Monthly Archives: December 2008

Speed Reading: TV, Battles, Run!

Crimson Lightning reviews the Flash TV Episode, “Twin Streaks.”

Ethan Van Sciver’s Your Time is Now Mine column continues.

Matt Sturges talks to CBR about the post-Final Crisis miniseries he’s doing with Freddie Williams II, Run!, which, as it turns out, isn’t connected to the Flash at all.

Comics Should Be Good has started posting the results of the Top 100 Comic Battles poll. #100 is Superboy-Prime vs. the Teen Titans from Infinite Crisis, a battle which ended only when the Flashes got together and pushed him into the speed force…at significant cost to the Flash franchise.

Sales Still Trailing Off Through November

ICV2’s November sales estimates are out, and The Flash is still dropping. (via The Beat). It’s getting downright depressing to post this slide month after month.

02/2008: Flash #237     —  37,719 (-  9.0%)
03/2008: Flash #238     —  35,606 (-  5.6%)
04/2008: Flash #239     —  33,741 (-  5.2%)
05/2008: Flash #240     —  31,944 (-  5.3%)
06/2008: Flash #241     —  30,810 (-  3.6%)
07/2008: Flash #242     —  30,325 (-  1.5%)
08/2008: Flash #243     —  29,647 (-  2.2%)
09/2008: Flash #244     —  29,180 (-  1.6%)
10/2008: Flash #245     —  28,085 (-  3.8%)
11/2008: Flash #246     —  26,746 (-  4.7%)

This month’s sales figure, on it’s own, would still be respectable, not far off from what the series was doing when Geoff Johns picked up the book in 2000. But factor in the steep drop, the fact that 3 years ago it was selling 50,000/month (Flash #225), and the fact that the last two relaunches spiked sales to 120,000 (Flash: TFMA #1) and 79,000 (All-Flash), and it’s clear that something has gone disastrously wrong. The Flash clearly can support a higher audience, but just hasn’t connected. (Of course, being a lame-duck series can’t help.)

Flash:Rebirth is pretty much guaranteed to produce another sales spike. The real question is: can DC hold onto the new readers this time?

This Week (Dec 17): Tangent & Trinity

This week’s Flash action is mostly uncertain or in reprints. Tangent: Superman’s Reign and Trinity have both regularly featured Wally West. Showcase Presents: The Brave and the Bold: The Batman Team-Ups Vol.3 appears to have a Barry Allen team-up. And there’ll be at least one man in a red suit racing around the world in the DCU Holiday Special 2008Continue reading

Trade Contents Confirmed: Mercury Falling and The Human Race

The newsletter DC Comics Direct Channel #914 identifies the contents of the upcoming Flash Presents: Mercury Falling and Flash: The Human Race trade paperbacks.

May 2009: Flash Presents: Mercury Falling (Todd Dezago, Ethan Van Sciver) will collect Impulse #62-67. That covers the 5-issue story arc itself as well as the one-issue epilogue guest-starring the Justice League, Justice Society and Young Justice.

June 2009: Flash: The Human Race (Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, Paul Ryan, Pop Mhan) will collect Flash v.2 #136-141 and a story from Secret Origins #50. The Flash issues cover both “The Human Race” and “The Black Flash.”

The Secret Origins story is undoubtedly the retelling of the classic “Flash of Two Worlds,” (Flash v.1 #123) in which Grant Morrison figured out how to incorporate the parallel-world story into a single-world setting. Unless I’ve forgotten something, this volume and Flash: Emergency Stop will cover all of Grant Morrison’s Flash solo work.

It also lists the Final Crisis hardcover coming out in June, along with the Final Crisis Companion trade paperback, which includes all the FC one-shots (including Superman: Beyond, which started as a one-shot that just got too long.) No word yet on when Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge will be collected, but there are supposed to be more summer 2009 announcements later this week.

Who is the Fastest Flash?

Flash v.2 #75 cover: Barry Allen, Jay Garrick and Wally West together.It’s the eternal question among fans. Who’s faster, Flash or Superman? (Answer: Flash, just barely.) Who would win in a fight, Wolverine or Batman? And of course, which Flash is faster? Wally West? Barry Allen? Jay Garrick? Bart Allen?

The truth is that which Flash is fastest changes over time, but there’s an easy pattern to follow: unless he’s been deliberately de-powered, whoever headlines the current series is the fastest Flash. After all, why focus on the second-fastest man alive?

When Jay Garrick was the one and only Flash around, he was, of course, the fastest man on Earth. When Barry Allen burst onto the scene, Jay was a little older, and had slowed down. So Barry was faster. When Wally West first took over as the Flash, he’d been pushed down to near the speed of sound…but as he kept going, breaking through his psychological blocks and eventually learning about the speed force, he reached that #1 rank. Then during Bart Allen’s brief tenure as the Flash, he absorbed the speed force and became not just the fastest man alive, but the fastest man who had ever lived.

All signs point to Barry Allen being the star of the Flash series that’s sure to spin out of The Flash: Rebirth. No doubt once the dust settles, he’ll once again be the Fastest Man Alive — and even faster than his fellow Scarlet Speedsters.

Until the next relaunch, of course…

Heroes & San Diego

A couple of recent posts on my other blog that might appeal to this audience:

Thoughts on Heroes Volume 3: Villains. I’ve really liked the storyline with Hiro, Ando, Daphne and Matt (and got a kick out of the speedster saying, “Back in a flash!”), but other parts of the show have just bugged me lately.

San Diego Weekend, mainly for the bit in the middle about the Omni Hotel and the San Diego Convention Center.