While The Flash is currently on hiatus, it’s clear that DC is making a major push this year to promote the Scarlet Speedster.
The centerpiece of this push is Flash: Rebirth, a six-issue miniseries by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver. In addition to re-integrating Barry Allen into the modern DC Universe, it’s described as an attempt to revitalize the Flash franchise and expand the Flash mythos. More info: what we know so far about Flash: Rebirth.
It’s a given that a new Flash ongoing will launch after Rebirth finishes, almost certainly starring Barry Allen. While Geoff Johns has been strongly hinted as the new writer, there have been no hints as to who might draw it, and DC has not confirmed a creative team or even a start date.
Of course, with Barry Allen taking over the main series, what happens to Wally West? All we know is that he’s getting a new costume.
2009 is going to be a huge year for collected Flash books.
First up is Emergency Stop in January, collecting the first half of the Grant Morrison/Mark Millar run on the book from the late 1990s. (They filled in for a year while Mark Waid went off to do JLA: Year One.) The second half of their run comes out in June as The Human Race. This includes the introduction of the Black Flash, who figured prominently in the last few issues of Bart Allen’s series.
Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga, the story which brought Wally West and his family back from limbo, also gets a trade paperback this month.
June, concludes the Morrison/Millar run with The Human Race.
July sees the release of two Flash hardcovers: DC Comics Classic Library: The Flash of Two Worlds collects the first few team-ups of Jay Garrick and Barry Allen during the Silver Age. Then Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge collects last year’s miniseries. [Edit: fixed date for Flash of Two Worlds.]
Seven collections — and that’s just half the year!
Around the DC Universe
All indications are that Jay Garrick will continue to appear in Justice Society of America, and that Wally West will stick around in Titans.
Justice League of America is another question. It looks like Wally will be there at least until the series catches up with the events of Final Crisis. What happens afterward, and when Barry Allen becomes DC’s primary Flash, remains to be seen. The two most popular theories:
- Barry replaces Wally in Justice League of America, bringing us back to the Silver-Age status quo of Barry in the JLA and Wally in the Titans.
- Barry joins the new team in James Robinson’s soon-to-launch Justice League, alongside Hal Jordan, Oliver Queen, and Ray Palmer — the heroes he knows best — and Wally keeps his spot in JLA, ensuring that each team has a Flash.
The Flash will probably continue to appear in Super Friends, and Kid Flash in Tiny Titans.
No one seems to know what’s in store for Bart Allen. Despite strong hints of his return in Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds, delays have prevented us from actually seeing it. We know he’s one of very few dead characters who have been ruled out as potential Black Lanterns in 2009’s big event, Green Lantern: Blackest Night.
Animation: With Batman: The Brave and the Bold featuring regular team-ups with other DCU heroes, there’s a good chance of seeing the Flash on the small screen again this year. Articles about the soon-to-be-released Wonder Woman animated feature have indicated that an animated Flash movie is in the works. (Though at two a year, we aren’t likely to see one until at least 2010.)
Live Action: The long-planned Flash feature film seems to be stalled at the moment, but if this year’s big Flash push succeeds, its fortunes may turn around again.
Video Games: The Flash appears in Sony’s DC Universe Online MMORPG. A firm date hasn’t been set for release, but the earliest quoted is late 2009.