Newsarama’s latest 20 questions with Dan Didio is up, featuring a detailed response to the question, “Why bring Barry back when Wally has been the Flash for a whole generation of readers?” — and the cover to Flash: Rebirth #2, an homage to that classic Showcase #4 cover (previously reimagined for the collected edition of “The Return of Barry Allen”)
Time to start worrying about dead speedsters?
The Q&A segment is long, so I’ll put it after the cut.
10. A couple of Flash questions showed up in the thread – Barry Allen had one of the most heroic and honorable deaths in modern comics, complete with his replacement coming of age and literally filling his boots to honor him. When the story lines up so logically, and his replacement, Wally, has been the Flash for the past 20+ years, why bring Barry back?
DD: The same logic that applied to Hal Jordan’s return applies to Barry Allen’s. My argument is that we want to return our characters to their most iconic representations. In the case of Flash – you can’t tell the origin of Wally West without Barry Allen. Barry Allen was the first Flash of this generation. You don’t have a Wally West without Barry. You don’t have a Bart Allen without Barry. You don’t have the Tornado Twins without Barry Allen. All of these things spring from Barry being the primary Flash. Beaucse of that, we decided to go back to our roots, find what made him the most unique Flash of the bunch – and not at the expense of the other Flashes. We wanted to show what makes Barry great, what makes Barry unique and show why Barry Allen is first and foremost, The Flash.
NRAMA: It seems like an uphill battle – for this generation of DC readers, or for the under 30 segment of DC readers, Wally has been The Flash for them. Barry coming back will appeal to a certain group of older fans who knew Barry as the Flash, and a group that you want to convince that Barry is “the” Flash for the DC Universe.
DD: There was a point in time where we convinced a group of fans that Wally West was the Flash after Barry’s death. There was a point in time when we convinced fans that Bart Allen could be the Flash. And you can argue that there was a time before Barry even appeared who believed that Jay Garrick was the only Flash. What we’re doing is we’re looking at all the new Flashes, and building new story on Barry. There are many things that make this character great and unique, and more importantly, we’re hoping that this will appeal to people who are fans of the Flash franchise.
You say I’m talking to fans who’ve never known Barry as the Flash, but the truth is, Wally has seen him and interacted with him. We have told stories from Brave and Bold to Flash itself where Barry was front and center. We’ve told stories with the Justice League where we’ve referred back to Barry. Quite honestly, Barry Allen has never been gone from the DC fans’ psyche for an extended period of time. It’s the same argument that I’ve made with Hal Jordan. When Hal Jordan was “dead,” he was in books just as much as when he was alive, both as The Spectre and in flashback appearances.
In both cases, the fact that our writers always go back to those touchstones, and that the fans always buy those stories when the characters appear in them show to us that there is a continued interest in those characters as well as continued support for those characters. Our hope is that when we bring them in and make them the regular Flash and Green Lantern again, and put them right in the front of the existing continuity, people will be there and excited about it.
11. A question then about Flash: Rebirth from the thread – is Geoff’s plan with Flash: Rebirth similar to what he’s done with Green Lantern, where Rebirth was the first part of a larger trilogy that now includes the Sinestro Corps War and the coming Blackest Night?
DD: That’s getting a little ahead of ourselves, but there are elements in Rebirth that will have definite repercussions when the regular series begins.