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.
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A while back I examined my comic book buying patterns by deciding which books I would buy if I could only buy three comics. It’s one thing to name books you’re ready to drop, or to name your favorites. Looking at it in terms of what you’d keep if that was all you could get really forces you to evaluate. It’s also helpful for ranking if, after you pick your top three, you expand it to four, then five, then six, etc.
I asked the question again last year, and found that things had changed a bit (though that was partly because two of my top three comics had been canceled). With the new year, and with the first round of New 52 stories reaching their conclusions, I thought this was a good time to pick up the question again.
So if I could only buy three comics, they would be…
- The Unwritten – Consistently one of my favorite titles over the last few years, and I wrote about why I like this series for the “Read This Too!” event. It’s been in my top 3 every time.
- The Flash – It’s been a bumpy road. Last year, “The Road to Flashpoint” squandered all the enthusiasm I’d built up with “The Dastardly Death of the Rogues,” and Flashpoint came close to killing what was left, but the new Francis Manapul/Brian Buccellato series feels like it’s finally getting the book back on track.
- Lady Mechanika – This steampunk action/adventure mystery was one of my favorites to come out of 2010.
What DC books missed the cut?
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So, the DC reboot* is upon us, and it’s time to make some decisions:
- What new series should I buy?
- Should I stick with print, or go digital?
I’ll tackle the second question later. For now, here are the books I was looking at when the New 52 was first announced, and what I’m looking at now.
As with Action, it was the creative team that got me excited about the fifth relaunch in as many years. (Seriously, DC, pick a direction and stick with it.) And as with Action, every interview, every announcement since then has chipped away a little more at my interest. But then Francis Manpul posts a new piece of artwork, and I feel like can’t possibly pass it up. TENTATIVE YES.
And yes, that’s a sad verdict for someone who’s spent the last 15 years running a Flash fan site, but it is what it is.
Justice League Dark
Love the concept, hate the title. I had high hopes for this when it was announced, but the execution of Flashpoint: Secret Seven, by the same writer and featuring many of the same characters, has me worried. TENTATIVE YES.
The complete opposite of Action Comics. When I first read about it, I thought, “Hmm, that sounds sort of interesting, but I just don’t know.” But everything I’ve heard about it makes me more interested. DEFINITE YES.
Regarding Demon Knights and Justice League Dark, it seems that the Matt Wagner/Amy Reeder Vertigo series has made me a fan of Madame Xanadu. Who would have expected that?
Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
I really liked the Seven Soldiers version of the Frankenstein monster, and the idea of him as a sci-fi secret agent sounds like a lot of fun. Plus the Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown miniseries was enjoyable (despite a dip in the middle issue), so I’m on board for this one. DEFINITE YES.
I keep meaning to read the articles about this, but somehow keep forgetting to come back to them when I have time. So I still don’t know a whole lot about it, but the concept is interesting enough to make it a TENTATIVE YES.
Announced as part of the second wave of new titles, the 12-issue miniseries launches in October. I like the character, especially the modern interpretation, and I really enjoyed the 4-issue miniseries James Robinson did back in the 1990s, so I’m on board for this one as well. DEFINITE YES.
Considered, but Skipping
Grant Morrison brings Superman back to his roots. Sounded great at the time, but the more I’ve heard about the actual direction, the less interested I’ve gotten. PASS.
I’ve been burned too many times, and I think what I really liked about the series was the Wolfman/Perez dynamic, which I’ve come to realize is never going to exist again. I actually think it’s a good thing that they’re taking the book in a new direction, even though it’s clearly not for me. PASS.
Hawk & Dove
As fond as my memories are of the series 20 years ago…I just can’t. PASS.
I liked his solo series back in the day, but between my changing taste and the emphasis on ultra-violence, I don’t have any interest in the new version. PASS.
(OK, except for the issue where he destroys the 405 freeway. I live in LA and commute on that damn thing. It’s a revenge fantasy.)
So that’s my DC Comics pull list for September. 5 comics out of 52 (plus The Shade) may not sound like much, but considering I was only reading one DC proper title before Flashpoint, it’s actually a pretty big increase.
Edited to add: For context, this brings the DC Universe back up to 50% of my active pull list. The rest is 1 Vertigo (The Unwritten), 3 BOOM! (Elric, Farscape & Darkwing Duck, at least until Farscape & Darkwing Duck end in a couple of months), 1 Dynamite (Wheel of Time) and 1 Aspen (Lady Mechanika). Mostly sci-fi/fantasy, with the closest to a traditional superhero being Darkwing Duck.
How about you? What are you planning to pick up?
*Of course it’s a reboot. They’re resetting the system, with some things altered and others preserved. They installed a service pack, and now they’re rebooting. People use the term reboot to mean starting over completely from the beginning, but if we’re going to use the computer metaphor properly, that would be a wipe-and-reinstall.
A couple of years ago, I wrote about cutting down the pull list by figuring out what I really liked reading, as opposed to what I just bought out of habit. This was followed up by a harsher test: if you could only buy three comics, what would you choose? At the time, I picked The Unwritten, Madame Xanadu, and The Unknown. Yes, at the time, The Flash wasn’t in my top three.
I found myself thinking about this again. Two of those series are gone, and I’m enjoying The Flash a lot more than I used to. What would my choices be today?
- The Flash, definitely. While I didn’t care much for Flash: Rebirth, the ongoing series has proved to be a fun adventure.
- The Unwritten. I think we’re approaching the half-way point with this series, which continues to be fascinating, thought-provoking, entertaining, and occasionally downright creepy as it explores the way stories shape the world. This book was one of my picks for the Read This Too! recommendation.
Those two are easy. The third one? That’s the hard part. The two contenders are:
- Velocity. In the strictest sense of the question, I’d have to go with this one. It’s been a great story, and I want to see how it ends. But once that last issue comes out, I’d go with…
- Lady Mechanika, which is shaping up to be a good steampunk mystery/adventure.
Actually, since Lady Mechanika is bimonthly and Velocity’s finale will probably come out between its issues, I could probably make a case for them sharing the third slot!
So what missed the cut, and why?
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Every collector has one. That one item, that really rare piece that if they could just attain it your collection could almost be complete (almost). It could be something that you’ve only seen in magazines, or an item that was almost within your grasp before it was snatched out from under your nose. Eobard Thawne even has one as you can see above . By the way I’m not encouraging any violence in the pursuit of collectibles, it just seemed like the most appropriate picture.
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Some linkblogging for the weekend.