Monthly Archives: December 2008

Flash Christmas Covers

When I thought of doing this feature, I figured there would be more of these. But there are surprisingly few. Most of them, as it turns out, are from Comic Cavalcade back in the 1940s. None appeared during Barry Allen’s run, and only two during Wally West’s. (One of them I only included because the cover quoted “Jingle Bells.”) Impulse, however, managed three.

Interesting notes:

  • 5 feature Santa Claus.
  • 5 feature Christmas Trees.
  • 4 name the holiday.

I even went hunting for team books — Justice League, Teen Titans, Justice Society, etc. Oddly enough, I couldn’t find many that were both Christmas-themed and featured a Flash.

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for the covers.

Review: Flash #247: “Incubation” (Final Issue)

Flash #247

Well, if Wally West’s series had to end — again — at least he got a decent send-off. Flash #247 concludes Alan Burnett’s four-part “This Was Your Life, Wally West”. This story wraps up threads from the current run of the series, looks back on Wally’s entire super-hero career, firmly establishes his roots in the Justice League and Titans, and sets up a few beats that can be picked up for future stories with the characters.

It picks up immediately after the previous issue’s cliffhanger, resolving the threat to Linda before rushing headlong into battle with the Queen Bee. This month does feature another flashback, this time to the West family’s time on the planet Savoth, but it’s only two pages. It ends with a conclusion that’s not quite an ending, but a place to stop. DC isn’t burning any bridges here the way they did with “Full Throttle” and the end of Bart’s series.

It’s also much better than “Finish Line,” the four-parter that wrapped up Wally’s series the last time it was canceled, from Flash #227–230. It was better written, better researched, and actually made an effort to tie together the rest of the series. The only thing “Finish Line” has over “This Was Your Life, Wally West” is consistent art.

While the first issue of the arc was penciled entirely by Paco Diaz, and the second and third were penciled entirely by Carlo Barberi, this issue was done by committee. Barberi gets the cover spot, but is joined by J. Calafiore and Andre Coelho. I’m not familiar with either of their work, so I couldn’t tell who did which pages, but the shifts in style were jarring. Normally changes in artist don’t bother me, especially if their styles are similar or if the change is done for thematic effect. (An example in The Flash would be Race Against Time, in which each issue used one art team for Wally’s storyline and another for John Fox’s.)

Brian Stelfreze’s cover, on the other hand, has got to be one of the best Flash covers since the relaunch. (I’d also include issues #243 and #246, both by Freddie Williams II) The starkness of it, with the plain white background, the shadow of the grim reaper, and the Flash standing barefoot with his boots off, says everything that needs to be said about what he’s up against. Honestly, I think it would work better without the “Wally West — Finished?” caption, or even the title logo.

Spoilers after the cut: Continue reading

Flash: Rebirth — What We Know So Far

Flash: RebirthThe current series of The Flash ends with #247, arriving in stores tomorrow.

Flash: Rebirth will be a 6-issue 5-issue miniseries written by Geoff Johns with art by Ethan Van Sciver, and is scheduled to start in April 2009. Ethan Van Sciver is drawing it, and has released one panel of preview art (see below).

Flash: Rebirth is centered on Barry Allen, but will “touch on all the other Flashes”—presumably meaning at least Jay, Wally and Bart.

Geoff Johns wants to “make [the Flash] mythology even bigger” in Flash: Rebirth, much like Green Lantern: Rebirth and Sinestro Corps War expanded the Green Lantern mythology. Johns says it “will be very science based, but will also blend in the quasi-science of the Speed Force”

Wally West will be getting a new costume designed by Ethan Van Sciver, and will still be called the Flash.

Update (Jan 19): The solicitation for the first issue is now available, confirming a release date of April 1 and the format: 5 oversized issues, 40 pages each for $3.99 (like Rogues’ Revenge).

Update (Feb 6): DC has released a 5-page preview through New York Comic-Con and Newsarama.

Update (Mar 27): The covers for issue #1 have been revealed.

Flash Rebirth sneak peekA new Flash series will almost certainly launch after Flash: Rebirth finishes. DC hasn’t officially announced when, who will write it, who will draw it, or even which Flash will be the star. Geoff Johns has been very strongly hinted, and it’s almost guaranteed that Barry will headline the book. It seems unlikely that they’d go to all the effort to bring him back, do a high-profile mini-series, and relaunch the book, just to keep someone else as the focus.

I think that covers the major issues. There is, of course, lots of speculation. Here’s a quick link to all posts here about Flash: Rebirth.

This Week (Dec 24): Flash #247 (Final Issue)

This Wednesday marks the final issue of The Flash…for the third time in as many years. DC’s been making a real habit of canceling and relaunching.

The Scarlet Speedster will return in April 2009 with the 6-issue miniseries Flash: Rebirth by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver.

The Flash #247

Written by Alan Burnett
Art by Carlo Barberi & Drew Geraci
Cover by Brian Stelfreeze

“This Was Your Life, Wally West” concludes! As Flash stands alone without his powers or family to support him, only one question remains – is this end of the Fastest Man Alive?

On sale December 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Other Stuff

The Flash may also appear in this week’s Trinity.

Also: Next week’s comics arrive on Friday instead of Wednesday. I guess they’re delayed one day due to Christmas, which pushes them onto New Year’s Day itself, which then pushes them to January 2.

Review: Flashforward

This has nothing to do with The Flash except the title, but I’ve been a fan of Robert J. Sawyer’s novels for several years and figured this site’s audience might still appreciate the review.

Flashforward has been in the entertainment news quite a bit the last few weeks with casting for the TV series pilot (more about that later). Strangely enough for a story that’s all about time and the role of the observer, I started reading the novel the day before the first casting news hit.

The novel looks at what happens when, at the moment a scientific experiment begins, everyone on the planet blacks out for two minutes. For those two minutes, everyone sees through the eyes of their future selves, two decades down the line. The world is transformed: first by the millions of accidents caused as drivers, pilots and surgeons lost control of their vehicles and instruments, and second by the survivors’ knowledge of the future.

What follows is an exploration of the nature of time, destiny and free will. Is this a glimpse of the future as it will be, or as it may be? Did the experiment cause the event, or was it a coincidence? Is foreknowledge a blessing or a curse?

Dilemmas

Flashforward is at its best when it focuses on characters’ dilemmas. While it sounds like the TV series will feature a wider cast, the original novel centers on the personal lives of researchers at CERN, particularly the two scientists who designed the experiment: Lloyd Simcoe, a 45-year-old Canadian who is shocked to learn that his impending marriage is doomed to collapse, and Theo Procopides, a 27-year-old Greek who learns that he will be dead by the time the visions come to pass. Lloyd wrestles with his responsibility for the event and whether it’s worth going through with a marriage he knows won’t last. Theo is consumed with preemptively solving his own murder.

Continue reading

Quick Thoughts: Twitter Through 2008-12-21 (Heroes: Villains)

General Twittering

  • No big Flash surprises in DC’s March solicits. Just the usual team books & collections. OTOH: Green Lantern Chronicles. Is Flash next? #
  • I can’t possibly be the only person who keeps misreading “Batman: Battle for the Cowl” as “Batman: Battle for the Cow.” #
  • 43,000 results for “battle for the cowl” and only 9 for “battle for the cow” – Google has spoken. #
  • Please check out: 5 Things I’ve Learned About Twitter. #
  • Interesting question in comment thread: when you drop a comic series, do you look for a new book to take its place? Hmm… #
  • Comics bought this week: Fables, Fallen Angel, Buffy, Tangent: Superman’s Reign. May check another store for Beanworld. #
  • LA & Orange County readers may be interested in my pictures of the local mountains covered in snow. #
  • There are 4 Crow movies? All w/new leads whose names sound like Raven, Corvis, etc? It’s like plant elementals and Alec Holland. #
  • Woah, I missed this one: Fallen Angel is ending and relaunching with an Angel crossover — co-starring Illyria. #

Heroes: Villains finale

  • So, we start out with Sylar as the Joker in Killing Joke… #
  • So, how long before Bennet sees the obvious third option? I’m guessing 5 minutes before the end of the episode. If at all. #
  • Next year can I just watch the Hiro, Ando, Daphne and Matt show? #
  • “Back in a Flash!” 😀 #
  • Quick, CB! Stuff garlic in his mouth and cut off his head, so if someone pulls out the stake – er, glass, he won’t come back to life! #
  • Posted some thoughts on Heroes Volume 3: Villains at my other blog. #

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