jay Garrick: The Gentleman Adventurer. In his younger days as the Flash, Jay Garrick was a bit of a practical joker, toying with the criminals whose plans he foiled. He never lost his humor, but it evolved into more of a dry wit as he began to face more challenging villains and superheroics became a lifelong career. Eventually he grew into the role of elder statesman, mentoring younger heroes and serving as an example to a new generation.
Barry Allen: The Methodical Scientist. Long before he became the Flash, Barry Allen trained as a forensic scientist. His police training means he approaches super-crime as an investigator, not just a fighter, and his scientific approach allows him to come up with new and creative ways to use his speed. He discovered time travel, vibrating through objects, creating whirlwinds, and more in his time as the Flash. Barry is also a lifelong comic book fan, who maintains his collection with the same meticulous care that he uses in the crime lab.
Wally West: Living the Dream. All his life, Wally West wanted to be a super-hero like the Flash, and once he gained super-speed, he reveled in it. Barry might have felt embarrassed by things like the Flash Museum, but Wally welcomed the attention and fame.* (Exception: When Wally’s speed was killing him, he avoided everything related to it when he could.) This lends him a bit of a temper when things don’t go his way. While he doesn’t take Barry’s experimental approach to his powers, he’s quite willing to seek out experts when he needs to, incorporating knowledge and techniques from such varied sources as Max Mercury’s zen philosophy, Johnny Quick’s speed formula, and Savitar’s knowledge of the speed force.
Bart Allen: The Impulsive One. To Bart, super-speed is normal. He’s never known anything else. Growing up in a virtual reality left him with no sense of danger. Combine the two, and you have someone acts at the speed of thought without considering consequences. When consequences do hit (Carol’s disappearance, or the death of one of his scouts), they hit him hard. He struggles to keep himself from tearing off at the speed of light, but most of the time, he just doesn’t worry about it.
How does it Track?
It fits quite well for all the comics and cartoons up through Flashpoint. Looking at animation: For Justice League Unlimited you drop Wally’s specific fandom for the Flash, but everything else fits. For Young Justice, you actually enhance it (he deliberately recreated Barry’s origin), and you drop the VR/danger non-sense from Bart. Jay, especially, in the Flash episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
Live action shows have changed things a bit more. The Flash TV Series from 1990 offloaded a lot of the scientific approach to Tina McGee in favor of just having Barry punch people really fast, though he did retain the detective mindset. Smallville’s version of Bart Allen was a bit more mopey, and of course skipped the origin entirely, but he still had the careless attitude more typical of Bart than the other speedsters.
As for the New 52: Barry Allen is more like his old self now than he was under Geoff Johns’ pen, but Jay Garrick and Bart Allen are different enough that I gave up trying to reconcile them and just stayed with the pre-Flashpoint versions. Bart has incorporated the haunted-past element from Smallville, though it’ll be interesting to see how much that lasts after his history is explored over the next few months. And, well, there is no New 52 Wally West yet to worry about working in.
*Nightwing once speculated that Wally West deliberately draws villains’ attention to keep them focused on himself instead of the general public.
Image: Cover of The Flash Companion.
November 17, 2013
NC Comicon in Durham NC Nov 9-10 featured a lot of excellent cosplayers…and thankfully quite a few Flash fans in familiar red t-shirts with lightning bolts. Below are the Flash fans we saw, both old and young…along with an additional pic or two of some of the other awesome cosplays we saw there!
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November 15, 2013
Crave Online has a preview of Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion #2, due in stores next Wednesday. The issue by Brian Buccellato and Scott Hepburn has some overlap with Forever Evil #3, and beware: there are spoilers for that issue in the description at the top of the page.
November 14, 2013
We recently had the honor of interviewing Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato, the acclaimed creative team behind “The Flash”, as they prepare to move from “Flash” to “Detective Comics”. We get their thoughts on the move, along with the themes they will be taking with their run on the World’s Greatest Detective.
As for why this is on TWO sites? I regularly contribute reviews of “Flash” related titles to SpeedForce, the premiere Flash fan site on the internet. And, I regularly review other DC and Indie titles at TMStash, the place for Comics, Movies, TV, Gaming, Tech News and more. This transition from “Flash” to “Detective Comics” cuts across both sites…and that means it only makes sense to publish the full review on both sites! Now, let’s get to the Q&A!
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November 13, 2013
FlashTVNews is reporting that CW has released the description and airdate for the December 4 episode of Arrow that brings Barry Allen back to TV.
Arrow #2.8 “The Scientist” Description – Grant Gustin Guest Stars As Barry Allen (The Flash)
BARRY ALLEN COMES TO STARLING CITY — A seemingly impossible robbery at Queen Consolidated’s Applied Sciences Division brings Central City police scientist Barry Allen (guest star Grant Gustin) to town. Citing a similar case back home, Barry offers to help Oliver (Stephen Amell) and team with the investigation. Oliver senses there is more to Barry than meets the eye, but he’s distracted by the similarities between this current case and something that happened on the island. Meanwhile, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) takes a liking to Barry, which doesn’t go unnoticed by Oliver. Sin (guest star Bex Taylor-Klaus) asks Roy (Colton Haynes) for help when a friend of hers goes missing. Roy is surprised when Thea (Willa Holland) not only encourages him to help, but joins the search. Unfortunately, Sin’s friend is connected to Brother Blood (guest star Kevin Alejandro), and their search ultimately gets one of them seriously injured. Michael Schultz directed the episode with story by Greg Berlanti & Andrew Kresiberg and teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns (#208).
Don’t get your hopes (or dander) up just yet, but in DC Comics’ latest “All Access” video aimed at fans, they teased a few fan-favorite characters by leaving the names “Wally,” “Donna” and “Stephanie” on a whiteboard. They’re also planning a series called Five Years Later, rumored to be looking at the near future of the New 52.
Stephanie Brown has been confirmed returning as Spoiler in “Batman Eternal,” so anything’s possible at this point.
Wally West and Donna Troy could appear in the future series, but not the present of the New 52, or perhaps they might show up in Flash and Superman/Wonder Woman as suggested by the board. Either way, it’s worth remembering that many characters have changed significantly in the New 62, and an updated version of Wally or Donna could easily be missing the characteristics that appeal to their fan base.
It could just as easily be misdirection.
Even if it’s a real plan, plans change. The last seven years of The Flash are littered with abandoned plots (everything teased in Flash: Rebirth and Flash Secret Files 2010 that didn’t directly involve the Reverse Flash), dropped characters (never mind the speedsters, how much have we seen of Piper since his reintroduction?) and stories (the Gem Cities cold-case story that was going to focus on Barry Allen’s civilian side), abrupt changes in direction (do I really have to spell it out?), and even outright lies (remember the solicitations for Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #14 and 15?).
(Personally, I wouldn’t put an outright prank past the current regime at DC.)
So the names are out there. Make of it what you will, but it’s way too early to pull out your Jump To Conclusions mat.
November 12, 2013
It looks like DC Comics’ digital Flash back-issues are back on track, with Flash #157 available on Wednesday. With Wally and Linda apparently gone, Abra Kadabra recruits Replicant and sends him after Walter West. The rest of the speedsters have a plan…but what does the Reverse Flash have to do with it all?
After this there are only two issues left of the Dark Flash saga (it wraps in #159), and then one more issue by Waid and Augustyn (#161, an epilogue in which disasters seem to follow everywhere Wally and Linda try to honeymoon). Two one-shots fill in the gap before Geoff Johns’ run begins with #163.
Update: As Wayne points out in the comments below, DC has also released Adventures of Superman #463, the first race between Wally West and Superman from way back in 1990. (Superman/Flash races are a looong tradition.)
WonderCon has officially announced that they’re returning to Anaheim in 2014 for a third year, from April 18-20. It’s turned out to be a good venue for the convention, especially if they can work the remaining kinks out of parking next year, and it means it’s easy for me to attend, since it’s close enough for me to commute. (That really takes some of the pressure off of trying to get tickets for San Diego, too.)
Still, I hope they find a way to move back to the Bay Area soon. I attended three years at the Moscone Center when it meant traveling (it probably helps that I have family and friends in the area to visit on the way up and back), and while the show still feels very much like part of the same family, it does feel like a slightly different show. I was in San Francisco on a business trip last week, and when I realized I was in the neighborhood, I just had to stop by Yerba Buena park and the Moscone Center for old time’s sake.
Coming up sooner, though, is Long Beach Comic and Horror Con, next weekend (November 23-24). This will be the fifth year of the convention, which was started to fill the gap left when Wizard World canceled their Los Angeles convention in 2009, and I’ve been kicking myself over not buying the lifetime membership they offered in year two. It’s a great local convention, and it’s very focused on comics. To give you an idea how focused, the main floor is built around Artist’s Alley as its main feature. I’ll definitely be attending Long Beach this year, and plan on posting photos to my Flickr stream and Speed Force’s Instagram feed.
In case you’re wondering, I didn’t attend Stan Lee’s ComiKaze Expo last weekend. I went the first year and enjoyed it well enough, but it’s always within a few weeks of Long Beach, and if I have to choose just one, it’s going to be Long Beach. (Plus I had that business trip to prepare for.)
It doesn’t help that ComiKaze’s promotion is off-putting, the way they puff up their own importance and act as if other local cons like LBCC (and for that matter WonderCon) don’t exist. In good traffic, the Long Beach, Los Angeles and Anaheim convention centers are less than half an hour from each other. People here spend more time than that commuting to work.
Cross-posted at K-Squared Ramblings.
November 11, 2013
During NC Comicon, we had the honor of sitting down with Christos Gage, who is writing an upcoming issue of The Flash and regularly writes Danica Williams’ character as the newest Flash in Justice League Beyond. This is a shared interview…I also write about Valiant and other comics for another site called TMStash, and the interviews are linked to each other. The only place you’ll find the Flash-related questions is here, though…including a hint to future stories! If you want info about Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps (and excellent Valiant book), just follow this link. There will be a few questions at the end that show on both sites. For now, let’s go the Q&A!
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