February 14, 2013
Today’s guest post is by by Joe Grunenwald.
The Flash was gone. Wally West was dead, having entered the Speed Force after saving Barry Allen’s life from Cobalt Blue. Then, out of the night sky, a bolt of lightning, a crack of thunder, and a new speedster appeared – older, scarred, but familiar, and known to the precious few to whom he unmasked.
Walter West was only around for a handful of comics (ten issues of The Flash, one issue of JLA, and six issues of Titans, plus a couple of annuals), but he left an indelible mark on me. “Chain Lightning” and the ensuing story that came to be known as “The Dark Flash Saga” hit at the very height of my Flash fandom, and the mystery of who the new Flash was had me baffled. I was convinced, up until the moment of the reveal, that it was Barry Allen, so to see a blue-eyed Wally West under the mask was quite the shock, and the rest of the story, detailing how he came to be in the ‘main’ hypertimeline, along with Wally and Linda’s eventual return and Walter’s tragic departure, are still some of my favorite Flash comics of all time. I waited for years for Walter to show up again, to no avail.
One of Walter’s less memorable adventures.
But man, how great that reappearance could have been!
Walter’s status quo as it was at the end of The Flash #159 leant itself perfectly to more stories. A speedster, hopping through hypertime, trying to find his way home – who wouldn’t read that? It’s Sliders meets Quantum Leap meets the fastest man alive. He can’t stay in any timeline for too long or he risks destroying it, so there’d be a built-in sense of urgency behind every one of his adventures. There’d also have to be a change of scenery/universe for each different story, which would be a fun opportunity to see alternate versions of the DCU. He could get sucked into problems in each new timeline he visits – perhaps problems that he causes himself when he arrives unexpectedly – and he could make enemies or even a big bad who somehow tracked him during his world-jumping.
And then there was Angela Margolin, Walter’s ladylove from whom he was separated at the end of the original story. A scientist herself, it’s easy enough to envision her trying to find a way to cross hypertime to find Walter. Throw in Rip Hunter as a recurring foil, or even the Challengers of the Unknown (who were left exploring hypertime themselves at the end of the “Hypertension” storyline in Superboy). This series – or miniseries, or series of backup stories in the Speed Force title that never materialized – could have had it all.
Alas, it clearly was never meant to be. Hypertime was underutilized and ultimately disavowed by DC editorial. Where Mark Waid told sweeping stories that spanned time and space, Geoff Johns took The Flash in a different direction, telling grounded stories that built up Keystone City and Wally’s rogues gallery. Now, over ten years later and with a rebooted universe in which Wally was never The Flash, the odds of an alternate universe Wally showing up are likely slim to none.
But it’s fun to consider what could have been, isn’t it? After all, this is comics we’re talking about – anything is possible.
Joe Grunenwald writes about comics at NerdSpan.
May 18, 2012
Hey Speed Readers,
I’d been away from the net for a few days so I hadn’t heard that the first picture of The Flash in Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes had been released by Game Informer Magazine. This is the first visual confirmation of the Scarlet Speedster we’ve had since USA Today revealed his presence in the game a couple of months ago. The only picture so far is in the magazine that I don’t own but luckily the internet is full of all kinds of cool cats posting scans and vids:
Read the rest of this entry »
March 31, 2011
As it turns out, the Flash was right. The man removing his mask in the prologue to “Chain Lightning” wasn’t who Wally thought he was at first. But Cobalt Blue certainly looked like the classic Scarlet Speedster! (Flash v.2 #144, 1999).
Interestingly enough, the series returned to the cover concept less than a year later during the Dark Flash saga, reversing the lighting, the angle…and who was doing unmasking. (Flash v.2 #154, 1999) Read the rest of this entry »
August 10, 2010
Alright finally another installment of “Recent Acquisitions”. I haven’t posted an update since March, and I’ve actually acquired a lot more than what I’m about to show. But as I explained last time the feature is called “Recent Acquisitions” and I personally think “within the last month or so” when I think “recent”. Still not a bad haul to show off. First the group picture:
Clockwise from the Top: Pull-In Brand Flash Boxer Briefs, Blue Lantern Flash T-Shirt, Funko Flash Plush Doll, Infinite Heroes 3-Pack feat. Wally West, The Trickster and Heatwave, Flash Silhouette T-Shirt, and Sterling Silver Flash Bracelet
More after the jump.
Read the rest of this entry »
July 31, 2010
Some recent sightings of Flash history around the web.
4thletter!’s 4×4 Elements series looks at what made “Blitz” work.
Two more Flash moments appear in Comics Should Be Good’s list of 75 Memorable Moments in DC History: Barry Allen’s sacrifice in Crisis on Infinite Earths and the first Superman/Flash race.
Bleeding Cool noticed a similarity between the universe-changing conclusion of Spider-Man’s “One More Day” and a story point in Flash’s “Hell to Pay,” and asked, “Where was the outrage when Wally West did the same thing?” Hmm, on one hand you have someone who makes a deal with the devil to retcon away
15 years of stories and create a new status quo that has lasted three years so far. On the other hand, you have someone who makes a deal with the devil for the sake of a story, and he finds a way to beat the Devil at his own game the next issue. Yeah, they’re totally the same.
Random Happenstance’s series on 1999′s JLApe event continues with a summary of the Flash installment, featuring Max Monkey and Chimpulse.
The Hooded Utilitarian, after reading Flash: Rebirth, decides to go back and read some Silver-Age Flash starting with Showcase #4.
May 23, 2010
Comics Should Be Good has posted the results of their reader poll for the Greatest Wally West stories ever told. It’s technically a top ten list, but they included eleven stories because the #10 winner was essentially a prologue for one of the other winners.
It’s interesting to break down the results by writer:
- 7 by Mark Waid (including the top three)
- 2 by Geoff Johns
- 2 by William Messner-Loebs
In a way it’s surprising that Geoff Johns, DC’s current superstar writer, isn’t more heavily represented, but it also makes sense. Mark Waid’s run on The Flash was very much about Wally West and his journey through young adulthood (Messner-Loebs’ run even more so!), while Geoff Johns’ run tilted a bit more toward the Rogues.
Head over to Comics Should Be Good for the full list!
March 5, 2010
A few years ago I was browsing eBay (like I frequently do) in hopes of finding cool Flash collectibles when I stumbled upon an awesome piece of Flash fashion:
A sterling silver Justice League/The Flash-themed class ring! Thinking this ring popping up was a random one of a kind occurrence, I quickly snatched it up. When the ring arrived a week or so later it came with a catalog for Arrobasilver.com. I looked up the website and didn’t really see anything else Flash-related at the time, although they did have class rings for every member of the Big Seven. Nevertheless I still subscribed to their newsletter because A) The ring was gorgeous, had a great heft to it and was extremely detailed. And B) I wanted to know if and when they added new Flash stuff to their catalog.
Fast forward a year or so and I get a newsletter with an announcement for these designs:
Traditional Red and Yellow
“Dark Flash” Silver on Red
Red on Silver
And last but not least “Professor Zoom” Red on Black.
Pretty nice huh? One doesn’t have to be ultra-brazen to wear these out in public, but they still have a distinct look and unique flair to them. They run for $54.99 USD plus shipping, and with the amount of creativity, and craftmanship that goes into these pieces I’d say they are worth at least double that. Not only that but they are officially licensed by DC Comics and Warner Bros and that authenticity shows.
By the way when I asked Arrobasilver for permission to feature them they were kind enough to give Speedforce.org an exclusive promo code to knock 10% off of these bad boys. Just enter GA001 when checking out. Also stay tuned for some exciting news concerning Arroba Silver and Speedforce.org in the next few days.
Oh and one more thing:
For those random non-Flash fans that show up here from time to time, Arrobasilver does much more than just Flash Rings. They have over 20 Green Lantern Ring designs alone that you can check out HERE, as well as other Justice League-related rings including a swanky Captain Marvel (Shazam) Ring they just released a few weeks ago. Remember: GA001 gets you 10% off exclusively so take advantage of this unique opportunity while you have the chance.
Remember, some exciting news is coming up in the very near future concerning Speedforce.org and Arrobasilver so keep an eye out.
-Devin “The Flash” Johnson
February 12, 2010
I finally finished listening to last week’s Word Balloon Podcast with Ethan Van Sciver this morning. During the 90-minute interview, he talks about Flash: Rebirth, the personal issues that caused the delays, redesigning Wally West’s costume, bringing back Impulse, the balance of power between writers and artists, and Cyberfrog.
Some points that Flash readers will find interesting:
Last spring, Ethan Van Sciver started experiencing chest pains and was told that if he didn’t do something about his health, he was going to have a heart attack. So he embarked on a complete lifestyle change, which threw off his work schedule, slowing down Flash: Rebirth. The final issue, originally scheduled for September 30 of last year, will be out in two weeks on February 24.
It was his idea to make Iris “Irey” West II the new Impulse. He wanted the character back, and deliberately made Iris and Jai younger than they had been previously because of that (and because he didn’t like them as tweens). He also made an effort to draw Bart Allen as Kid Flash looking a bit more like he appeared as Impulse: round face, big feet, slightly exaggerated features. On a related note: Geoff Johns has plans for Jai.
He had a really hard time redesigning Wally West’s costume. The way he put it was that it’s easy to design a speedster costume, but it’s hard to design a Flash costume. Whereas with Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night he basically had free reign with new designs, this time he kept getting notes and had several designs rejected. The final version was quite literally a composite of other Flash costumes: EVS wanted the straight cowl from the TV series & Dark Flash, to make it look like a knight’s helmet (in line with his Barry = King Arthur and Wally = Lancelot metaphor), Geoff Johns came up with using the animated-style emblem, etc. To this day, Van Sciver isn’t happy with the way it turned out.
There’s a lot more in there — it is an hour and a half long — and it’s worth listening to if you have the time. There’s also a discussion at Comic Bloc that’s gotten into the writer/artist balance.
Related note: Daniel Way interviews EVS in connection with Cherry Capital Con.
November 23, 2009
Here’s your chance to do a side-by-side (well, vertical-by-vertical) comparison of Barry Allen’s and Wally West’s Flash costumes — including several variations. Spoilers for Flash: Rebirth #5.
Read the rest of this entry »
November 22, 2009
Movies and TV
Also, check out the Star Wars Band Names meme from Saturday.
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