March 1, 2010
Some Flash-related links I’ve collected over the last few weeks.
ART! — Swan Shadow features Flash and the Crimson Avenger, drawn by Chris Ivy.
NEWS! — MovieWeb interviews cast & crew of Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, including Josh Keaton, voice of the Flash. CBR interviews Keaton more extensively.
FANDOM! — Once Upon a Geek has located a DC Comics Snuggie. Speed Force’s Devin “The Flash” Johnson found a satirical piece on the Snuggie that also has a DC link!
The Collected Editions Blog recently celebrated its fifth anniversary.
SIGHTINGS! — Former football player Darrell Green just may be the fastest baby boomer alive, claiming to have run a 40-yard-dash in 4.43 seconds on his 50th birthday.
Need winged boots? These reflective clips for cyclists, inspired by Mercury or Hermes, are in @zieglarf’s words, “almost the Flash.”
COMMENTARY! — Multiversity Comics starts a new feature, Crisis of Chronology, by looking at the DC works of Grant Morrison from Animal Man to Final Crisis, including his brief run on The Flash.
IO9′s 75 Books You Should Own For DC Comics’ 75th Anniversary includes Showcase Presents: The Flash Vol.1, reprinting the first few years f the Silver Age Flash: “Why you should read it: To see the style and substance that made a genre live again… and also how old ideas were made contemporary back in those days.”
Essentailly fanfic, but an interesting take on a Flash movie series at Comic Book Movie.
If you want more frequent updates, you can follow @SpeedForceOrg on Twitter or Speed Force on Facebook. I usually post links there as I find them, then save them up until I have enough for a round-up post here.
January 2, 2010
Geoff Johns and the Flash have made it to the final round in three of Newsarama’s Favorites of 2009 polls!
December 22, 2009
Newsarama’s Reader Favorites of 2009 are moving into the second round, with writers and artists the first to move forward.
Mark Waid was K.O.’ed in the first round, but current Flash writer Geoff Johns and one-time Flash writer Grant Morrison have both advanced to round two. Johns faces off against Greg Rucka, with Morrison up against Ed Brubaker. There’s a good chance we’ll see a Johns/Morrison match in round three.
Meanwhile, incoming Flash artist Francis Manapul narrowly won against Frank Quitely. Ethan Van Sciver (Flash: Rebirth) lost solidly to Ivan Reis (Blackest Night). Manapul and Reis go up against each other in round 2, as do George Perez and J.H. Williams III.
Each round is open for one week. Round one is still open for the remaining three categories:
July 20, 2009
I decided to switch the Twitter digests from weekly to daily for the week of Comic-Con International. This is a bit cleaned up and reorganized.
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May 30, 2009
Some light weekend linkblogging:
Wizard has a couple of comic-strip recaps of the first two issues of Flash: Rebirth by Ethan Van Sciver’s brother, Noah Van Sciver.
Comics Should Be Good continues a week of Flash-themed Cool Comic Moments with Flash vs. Züm from Grant Morrison’s JLA: New World Order. (Züm of the Hyperclan would probably be forgotten if it weren’t for this moment.)
TwoMorrows, publishers of The Flash Companion, is having a 50%-off sale on their website. The Flash Companion itself isn’t one of the discounted items, but you can pick up some other Companion volumes (Including Justice League Companion and The Titans Companion vol.2), some Modern Masters books, collections of Alter Ego, Brick Journal, etc.
And totally off-topic, SciFi Wire has an article on Why you should watch the final episodes of Pushing Daisies. I really liked this show and was disappointed when ABC canceled it halfway through this season. The final three episodes will be broadcast Saturday nights starting today, and the DVD release is in July. The SciFi Wire article is a good primer on the concept, characters, and appeal of the show.
May 28, 2009
Comics Should Be Good highlights more Cool Comic Book Moments from Mark Waid’s Flash story, Terminal Velocity. They’ve got two items from Flash #99: Wally’s sacrifice and Bart stepping up (which doesn’t go quite as well as he expects) — and one of two moments from Flash #100: Wally’s…return?
One more coming up tomorrow. Update: the conclusion is up!
Comics in Crisis thinks that now is a perfect time for new readers to jump into the Flash.
Wally’s World: If I Ran DC Comics (Part 1)
iFanboy compares comic book coloring techniques from the 1980s and today, using pages from Secret Wars and The Flash: Rebirth as examples.
Lying in the Gutters, in its final column, cites conflicting rumors on the future of Justice League of America, with either a Grant Morrison/Jim Lee team-up or Geoff Johns. Earlier rumors had Geoff Johns and Jim Lee.
When Worlds Collide has put together a list of the Best and Worst of Grant Morrison, with a Top 10 and Bottom 5. I’ve only read about 1/3 of the combined list. Update: Comics Should Be Good fires back with another Top 10 Grant Morrison list.
Also interesting: my Google Alert for “flash comics” came up with this list of things about the (American) comic book industry that should be common knowledge, but aren’t.
March 10, 2009
The Victoria Advocate profiles Doug Hazlewood.
Comics In Crisis presents Flash v.2 #182 (2002), the Captain Cold Rogue Profile story, among the 10 Essential Bronze Age Comic Stories You Should Read. I’d disagree with the Bronze-Age classification (traditionally, the Bronze Age of Comics ran from the 1970s through mid 1980s, with Crisis on Infinite Earths being a good reference point for DC books), but it’s absolutely a must-read.
X-Man reviews Flash vol.2 #1 (1987), noting how different Wally West was at the age of 20 than he is today. That’s actually one of the things Wallys’ long-term fans like most about the character: that we’ve seen him grow and change naturally, rather than simply be given a personality transplant whenever a new writer shows up.
The Quantum Blog talks about TV shows canceled before their time, including the 1990-1991 Flash TV Series. (Hard to believe it’s been almost 20 years. Seriously, Quantum Leap is having a 20th Anniversary convention this month. I feel old…)
The Worlogog celebrates Weird Silver Age Tales of the Flash.
I haven’t had a chance to listen yet, but Raging Bullets Podcast #152 features Flash’s Rogues with listener guest Mike Simms.
Heritage Auctions will be selling a CGC 9.6 copy of Showcase #4, the comic that rebooted the Flash as Barry Allen, launching the Silver Age (via It’s all Just Comics)
A Journal of Zarjaz Things looks at Flash: Emergency Stop, griping that Grant Morrison’s 9-issue run is split across two trades with the second “padded” out with a 3-parter by Mark Millar. IMO, though, Morrison didn’t write a 9-issue Morrison run — he co-wrote 9 issues of a 12-issue Morrison/Millar run. It would have been less responsible for DC to print only the Morrison issues and leave out “The Black Flash,” which has arguably had more lasting impact on the Flash mythos than the other stories in these trades, good as they are. (It is silly that they left out the first two parts of “Three of a Kind,” though.)
January 28, 2009
This is it. The conclusion to Grant Morrison’s tour-de-force exploration — and dismantling — of the DC Universe. Plagued by delays, DC finally brought in a committee of artists to finish the whole thing just one month after it was originally intended to wrap up.
So how was it?
The word I’d actually go for is bittersweet.
Final Crisis is more ambitious and, in a way, more epic than Crisis on Infinite Earths, Zero Hour, or Infinite Crisis. They destroyed alternate universes, revised the current universe, or went back in time to adjust the beginning of the universe, but despite the fade-out pages in the middle of Zero Hour, none of those ever gave the impression that it was all over for the good guys, and they were left picking up the pieces.
In this issue we learn just how hard it is to kill a god. We learn what super-heroes do when they can’t save the world by fighting. Multiple plots by multiple characters come together, and we learn just why some characters are in the book in the first place.
The narrative structure has fragmented even further, with some events only getting a panel or two and maybe a caption, much of it told in flashback from the end of all things. I’ve been saying for several months that it’s a 12-issue story chopped down to 7 books, but now I’m beginning to think to really do justice to all the ideas presented, and all the plot threads, you’d have to expand it to at least 24 issues, possibly more.
There’s also a heavy meta-textual emphasis on story, which I suppose I should have expected after reading Superman: Beyond. Thinking about it, this goes back at least as far as Morrison’s run on Animal Man, in which the title character learned that he literally was a comic book character, with writers artists and editors dictating his life. But it also made some parts of the issue feel like I was reading Sandman (more about that later).
It’s only in these last two issues that I really felt like pieces of the story from tie-ins were missing. I didn’t have a problem with the bits of Batman’s story that were told only in “Last Rites,” or the story with Black Lightning and the Tattooed Man from “Submit.” But then I didn’t read either of those, and just took things in stride. I did read “Superman: Beyond,” and while I felt that the yellow submarine and the multiversal Superman mission would have worked fine without that story, the introduction and nature of Mandrakk the Dark Monitor still felt out of place, even after having read the side story. (Interesting: I just realized I’ve actually provided supporting evidence for my Final Crisis Theory of Impenetrability.)
Anyway, at this point I don’t think I can say anymore without revealing too much, so spoilers after the cut. Read the rest of this entry »
January 20, 2009
This week, The Flash: Emergency Stop hits the shelves. The trade paperback covers half of the year-long Grant Morrison/Mark Millar run from the late 1990s, and, according to solicitations, features the conclusion of “Three of a Kind.” This three-part crossover between Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and The Flash features the second– and third-generation heroes Kyle Rayner, Connor Hawke, and Wally West. Villains Heat Wave, Sonar, and Hatchet attack a cruise liner in which Dr. Polaris is being secretly transported, only to find the three heroes have booked a vacation on the same ship.*
The segment in The Flash v.2 #135 focuses on the villains’ trial, with flashbacks to the incident. At the time, Wally West’s identity was public knowledge, though he testified in full costume. This in itself is unusual given standard courtroom dress codes (a skin-tight bright red costume isn’t exactly conservative business attire, and tends to stand out a bit). But then Green Lantern takes the witness stand:
The usage is similar to the U.S. Constitution’s 5th Amendment, which states in part that “No person…shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” Two things can be gathered from these panels:
- The DC Universe had a “Federal Authority of Registered Meta-Humans” years before Marvel’s Civil War (though after the first story with the Mutant Registration Act).
- The DCU version of the United States Constitution has a Twelfth Amendment which, under some circumstances, allows witnesses to give an alias rather than a real name when testifying in court.
There’s no indication that it’s required to register, or whether it’s simply a good idea if you want legal backing. It’s not even clear whether heroes have to register under their real names. I can’t remember whether any other books made reference to this authority, but suddenly I really want to find and reread my back issues of Chase.
In the real world, the Twelfth Amendment dates back to 1803 (passed 1804) and changes the way the President and Vice-President are elected. Assuming the DCU’s US just has one more Constitutional amendment than we do, their Twelfth would be just about as old, which leads to the question: Why did they need to amend the supreme law of the land to allow masked heroes to testify 130 years before the Golden Age of super-heroes?
Thinking about it, though, DC does have super-heroes whose adventures take place in earlier eras, especially in North America. Not just heroes of the Western genre like Jonah Hex or Bat Lash, but classical super-heroes with masks, costumes and powers. Max Mercury’s origin dates back to the early 1800s, for instance, and Miss Liberty (an ancestor of Jesse Quick/Liberty Belle) fought in the American Revolution.
Might the early United States in the DC Universe have decided it was worth letting some of their more colorful national heroes remain pseudonymous even in legal proceedings? It’s certainly possible.
Whatever the circumstances of its passage, it sheds some light on the otherwise nonsensical fact that Barry Allen kept his mask on and his identity secret from his arrest all the way through his trial for manslaughter in the case of Professor Zoom’s death, dissected in great detail by Bob Ingersoll.
*It’s a little more complicated than that, of course.
January 14, 2009
You know how sometimes, when an issue of a comic book has been delayed for a long time, it finally shows up and it’s absolutely worth the wait? The last few issues of Fray and Midnight Nation come to mind. Unfortunately, Final Crisis #6 does not fit into that category.
The first few issues were structured like a mystery, presenting various fragments that slowly piece themselves together into a coherent picture. But now that the whole picture has been put together, we’re still only seeing fragments. It’s kind of like watching Cloverfield, except the reason we’re only seeing bits and pieces isn’t because we’re following a single viewpoint, but because we’re following too many.
The weird thing is, as unsatisfying as it is to read (though it does improve the second time through), I’m half-convinced that the fragmentation is intentional. It fits with the disintegrating cover design, and it fits with the theory that theme is more important than plot in this book. And, in fact, it fits with Grant Morrison’s comments about paring a comic down to the bare essentials like dance music. Of course, not everyone likes dance music.
Some specifics, so watch out for spoilers: Read the rest of this entry »