October 23, 2013

Reverse-Flash’s Final Stand! Review of The Flash #24

Category: Reviews — By

Flash #24The New 52 version of the Reverse-Flash has proven to be as powerful a villain as Barry Allen has ever faced.  Daniel West has gained enough Speed Force energy to finally go back in time to “set things right”…by killing his father!  Can Barry stop him, or will Daniel add one more murder to his list of Speed Force-related victims?  That’s where we pick back up in The Flash #24!

LIGHT SPOILERS ONLY

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October 10, 2013

Three More Flash Issues by Brian Buccellato

Category: Flash News — By

In an extensive interview at CBR about the Manapul/Buccellato team’s new job on Detective Comics, Francis Manapul reveals that Brian Buccellato will be returning to write The Flash for three more issues after the Gage/Googe one-shot, from Flash #27-29. “Hopefully,” he says, “the idea is to wrap up some of the things we didn’t quite get around to during our run.” They didn’t say anything about who will be doing the art. It may not even have been decided yet.

This is starting to remind me of the end of the Waid/Augustyn run (which, oddly enough, is right where DC is currently at in their slow digital re-release). Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn finished up with Flash #159, the end of the Dark Flash saga, followed by several done-in-one issues by Pat McGreal…and one by Waid/Augustyn. Then DC brought on a little-known writer named Geoff Johns to do an arc while they looked for someone to take over the book long-term.

Confirmed: Manapul and Buccellato take over Detective Comics

Category: Creators, Timely — By

Batman by Francis Manapul

DC Comics announced through USA Today that Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato, who are leaving The Flash after November’s Flash #25, will be taking over Detective Comics next spring.

They spoke to USA Today about focusing on the “detective” side of Batman, introducing additional supporting cast to “focus on the importance of family to Bruce Wayne,” and Batman’s obsession with protecting Gotham City. “Unlike other heroes who protect their home because they want to, Batman has to. He’s going to be such a fun character to sink our teeth into.”

Brian Buccellato stresses that they have a “gritty and dark side” more suited to Batman than their lighter take on the Flash and Central City. Readers concerned that the book will be too bright for Batman may want to look outside DC Comics to Buccellato’s solo writing on Foster at Dog Year Comics and and The Black Bat at Dynamite.

The article doesn’t say exactly when Manapul and Buccellato will be taking over the book, and but it’s after Detective Comics #27, which will be a special anniversary issue.

No word yet on the new Flash creative team.

Update: Rob S. points out in the comments an interview at CBR in which the team talks about their approach to Batman, and mentions that Brian Buccellato will stay on as solo Flash writer for three more issues.

September 18, 2013

The Rogues Have a Code – Review of The Rogues #1

Category: Reviews — By

Villains Month: Flash #23.3 /  Rogues #1This is one “Villains Month” comic that I truly wish was a permanent ongoing series…not just a mini series  but a full-fledged ongoing a la Gail Simone’s old Secret Six (though I am looking forward to Rogues Rebellion).  The Flash #23.3 aka The Rogues #1 has the look and feel of an excellent series first issue, giving us a New 52 version of what has made the Rogues great for decades. These are the ultimate blue-collar crooks, not bent on world domination but on making a living the “honest” way…by robbery, of course.  Their code against killing makes them almost completely unique, especially in the DC Universe.  These colorful crooks are more human, even with their newer meta-powers, than most villains found anywhere else in comics…and it makes one almost cheer for them at times.   This is only part of why there are so many Rogues fans out there…and this issue captures the essence of what has made the group so great for so many years.

LIGHT SPOILERS ONLY

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September 11, 2013

The Origin of the Reverse Flash! (Review of Flash 23.2 aka Reverse Flash #1)

Category: Reviews — By

Villains Month Reverse Flash finalThroughout their run on The Flash, Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato have hidden little gems along the way…little hints of things to come.  The payoffs have been excellent throughout – and this issue of The Flash…uh, Reverse Flash is a great example.  There are payoffs in this issue for things that have been simmering since the beginning of the series.  After reading this, all I could do was simply say, “Wow!”  So, let’s take a look at the origin of the New 52 Reverse Flash!

LIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD

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September 9, 2013

Manapul & Buccellato Leaving The Flash After #25

Category: Creators, Flash News — By

Move Forward.

Well, it’s official: One of the longest runs of the New 52 is coming to an end with Flash #25. From Brian Buccellato’s blog:

If you’ve seen the solicits for FLASH #26, you may notice that Francis and I are not listed as the creators… That’s because (as strange as it sounds to even us) we’ve reached the end of our Flash run. #25 is the final chapter in what’s been an incredible journey with the fastest man alive. Fun times!

We were REALLY honored to have the opportunity to usher Barry, Iris, Patty, Lenny, Forrest and the entire Flash universe into the New 52. We’ve lived and breathed Barry and are sorely gonna miss him, but after 3 years and over 30 issues (annuals, zero, Villains Month), we felt it was time to Move Forward and take on a new creative challenge.

Before anyone points out that it’s only been two years since the New 52, remember that Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato were the art team on the Brightest Day-era Flash series written by Geoff Johns before Flashpoint. They’ve been on the character since early 2010. At today’s DC Comics, that’s an astonishingly long run!

Unlike other high-profile creative changes that have made news recently, this appears to be an amicable split. Brian Buccellato remains as writer on Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion, and then there’s this:

Francis and I will be moving on to a NEW regular DC series that will hit stores in MARCH 2014. We can’t tell you what the series is (yet), but we are super excited about this new sandbox we get to play in!

March 2013 should be about the time Forever Evil wraps up. No doubt DC will be launching several new series at that time.

As for who’s next on The Flash, a new creative team hasn’t been announced. Christos Gage and Neil Googe are doing a one-shot for Flash #26.

I’ll miss this team on The Flash, but I feel a lot more content about this news than I did when Geoff Johns left — ironically, because I was more satisfied with the New 52 Flash than the Brightest Day version. The post-Rebirth Flash was a study in frustration and missed opportunities, with long waits and a lackluster ending.

Here? By the time “Reverse” wraps up next month, Manapul and Buccellato will have delivered on everything they set out to do.

They re-established Barry Allen and his supporting cast.
They revamped the Rogues, Grodd and Reverse Flash.
They re-established the Speed Force as something that you might be able to explain without a PowerPoint presentation.

Sure, I would have liked to see more new villains (we got Mob Rule and Dr. Elias, and that was really about it), and I really wish we’d gotten to see that cold case story that editorial canned in order to get the Captain Cold story out sooner. But it feels like, once the last few issues are out, the Manapul/Buccellato run will be a complete run on the book.

In addition to their upcoming series together, Brian Buccellato is continuing to write Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion at DC, The Black Bat at Dynamite, and Executive Assistant: Iris at Aspen.

One last THANKS to all the Flash fans out there that gave Francis and I an honest chance and stuck around for the ride. You know who you are. You guys make this job worth all the crazy deadlines and sleepless nights! Thanks again… we can’t wait to tell you what’s next! :)

We’re looking forward to it!