December 21, 2011
Steven Ogden asks:
I’m a huge Flash fan. He’s without a doubt my favorite superhero. Unfortunately, there’s only one thing I don’t understand: the Speed Force. I don’t understand how Barry Allen created the Speed Force. Is it some kind of magical force? Hope not, not a big magic fan. If anyone can take the time to help a Flash fan out I’d appreciate it.
Well, Steve, there are a couple of ways to look at the speed force, from simple to complicated. Let’s start with simple.
The name is a little misleading. The speed force is basically a field of energy which exists just outside reality. Speedsters like the Flash can tap into this energy, which makes it possible for them to perform feats of amazing speed. With practice, they can learn to manipulate this energy as well, stealing and lending speed from other objects (or people). It also produces an aura that protects them from friction, so they don’t burn up running through the air at a zillion miles an hour.
If the Flash draws too much energy (basically, by running past the speed of light, the cosmic speed limit), he risks losing himself in the field. In the pre-Flashpoint universe, this has happened to Max Mercury, Johnny Quick, Barry Allen, Wally West and Savitar, among others. Wally was the first to return from this fate, but not the last.
Then things get complicated. Read the rest of this entry »
September 23, 2011
CNN’s Geek Out! has an article on The Science of the Flash. Of course, science in comic books is always a bit more…flexible than it is in the real world.
The speed force is one of the topics discussed. In the 1980s, when DC relaunched the book with Wally West, they tried to explain away the Flash’s super-speed by requiring him to eat a lot. As physics professor James Kakalios points out, “the numbers just don’t work. A typical Flash running at his various speeds would have to eat something like 500 million cheeseburgers to run at the speeds he’s doing, even chewing super fast.” The solution: a field of energy that the Flashes draw their power from. A hand-wave explanation to be sure, but one that at least acknowledged the issue.
Today’s an interesting time to post the article, given the announcement of possible faster-than-light particles. (It does get into that staple of science fiction, the still-theoretical tachyon.) Revolutionary if it can be confirmed, but even the physicists who found the effect aren’t convinced yet. The announcement is basically: “We got these amazing results and haven’t been able to find any errors. We need more people to check our work.” As the webcomic XKCD points out, extraordinary claims like this usually don’t pan out…but when they do, it’s tremendously exciting!
Anyway, what most of you are probably interested in is the Flash #1 preview at the top of the article. It’s a different format than the usual method of just posting the full pages, more like reading a digital comic on a smartphone…only with commentary on each “page” by co-writer/artist Francis Manapul.
The Flash #1 arrives in stores next week, on September 28.
August 8, 2010
More weekend linkblogging!
Grumpy Old Fan asks (and answers) the question: why reprint “bad” comics?
Wikipedia has a good breakdown of comic book super-powers.
Collected Editions takes a look at DC’s Spring 2011 trade paperbacks.
Fantastic image: Firefly crew as the Enterprise crew. Classic Star Trek, of course.
Sillof, the custom action figure builder who made the Steampunk Justice League and Legion of Doom, collaborated with Glorbes on a Star Wars in World War II series.
Empire Online has a set of Lucas Lee Movie Posters featuring one of Ramona’s Evil Ex-Boyfriends from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
Humor! The Onion reports: Supervillain Lady Gaga Kidnaps Commissioner Gordon.
Science! Darryl Cunningham debunks the Moon Hoax in comic-book form.
May 18, 2010
Comics Alliance has posted a Periodic Table of Super-Powers, detailing not just powers but origins as well.
Click through to the original article, where they link to a full-sized table that you can actually read.
Let’s see if we can come up with the “chemical” formula for the Flashes:
Speed, Intangibility, Time Travel; Scientist struck by Chemicals
Speed, Intangibility, Time Travel, Detective; Scientist struck by Chemicals
Speed, Intangibility (sometimes), Time Travel; Chemicals, former Sidekick, Legacy hero
Speed, Intangibility, Time Travel; Mutant (closest I could come up with to inherited powers), Time-lost, Legacy hero.
Arguably you could include H=healing (super-metabolism) & Is=invisibility (they can move too fast to be seen), or Sn=super-senses (seeing things more quickly, or moving so fast that radiation is red– or blue-shifted into the visible spectrum), etc.
Who wants to try the Rogues?
March 20, 2010
Some weekend linkblogging:
Francis Manapul has been nominated for a Shuster Award. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with Glee. Rather, it’s the Joe Shuster Awards recognizing Canadian comics creators. Manapul was nominated for his work on Adventure Comics and Superman/Batman last year.
Ben Morse at the Cool Kids Table posts photos and commentary on his five favorite Flash figures.
Comic Critics: In This Issue, a Titan Dies! – This webcomic is absolutely 100% true!
You’ve probably seen that image of Batman fighting a shark with a lightsaber by now, right? ComicMix has identified the artist as Andrew Zubko.
Comics All Too Real specializes in merging the fictional and real worlds, including: The Flash by Adobe. They’ve also got a great Flash birthday cake.
Zero Lives draws *ahem* Elementary Heroes. This one’s for the chemistry geeks. And Mr. Element, of course! (via Comics Alliance)
December 24, 2009
What Were They Thinking?! has found a…novel way to see at super-speed.
recommends Geoff Johns’ original Flash run.
Grumpy Old Fan considers the likely structure of Legacies and its implications.
IGN’s top 100 covers of 2009 gives Flash: Rebirth #1 the #3 spot.
Toycutter has a Steampunk Legion of Doom set of custom action figures, featuring Sinestro, Black Manta, Joker, Gorilla Grodd, Captain Cold, and Bizarro. (via Great White Snark)
Flash fans will probably get a kick out of this Shortpacked! strip. (via @batmansgirl)
December 12, 2009
Rikdad takes an extensive look at science in The Flash — where it makes sense, where it doesn’t, and how various writers have tackled the problem.
Behind the Voice Actors has several pages comparing the Flash’s portrayals in animation and games ranging from the Filmation cartoons through Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. (Thanks to Mike for the link.)
Once Upon a Geek apologizes to Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver for doubting them on Wally West’s future.
Multiversity Comics spotlights Captain Cold.
The Press Democrat’s Four Colors blog sums up the Flash, starting with Barry Allen’s death in Crisis on Infinite Earths and looking at the speedster’s current status in Flash: Rebirth.
It’s time to update that other Flash: the one on your computer! On Tuesday, Adobe release a security fix, so if you haven’t already updated it this week, head over to Adobe’s download page and grab the new version. Details here. Also: If you use Adobe AIR, it’s got an update too.
Robert J. Sawyer explains the FlashForward schedule, and exactly what has changed since the second half of the season was pushed to March.
June 15, 2009
Some Monday morning linkblogging…
Mark Waid reminds us all that Barry Allen discovered Earth-2 on June 14, 1961.
Groovy Superhero has a scan from Futurama Comics #34, in which Fry gets a job at Speed Force Burgers. It’s very fast food, and the employees’ outfits may look a bit familiar to this blog’s audience…
Friday’s Full Frontal Nerdity comic strip features a reference to Barry Allen’s return from the dead.
Weekly Crisis has a couple of moments of the week from Flash: Rebirth #3.
Comic Book Resources’ CBR Live has a bunch of photos from Saturday’s grand opening of Earth-2 Comics in Northridge, featuring co-owner Geoff Johns and a bunch of other Los Angeles-area comics personalities.
UPDATE: CBR has posted a photo parade from the Earth-2 grand opening which looks like a different set of pictures than the CBR Live stream.
UPDATE: What Were They Thinking?! is back online after almost a month!
4thletter! is tired of re-runs in his comics.
UPDATE: The Annotated Flash: Rebirth has posted notes on Flash: Rebirth #3.
Researches now think that ADHD is linked to faulty perception of time: as far as hyperactive kids are concerned, time really does move too slowly. Comics Alliance likens this to being the Flash. Though maybe Impulse is a better comparison…