July 28, 2011
The new Flash Story begins in September. This time around, there is no speculation about the focus of the book, or who will be behind the mask. It looks like Flash’s new launch will take off without baggage – an all-new Flash for the all-new DC.
Well, sort of.
In the cases of Batman and Green Lantern, it has been announced that the stories and key elements will (more or less) continue. In the cases of Superman and most other properties, the stories are looking more and more like a fresh and somewhat rootsy start. For Flash, it appears the new series will be a pretty hard reset.
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January 18, 2009
Catching up with various Flash writers and an artist.
Mark Waid and BOOM! Studios are working at LA’s Meltdown Comics shop on Wednesdays this month, spinning off from an earlier promotion for the new book Hexed.
Comics Should Be Good is running a Year of Writing stars. Monday’s installment: Tom Peyer, who wrote last year’s six-part Flash arc, “Fast Money”
Marc Guggenheim, writer of the “Full Throttle” arc on Flash: The Fastest Man Alive, tells Newsarama that his Green Lantern movie is still on track, and that there may be hope for Eli Stone. He also talks (along with Steve Wacker) about Spider-Man, and talks to CBR about Super-Zombies, his upcoming mini-series from Dynamite.
The Comic Treadmill writes up Alter Ego #54, focusing on 1970s Flash artist Mike Esposito, and Gold– and Silver-Age Flash writer, Robert Kanigher.
December 30, 2008
2008 was a busy, if tumultuous year for the Flash.
The Main Series
As 2008 opened, the Flash was just wrapping up the six-part story “The Wild Wests,” the relaunch featuring Wally West as head of the Flash family and introducing his super-powered twins, Iris and Jai. To put it mildly, it was not received well by fans, and former fan favorite writer Mark Waid quickly left the book.
After a one-shot by Keith Champagne, Tom Peyer picked up the regular writing chores and Freddie Williams II stayed on for the 6-part “Fast Money,” which resolved the twins’ super-speed aging problem and gave us a glimpse of an adult Iris West II.
The series wrapped up with the year, as Alan Burnett, Paco Diaz, and Carlo Barberi brought us “This Was Your Life, Wally West.” The four-part story arc looked back at Wally West’s career as Kid Flash, then the Flash, and his relationship with his wife Linda and their children.
The Rogues’ Gallery were off-limits to start with, as they were off-planet for Salvation Run. Early in the year, DC released the news of Flash: Rogues’ Revenge, a miniseries that would spotlight them after they returned to Earth, going after Inertia for tricking them into killing the Flash. Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins would return to the speedster mythos for six issues.
By the time the series was launched, it had become Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge, and instead of six regular-sized issues it was three oversized issues.
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August 29, 2008
Here’s a Speed Force first: An original interview (Not a link! Not a reprint!) with outgoing Flash writer Tom Peyer!
SPEED FORCE: You started your run by introducing a new villain, Spin, who has the power to make people’s anxieties into reality. Did you envision him as a single-use villain, or a recurring one?
TOM PEYER: You never really know if a villain is recurring until he or she recurs. I didn’t plan to kill him — but even that doesn’t always stop a villain from coming back. I was just thinking of him one story at a time.
SF: While the Flash has had many enemies over the course of his career, few have had the staying power of the original Rogues. A few years ago, they were practically regulars in the book. If they had been available when you took over as writer, would you have used them early on, or held them in reserve for later stories?
PEYER: Well, we did use Grodd. But the Mirror Masters and Captain Colds had appeared a lot in recent years, so it felt like creating Spin was the right approach. Plus, I wanted to grind my axe about cable news, and the Weather Wizard didn’t quite fit. But if I’d wanted to write a polemic against the Weather Channel… oh, don’t get me started.
SF: How did you approach balancing the story between the Flash and his kids? Do you think that the family dynamic ultimately resulted in more or fewer story possibilities? Read the rest of this entry »
August 20, 2008
Flash #243 marks the last issue of the Tom Peyer/Freddie Williams II run on the series, and the final issue of the “Fast Money” storyline. It resolves a number of plotlines from the past year, leaving other possibilities open.
Artist Freddie Williams II has really hit his stride on this book, which makes it a shame that he’s leaving. It took a while to get used to it, but a few issues ago I started to like it. It seemed to have more life, more energy, than it did at first — and in a book that’s all about speed, that’s critical. (Interestingly, when I spoke with him at Comic-Con, he mentioned that the editor had initially insisted on a slightly different style than his usual, and he’d been allowed to go back to his regular style around the same point that I started liking the art. He also had a page of original art from Flash #241 that I would have been seriously tempted by if I’d had a spare $250…)
Story-wise, I’ve really enjoyed the last three issues (parts 3-5), but I felt that the final chapter fell short. In part, there were three major plot threads to resolve, and only one really got any focus. Additionally, that resolution seemed to hinge on a piece of knowledge which they should already have had.
At this point I’ll have to break into spoilers. You have been warned. Read the rest of this entry »
July 15, 2008
Tom Peyer isn’t slowing down after he wraps up his run on The Flash next month. In addition to writing Tek Jansen and back-up stories for Marvel Apes, he’s also co-writing Galveston, an upcoming miniseries from BOOM! Studios.
“’Galveston’ is a light-hearted, violent, Butch & Sundancey look at the friendship between Texas legend Jim Bowie and pirate Jean LeFitte, which really happened,” Peyer told CBR News. “They really were business associates for a while. What Mark and I have done is researched their personalities and built a tall tale around them. It’s centered in Galveston Island, Texas, where LaFitte actually lived in a mansion with cannons on the roof. A stolen mansion, at that.”
Hmm, cannons on the roof, from BOOM! Studios. Sounds appropriate…
Full article at CBR.
July 1, 2008
The Flash’s current writer Tom Peyer and artist Freddie Williams II will both wrap up their runs with the conclusion of “Fast Money” in August’s Flash #243. So what’s next on their plates?
CBR spoke with Tom Peyer about his work on Stephen Colbert’s Tek Jansen at Oni and back-up stories for the upcoming Marvel Apes miniseries.
As for the artist half of the team, The Pulse interviewed Freddie Williams II about his past and current work at DC, including his return to Robin. He answered several questions about The Flash, including how drawing a super-speed family differs from drawing Batman’s protege.
Visually, they are almost completely opposite. Even though Robin can get a bit animated, he was pretty grim and hid in the shadows allot, as well being able to use his cape and his mop of hair to show motion and movement. As opposed to Flash, which was art directed to be more open and cartoony. Flash is basically just a naked figured with nothing except for lightening to help in showing motion. Also, drawing the team dynamic was a bit different as well – having to account for some many figures.
When asked which artists most influenced his work on The Flash, Williams cited Daniel Acuña (his immediate predecessor), and Mike Wieringo.
June 18, 2008
Could the Flash be running toward another relaunch? Fans have been speculating for months, ever since rumors surfaced that Silver Age Flash Barry Allen might be returning in Final Crisis.
There are certainly signs that point to change.
Sales on The Flash have continued to drop since last summer’s relaunch brought Wally West back from limbo and introduced the Flash Family.
Barry Allen has indeed returned, off-panel in April’s DC Universe #0 and (reportedly) on-panel in next week’s Final Crisis #2.
The miniseries Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge is clearly going to be high-profile — quite possibly higher-profile than the ongoing book.
The book has been relaunched twice* in as many years. Flash: The Fastest Man Alive, launched in the wake of Infinite Crisis with Bart Allen as lead, lasted only 13 issues from 2006–2007. The revived Wally West series, picking up at #231, will hit 13 issues by the end of the current storyline. If DC stays true to form, it’s pretty much due.
Then there’s the setup. Fan response to the Flash Family has been mixed at best. While some love Iris and Jai West, others would rather see them as normal children, and still others would happily throw them under the bus. (And yes, I’ve seen that sentiment expressed on message boards.) DC might (rightly or wrongly) conclude that the twins are a liability to the franchise.
Today’s Flash #241 features part 4 of Tom Peyer’s 6-part “Fast Money.” The storyline is scheduled to wrap up in #243, due in August. Signs initially pointed to Peyer writing the book long-term, but DC’s September solicits show a new creative team after the story concludes: writer Alan Burnett and artist Paco Diaz. With a title like “This Was Your Life, Wally West,” things don’t look too good for the current speedster.
There’s no official word yet on whether Burnett replaces Peyer as the regular writer or whether Peyer will be back after a couple of issues, though Peyer’s MySpace page says he’s “writing six issues of The Flash for DC Comics with artist Freddie E. Williams II” (emphasis added). Update: I contacted Tom Peyer through MySpace, and he confirmed that #243 is his last issue:
Flash #243 is my last issue. We went into it with no set time I’d be leaving, which is why we seemed so cagey about it, and we parted friends.
My next mainstream work is for Marvel Apes, which is kind of like Marvel Zombies but they’re apes; please check it out in the fall.
What’s still unclear is how long Burnett is scheduled to be on the book. The situation is eerily similar to early 2006: early in the stages of a cosmic “Crisis” crossover, a new team comes on board with a final-sounding storyline. The write-up even echoes the earlier story’s title, “Finish Line.”
Edit: And, on top of all that, editor Joan Hilty is leaving the book for Vertigo.
So what does all of this mean? No one (outside of DC’s offices) knows yet… though there’s plenty of speculation. Will we see another relaunch with Barry Allen taking over for his successor? Or a new direction for Wally, perhaps without the twins? Will Wally and Barry share the lead? Or will Rogues’ Revenge lead into a second Flash ongoing with Barry?
*In point of fact, since Geoff Johns left the book in 2005, no creative team has lasted longer than half a year. Joey Cavalieri penned Flash v.2 #227-230 marking time until its cancellation for the Bart relaunch. Danny Bilson & Paul DeMeo wrote the first 8 issues of Flash: The Fastest Man Alive before being replaced by Marc Guggenheim, who handled writing chores for the 5 issues leading up to its tragic end. Mark Waid wrote the transition, All-Flash #1, and Flash v.2 #231-236. Poor reception led to him leaving, with Tom Peyer coming on board in Flash v.2 #238. And then there’s Alan Burnett on #244.