A short Flash fan film called “Iris” has been making the rounds lately. It’s a deceptively simple concept: Barry Allen and Iris West have an important conversation, and works out as a great character piece.
Reinvigorated as if I was able to tap into the Speed Force, I went back to living normally. I also went back into my happier self, though slowly. As part of my personal recovery, I tried a lot of things, and was fortunate to have been successful once more.
In early 2011, a crazy idea occurred to me. I wanted a Flash suit. With the rise of cosplaying in local hobby events in the Philippines, I began to strongly consider suiting up in one of the local cons as the Scarlet Speedster. A very good friend and established local cosplayer, Paolo Cordero, helped me craft my very first Flash costume. I said I was only to wear it if he joined me as Green Lantern. He gamely agreed, and thus JUSTICE Ph (the Philippines’ DC cosplayers group) was born.
Today’s guest post is by Glenmarc F. Antonio, whose Flash memorabilia collection has previously been featured here on Speed Force in our first Collector’s Showcase.
My name is Glenmarc F. Antonio, and I’m Flash. That makes me the Fastest Man Alive. Well, not really.
I’m actually a 30-something Digital Media specialist for the Philippine’s largest telco provider. In my heyday, I was one of the fastest runners in my company, and was fairly athletic, having competed in basketball at a varsity level back in college. My self-confessed similarities to the Flash’s (superhuman) speed however do not end there.
An introduction with the Scarlet Speedster
I got introduced to the Scarlet Speedster when I was really young, having watched and loved the live-action Flash TV series starring John Wesley Shipp in the late 90s-early 2000s when it was shown in the local channel. The moment I saw that golden lightning emblazoned across John’s chest as the opening credits were shown (plus Danny Elfman’s masterful The Flash theme song), I fell in love with the character. For me, Shipp was THE Flash. His portrayal of Barry Allen (with a subtle mix of Wally West) was in my honest opinion, absolutely on-point. I watched all of the episodes and didn’t mind re-runs. Seeing him running in his bright red suit was a joy. I wanted to be him. No, I wanted to be The Flash.
I guess I have my mom to blame as well. Being the very 1st geek in the family, my mother Ruby introduced me to the world of comics, as she was the one who bought me my 1st title (Jim Lee’s X-men #1), and over the years, has steadily maintained and monitored my voracious consumption of comicbook geekery. I still remember when she gave me the Death Of Superman TPB as a gift when I graduated from grade school school. Yes, that’s how geeky she is. From there, I have shuttled between fandoms, Marvel and DC Comics (and for a brief period, Image Comics).
Over time, I saw myself being more of a DC-fan long after the live-action TV series was cancelled. I have always been pro-mutant given my X-men roots, but I have grown to appreciate the Justice League and its many incarnations. And while the comics have already focused on Wally West taking over the cowl of The Flash since Barry’s apparent demise in the 80s mega-crossover “Crisis On Infinite Earths”, I still hoped that Barry would come back. That he would be The Flash again.
Described as a “DC Comics Encyclopedia” by the developers, 5th Cell, the game boasts over 2000 unique DC Comics superheroes and supervillains! In addition to the usual Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman offerings we’ve already seen a glimpse of members of the Flash Family (with cool props like the Cosmic Treadmill), Captain Cold and reportedly we will be able to play as 130 different Green Lanterns!
While I’m not that familiar with Scribblenauts and it’s style of play, the concept is pretty simple; If you can spell it, you can use it. I’m sure some of the more colorful executions of this playstyle have obviously been omitted seeing as the game is rated “E10″.
In this side-scrolling puzzle-actioner you play as Maxwell who is tasked with collecting objects known as “Starites” of which a certain number are required to advance to the next level. In the vein of old school graphic adventure point and click games (like Monkey Island) just about every object in the game can be interacted with by clicking on it which opens up a myriad of options depending on what you are actively doing in the game. The key part of the gameplay however is the ability to utilize Maxwell’s magic notebook to summon items (or other characters) into the game to help you solve puzzles by writing the name of the object or character on the screen. Usually you are limited to 3 to 4 summons in order to solve a puzzle and the games “emergent” play style really requires you to exercise and hone your mental agility and think outside of the box.
Honestly it sounds like one of those games that sounds more fun than it seems, but the reviews don’t lie; this is the fifth in a series of an extremely well-received and award-winning franchise. I remember being intrigued by the studios first effort in this genre, Drawn to Life, but never really following up on it due to a lack of a Nintendo Wii or DS. Unfortunately I still have yet to pick up either of those systems (or their next-gen counterparts) so it will really depend on just how cool this game ends up being (and how much in price these consoles drop) before I decide to take the plunge.
While I’ve noticed a fair bit of New 52 pandering, from the looks of it I think we can also expect some traditional DCU love as well. Just in the Flash-themed picture from above we have the traditional Golden Age Flash, Kid Flash, Professor Zoom and Black Flash! With 2000 or so characters I think we can expect a lot more variety to come.
Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure is due out sometime this Fall and needless to say, Speed Force will be keeping a close eye on the development of this title. In the meantime you can check out the official trailer, HERE.
So who is already a big fan of Scribblenauts and can testify to it’s greatness? Anyone plan on picking up the games for the first time due to the presence of the DC Universe? Please let us know in the comments below.
THE FLASH #23
Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL and BRIAN BUCCELLATO
Art and cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
1:25 B&W Variant cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
On sale AUGUST 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
The Flash makes a desperate play to save Iris from Reverse-Flash—and you can’t be sure who will be left standing by this issue’s end!
TEEN TITANS #23
Written by SCOTT LOBDELL
Art by ROBSON ROCHA and WAYNE FAUCHER
Cover by EDDY BARROWS and EBER FERREIRA
1:25 B&W Variant cover by EDDY BARROWS and EBER FERREIRA
On sale AUGUST 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Kid Flash finds himself on the run from his past as a growing rift between Red Robin and Superboy boils over and could tear the Teen Titans apart, just as their speedster teammate needs them most.
Plus there’s Earth 2 starring Jay Garrick, and the second half of Trinity War running through the Justice League titles.
Flash #19: Trapped in Iron Heights without his powers (as a result of Dial H #11), Barry Allen has to fend off the attack of the Outlanders. All he has are his wits…and the Rogues’ confiscated weapons. Brian Buccellato and Marcio Takara, cover by Francdis Manapul. Preview at Uproxx.
Justice League Dark #19: The House of Mystery is under seige—can special guest star The Flash help Justice League Dark battle this unexpected threat? Jeff Lemire & Ray Fawkes, Mikel Janin. Preview at BuzzFeed.
Teen Titans #19: Which new member of the Teen Titans reveals his true colors? Scott Lobdell, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira. Preview at CBR.
Flash #128-129: “Hell to Pay” parts 2-3. The dead Rogues have returned to earth — or rather, their reanimated bodies have, and without their souls to keep them in check, they’re laying waste to Keystone City! Only Wally West can stop them, but he’ll have to make a literal deal with the devil to do so.
Impulse #67: After the events of “Mercury Falling,” heroes gather to celebrate the life of Max Mercury. Todd Dezago, Ethan Van Sciver & Andrew Hennessy.
Impulse #68: Impulse “rescues” Adam Strange from a Zeta beam and ends up on the alien world of Rann. Part one of a two-part “Green Lantern: Circle of Fire” epilogue. Todd Dezago, Battle & Buzz. (I meant to review this story for The Indigo Tribe’s Circle of Fire event, but didn’t have enough time after I reviewed the Green Lantern/Adam Strange issue.)
I’d like to add that Impulse #67 was the best fake-out I’ve ever seen in the era of online solicitations and spoilers everywhere. DC didn’t write a fake solicitation or block out parts of the cover art. All they did was post the artwork showing Max Mercury (I’m such a digital packrat that I still have it) and state that heroes gathered together to honor him. Then the next two issues put Bart off-planet on Rann for the Green Lantern/Adam Strange guest spot, so there was literally no way to know whether Max would survive “Mercury Falling” until the conclusion hit the shelves.
This week has already seen twothree new interviews with the Flash creative team. In pieces with Comic Book Resources,Newsarama, and now Comic Vine, Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato pull back a small corner of the curtain on their new iteration of the Reverse-Flash!
The duo eliminates at least one suspect, while providing some insight into the motivations and look of Flash’s new opposite-number. The Newsarama (and Comic Vine) interviews also feature a first look at preliminary pages from Flash #20! Check out all of the chilling, UPDATED details after the jump!
This week’s chapter of the Injustice: Gods Among Us digital comic focuses on the Flash as he struggles with the consequences of Superman and Wonder Woman’s campaign and his role in it.
Some disclosure: I haven’t been reading this series, so I came into this issue relatively fresh. All I really know is it’s supposed to set up the world of the video game, and early issues feature some really unpleasant stuff with Lois Lane and Superman.
What appears to be happening is this: Superman and Wonder Woman have taken an Anakin/Darth Vader turn, and are using their powers not to help people, but to enforce order with an iron fist across a growing portion of the globe. Some, but not all of the Justice League have followed along, Batman being a notable exception. Flash has joined them, but in this issue sees first hand what happens when people reject Superman’s “protection.”
It’s an intriguing character study. The Flash tries to clear his head with a long-distance desert run, but fails, dwelling on the events of the day and what he learned afterward. The most poignant moment occurs when he finds the remains of a kangaroo hit by a truck. The driver, he muses, didn’t have time to react and had no hope of stopping it. The Fastest Man Alive, however? He watched the incident in all its sickening detail, fully aware of what was happening and fully able to stop it. Only he didn’t.
The comic does a good job establishing what’s going on and who’s involved, as well as showing Barry’s realization that he’s signed on for something horrible. What’s not clear is why he sided with them in the first place, given the way he’s portrayed in this issue. Is it that he trusts Clark and Diana? That he believed in their cause, but didn’t understand what they were doing? Did it start out benign and escalate? To be fair, the target reader has probably been reading since the beginning and doesn’t need to be reminded in such a short chapter.
It does feel a bit familiar: Superman and Wonder Woman taking over and Batman trying to stop them reminds me a lot of Kingdom Come or the Squadron Supreme Utopia Project. That said, it’s been more than 15 years since Kingdom Come and almost 30 since the Squadron Supreme story, so it’s hard to begrudge a newer take on the same thematic elements.
I continue to be impressed with how much story DC’s digital first comics fit into essentially a third of a standard comic, and even though the overall story doesn’t grip me from this one installment, the Flash’s story does.
SOME SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN’T READ SMALLVILLE SEASON ELEVEN
Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out just what is more dangerous in the DC Universe – to be a Robin or to wear a lightning bolt on your shirt? There seem to be a lot of beloved characters falling by the wayside lately, and it bears some examination. After all, Jason Todd, Stephanie Brown, and now Damian Wayne have all died while wearing the symbol of Robin. It hasn’t been the safest role to take on in the DCU…although I would make an argument that running fast seems to attract even more trouble.
In the latest print issue of Smallville Season Eleven we find the conclusion of the story arc that features Bart Allen, the Impulse of the Smallville-verse. In this story, Clark and his good friend Bart are reunited in a globe-hopping battle against the Black Racer, the enemy of Flashes past and present. In the end, Bart saves the day…but sacrifices himself to do so. All we are left with are Clark’s plans to build “a big statue” to Bart, and another Flash that has left some form or other of DC continuity.
This adds to the demise of the Wally West of Earth 16 in “Young Justice”, and the deaths and disappearances of Flashes over the years. Let’s take a partial toll here:
Barry Allen died saving the Earth in Crisis on Infinite Earths, remaining basically “dead” until Flash Rebirth.
Jay Garrick and the rest of the JSA died over and over again soon after CoIE while in a continual time loop, fighting the battle of Ragnarok. This is where they stayed for several years until they were brought back into DC continuity.
Wally West has been in and out of the Speed Force, presumed dead more than once, killed in the Flashpoint series without ever having taken on the mantle of Flash, and now does not even exist in the New52. He was killed once again on Earth 16 in Young Justice as noted above.
Bart Allen was pummeled to death by the Rogues while serving as the fourth Flash, being brought back to life some time later. And, as noted above, his Smallville-verse self just took a one-way ticket (presumably) into the Speed Force.
This doesn’t even start to list other dead or missing speedsters like Johnny and Jesse Quick, Max Mercury, or Wally’s kids. It really doesn’t seem safe to run fast these days.
The toughest part of all this for me is the way the actual deaths are being handled lately. Bart’s passing in Smallville felt forced…it wasn’t truly necessary. Yes, he got rid of the menace…but how did that help Clark and the rest of the Smallville gang? Believe it or not…exposure to Speed Force energy somehow cleansed Clark of the tracking radiation Luthor was using to follow Superman’s every move. This allowed Superman to resume acting as Clark Kent without being found out by Luthor.
In other words…Bart’s sacrifice was made so that he could act as a “spot-remover” to some radiation that was creating an inconvenience for Clark.
I have supported (and continue to support) the New52 volume of The Flash, as it represents some of the finest scripting and art in the DC lineup today. I’m not the guy that would ask “Where’s Wally?” for the thousandth time to Dan Didio at a con. I do like most of what I see from DC – I’m a DC guy and have been for over 40 years of collecting. I’m just sad to see the plot device of killing off speedsters used so much. It seems that being a Robin or a Flash means you are wearing a red shirt in the metaphorical sense as well as in the literal sense…and both roles are simply too valuable to the history of the DC Universe to continue to be treated in that way.