Monthly Archives: June 2008

Flash Sighting: Steampunk JLA

This post originally featured a costumed quintet spotted at HeroesCon last week, featuring Supergirl, Power Girl, Zatanna, the Flash, and Batgirl, with the goggle-wearing Flash holding his pocket watch. That photo is no longer available, but this is the same group (with a few more members), The Guild of Justice-Minded Citizenry, at another event.

This Week (July 2): Future Flash

No Flash books coming out this week, but Bart Allen plays a significant role in the collected edition of Teen Titans: Titans of Tomorrow, and an alternate reality Flash appears in The Search for Ray Palmer.

Teen Titans: Titans of Tomorrow

Collecting Teen Titans #50-54, this book starts with the wake for Flash (and former Kid Flash and Impulse) Bart Allen… but soon Bart is back, along with his fellow Titans from 10 years in the future. They’ve taken out the Justice League, and now they want their past selves to ensure the future they know will come to pass!

Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer

The Challengers of the Beyond travel the Multiverse seeking the man who can prevent the Great Disaster. They encounter the Wildstorm universe, the evil world of the Crime Society, a world haunted by vampires (Red Rain), the gender-swapped world of Superwoman and Batwoman (with its own Flash), a Soviet Superman (Red Son), and the Victorian-era Gotham by Gaslight.

Velocity Series for November

Velocity, the speedster from Top Cow’s CyberForce and one of the two winners of 2007’s Pilot Season*, will be getting her own series in November. CBR spoke with artist ChrisCross this weekend at Wizard World Chicago, where the company announced he would be joining writer Joe Casey on the series.

Among other things, the artist talked about adjusting the heroine’s costume:

ChrisCross has also re-imagined Velocity herself, which he said has as much to do with Casey’s influence as it does with his own. “I retooled her hair and her uniform a bit, and gave her some real shoes for running,” ChrisCross said. “I don’t know how Flash was able to run that fast in those hideous boots. Now, Velocity, her sneaks are fierce, girlfriend!” [emphasis added]

Velocity made her debut in Cyberforce v.2 #1 (1993). In addition to her Pilot Season special, she headlined a 3-issue minseries in 1995.

Update: ChrisCross has posted some of his character study work.

*The idea behind Pilot Season: Produce one-shots for several different characters, and have fans vote on which get ongoing series. It was successful enough that Top Cow has launched a second round this year.

Barry Allen: The Collected Flash

Now that Barry Allen has returned, there’s sure to be a surge in interest in stories starring the Silver-Age Flash. Unfortunately, the series ended a decade before the trend of re-releasing comics in trade paperback form came into fashion. This leaves only a handful of Barry Allen stories collected in books, and most of those from the early 1960s.

Books featuring Barry’s adventures are currently limited to two Showcases, four Archives, a Greatest Stories collection and the Crisis on Multiple Earths series.

Showcase Presents: The Flash

Showcase Presents: The Flash Vol.1The easiest and cheapest way to pick up classic Barry Allen stories is through the two volumes of Showcase Presents: The Flash. These are black-and-white paperbacks on newsprint, but include roughly 500 pages in each book for under $20. The idea is to put the content out as cheaply as possible for people who want to read it. So far, these books cover 1956–1963.

The first volume covers the Flash’s initial appearances in Showcase up through issue #119, and features the first appearances of most of the classic Rogues Gallery. The second, released last week, collects issues #120-140, and includes such classics as “The Flash of Two Worlds.”

Showcase Presents: The Flash at Amazon
Showcase Presents: The Flash at Mile High Comics

The Flash Archives

The Flash Archives Vol.1For the higher-end collector, DC’s Archive Editions include four volumes of Flash Archives. These are hardcover, color books on glossy paper, around 200–250 pages apiece, retailing for $50. (Though if you shop around, you can usually find them for closer to $30.) The Archives are designed to last as part of a personal library. The Silver Age Flash Archives cover 1956–1962.

DC has been cutting back on its archive program in recent years, and it’s not clear whether they will release any more volumes of the Flash Archives. These four could be it.

The Flash Archives at Amazon
The Flash Archives at Mile High Comics

The Greatest Stories Ever Told

Flash: The Greatest Stories Ever Told (2007)Rather than sequential collections, this book collects the high points of the Flash’s entire run. There are actually two versions, one released in 1991 and out of print, and one released in 2007, with different content.

The 2007 trade paperback, Flash: The Greatest Stories Ever Told, is easier to find, and features five Barry Allen stories including “Flash of Two Worlds,” (Barry crosses to Earth-2 and meets Jay) “One Bridegroom Too Many” (Barry and Iris marry), “The Gauntlet of Super-Villains” (the first major Rogues Gallery story) and the 80-page crossover, “Beyond the Super-Speed Barrier.” (It also features two Jay Garrick stories and a Wally West story.) My other blog has a detailed breakdown of the contents.

The Greatest Flash Stories Ever Told (1991)Harder to find is the 1991 hardcover, The Greatest Flash Stories Ever Told. This was a longer book, and featured 12 Barry Allen stories — all but one of them different from the 2007 book. (Only two stories appear in both editions: the Golden-Age “Stone-Age Menace” and the late Silver-Age “The Flash — Fact or Fiction?”) There’s also a paperback version. If you can track this down at a reasonable price, it’s worth picking up.

Superman vs. the Flash

Superman vs. the FlashThis TPB covers all of the major races between Superman and the Flash. It includes four races with Barry Allen including the original in Superman #199, the rematch in Flash #175, and two longer races from World’s Finest #198–199 and DC Comics Presents #1–2.

The Life Story of the Flash

The Life Story of the FlashMark Waid’s 1997 biography of Barry Allen, done in the form of an in-universe book written by Barry’s widow, Iris. It covers the high points of his career, putting a different spin on some events. This is available in both hardcover and trade paperback.

Flash & Green Lantern: The Brave & the Bold

The Flash and Green Lantern: The Brave and the BoldThis collects the 1999 miniseries by Mark Waid, Tom Peyer, and Barry Kitson. The stories focus on the friendship between Barry Allen and Green Lantern Hal Jordan over the course of their super-hero careers. It’s also a follow-up to the Waid/Augustyn/Kitson JLA: Year One.

Crisis on Multiple Earths

Crisis on Multiple Earths: The Team-Ups Vol.1During the 1960s and 1970s, cross-overs between the Justice League of America and the Justice Society of America became an annual event. They started with “Crisis on Earth-One” and “Crisis on Earth-Two,” setting the phrasing that would eventually become Crisis on Infinite Earths. DC has four trade paperbacks under the Crisis on Multiple Earths banner that feature these JLA/JSA team-ups.

There are also two volumes of Crisis on Multiple Earths: The Team-Ups, which feature individual characters from Earth-1 and Earth-2 working together. These include several meetings between Barry Allen and Jay Garrick, such as “Flash of Two Worlds,” “Double Danger on Earth,” and “Vengeance of the Immortal Villain.”

Crisis on Multiple Earths at Amazon
Crisis on Multiple Earths at Mile High Comics
Crisis on Multiple Earths: The Team-Ups at Mile High Comics

Other Series

(Added July 1)

Naturally, the Flash appears in various other collections from the Silver and Bronze ages, especially Justice League of America. JLA trades include the Crisis on Multiple Earths series, three (so far) Showcase Presents volumes and nine Archive editions covering most of the 1960s.

Showcase Presents: Justice League of America at Amazon
Showcase Presents: Justice League of America at Mile High Comics
Justice League of America at the Trade Paperback List

Back Issues

As mentioned above, the 1970s and onward (the Bronze Age) are almost completely unrepresented in collections. Fortunately, the Internet has made it easier than ever to track down back issues. Sites like eBay and Mile High Comics make it easy to track down what you can’t find at a local comic store or a convention.

A number of stories from the 1960s have been reprinted in later issues of The Flash and in smaller reprint collections from the 1970s, as you can see in this list of Silver-Age Flash Reprints (work in progress). Sure, you won’t find them at Barnes & Noble or Borders, but if you find yourself looking for something from the mid-1960s, it may be easier to find a 1970s reprint in decent condition.

More WWC Flash Hints

Saturday’s Wizard World Chicago panel, DCU: Crisis, added a few more tidbits of Flash news to the many hints from the DC Nation panel on Friday.

Newsarama’s report

Didio looked at Ethan Van Sciver, teasing about his involvement. EVS deadpanned, “Yeah, good stuff. I wish Geoff were here.” Didio followed up, “Which Flash would you talk about?” Van Sciver shot back, “Why not all of them?” Didio pretended to be incredulous “In the same book?” Van Sciver drove it home with, “Why not?”

Rumors of a Van Sciver/Johns Flash series were already floating around. But all Flashes? They might have to come up with a team name at this rate! (Blog @ Newsarama points out the reason Geoff Johns missed the panel: He was close friends with Michael Turner, and left the con for Los Angeles when he learned of the artist’s passing.)

CBR’s write-up adds:

DiDio didn’t want to comment on a rumor that Peyer and Williams would leave “The Flash” and a the series would be restarted with a new #1…

Well, we already know that Peyer and Williams are off the book. And it certainly looks like a relaunch of some sort is in the cards. But another #1?

Personally, I think if the series relaunches with Barry Allen, it would make more sense to pick up with #351 — right where his series left off. If Wally keeps the central spot, it should stay with his numbering. If it’s going to be a combined Flash book, I’d like to see them take a cue from Spider-Man and pick up where the numbering would be if the series had never been renumbered.

Let’s suppose that “This Was Your Life, Wally West” is a 4-parter, which would make it finish the same month as the end of Final Crisis. That would take the series to #247. So we’d have 350 issues of Jay’s and Barry’s series, plus 247 issues of Wally’s, plus 13 of Bart’s, bringing it to 610 issues total, with a relaunch picking up at #611. Or if you include All-Flash #1, Flash v.2 #0, and Flash v.2 #1,000,000, all of which fit into the normal monthly schedule, it would pick up with #614. Okay, so neither of those has the magic of a #500, but very few comic books have reached numbers this high.

Michael Turner Passes Away

Newsarama is reporting that artist Michael Turner has passed away at the age of 37, after an 8-year battle with chondrosarcoma. The founder of Aspen Comics is probably best known for his creator-owned book, Fathom, and his work at Top Cow in the 1990s — and to DC readers for his Identity Crisis covers and re-introducing the Kara Zor-El Supergirl.

Turner did a series of high-profile covers for The Flash in 2004 (Flash v.2 #207–211), at least three of which have been reproduced as posters and T-shirts.

Strangely enough, when I went into my local comic store this morning, I noticed a large Fathom poster at the back. It’s probably been sitting there for the last five times I’ve been in, but for some reason it caught my eye today.

Aspen has asked that anyone wishing to make a charitable donation in Michael Turner’s name should send it to either the American Cancer Society or The Make-A-Wish Foundation.