Monthly Archives: October 2009

Site Updates: Lady Flash and Silver Age Reprints

So much for getting something done every week…Still, I made some new progress this weekend catching up on Flash: Those Who Ride the Lightning.

The most visible update is to Christina/Lady Flash. I added a scan of her “Lady Savage” outfit, rearranged the profile a bit, and updated her with her current status as shown in Flash: Rebirth.

I also tackled the Silver Age Reprints list. Aside from some reformatting, I’ve added:

  • Contents from the upcoming Flash vs. the Rogues trade paperback. The solicitations only list issue numbers, but in most cases it’s clear that if one story has a one-off villain and the other story has, say, Captain Cold, it’s going to be the Captain Cold story.
  • Notes on villains and guest stars. If the title is “Mirror Master’s Magic Bullet,” it’s obvious who’s in it. But if it’s “The Case of the Real-Gone Flash,” you might not know that it stars Abra Kadabra.
  • Solid through Flash v.1 #130. I have everything that’s been reprinted in later issues of The Flash, or in trade paperbacks, but I’m still missing a lot of items that were reprinted in some of DC’s random 1970s books like Four Star Spectacular. To find them, I’ve gone through the GCD up through #130, so that part of the list is as complete as the GCD is.

I’ve also made some smaller updates — added some appearances, listed upcoming series and recent collections on the Series, Books and Specials list, etc.

Quick Thoughts: Weekly Twitter for 2009-10-25

  • Ha! Next week’s shipping list includes “AMBUSH BUG YEAR NONE #7 (OF 6)” #
  • And Ignition City concludes next week! #
  • Random facts: Biggest category on Speed Force is Flash News. Smallest is Covers. Second-biggest: General. #
  • Top 5 tags are Rebirth, Geoff Johns, Linkblogging, Barry Allen, and Wally West. Bottom of the list? ~200 tags used only once each. #
  • Ugh. SciFiWire comment sections. It’s like someone took the worst of Slashdot, Newsarama & the DC Message Boards set them loose. # (Okay, maybe not Slashdot)
  • Kid Flash vs Mirror Master story in DCU Halloween Special. (This means I have 3 Halloween specials to read: DC, Vertigo & Perhapanauts.) #
  • RT @GeoffJohns0: Ethan did an amazing job on Wally West’s new uniform…Very clean, very familiar, yet unique! #
  • BN:Flash variant? RT @GeoffJohns0: And for everyone dying to see @FrancisManapul‘s first official piece on THE FLASH…we’ll see it soon. #
  • Didn’t notice when I skimmed the TOC yesterday: DCU Halloween Special also has a Flash/Superman race. #
  • This should make a number of fans happy: Retweeting @GeoffJohns0: I cannot believe how fast Scott Kolins is. Like lightning. #
  • Retweeting @KelsonV: And the award for Most Disturbing Use of an Alarm Clock in a Prime Time Show goes to… FlashForward! #
  • RT @GeoffJohns0: “Society” episode of SMALLVILLE is actually an insane DCU infused two-part epic. Part 1 is “Society” & Part 2 is “Legends.” #
  • Huh. Mirror Master doesn’t like Bloody Mary. Who knew? #
  • Flash/Kid Flash creative team: @GeoffJohns0 @SterlingGates @FrancisManapul #FollowFriday #
  • So we had Barry & Blackhawk in the Battle of the Bulge in Brave & the Bold… #

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Speed Reading: B&B, JLA Monopoly, and More

Some linkblogging for the weekend…

Fortress of Baileytude starts JSA Week by declaring that Jay Garrick is the Man.

Once Upon a Geek looks back at a Justice League Monopoly board game from 1999.

For the ladies: A Comic Blog starts off their Top 10 Sexiest Comic Guys list with Wally West.

Joey Cavalieri talks about the Battle of the Bulge and Brave and the Bold #28, this week’s J. Michael Straczynski/Jesus Saiz team-up between the Flash and the Blackhawks. IGN reviews the issue.

Billy Tucci talks about his Flash/Superman race in this week’s DC Universe Halloween Special.

Dan Didio talks about legacies and characters growing up in his latest 10 Answers column.

Answering Questions from Searchers

Every once in a while I see something in the search terms that people have used to reach this site that makes me wish I could contact them and answer their questions. So I figured I’d try something new: The following are questions (or implied questions) pulled from this week’s site statistics.

Interestingly enough, they settled into three broad categories.

Costumes

What does Wally West’s new costume look like? (There are lots of variations on this one!)

Short answer: We haven’t seen it yet. But according to Geoff Johns, Ethan Van Sciver’s design is “Very clean, very familiar, yet unique!”

What is the difference in the Flash costumes?

  • Barry Allen: belt is straight across, boots always have wings, eyes are always visible (well, except in this week’s Brave and the Bold issue).
  • Wally West: 1986-1991: same. 1991-2009: belt is V-shaped, boots sometimes have wings, eyes sometimes covered, costume is sometimes shiny.

Jay Garrick, of course, has a completely different costume with blue pants, red boots, no mask and a silver helmet.

How to make a Golden Age Flash costume. (Several variations on this, also.)

Here’s a two-part series describing exactly how to do it:

Future of the Flash

Will Flash Rebirth ever finish? (Yes, that’s exactly how it was phrased.)

Yes. The next issue is scheduled for November 11, and the whole thing should wrap up on December 23, 2009. The schedule could still slip, of course.

Why is Flash Rebirth being delayed?

Artist Ethan Van Sciver has accepted at least some of the blame for being a slow artist. He intended Flash: Rebirth as a project that would help him learn to draw faster.

Will Wally West be back in 2010?

Yes. Wally West will star in a second feature in the new Flash comic book, written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Scott Kolins.

More immediately, he will appear in both Blackest Night: Flash and Blackest Night itself, alongside Barry Allen.

Powers

Who is the fastest Flash?

Whoever’s currently starring in the main book.

How Flash got super speed.

Lab accidents, mainly. Jay Garrick inhaled chemical fumes (originally identified as “hard water,” but later sometimes identified as “heavy water,” which still doesn’t make sense, but radioactivity makes a little more sense than high mineral content). Barry Allen was struck by lightning and simultaneously splashed with chemicals. Wally West was struck by a repetition of Barry’s accident.

What force is involved in lightning flashes?

Electromagnetism.

Is it possible to run as fast as a speed force?

I’m not entirely sure what this question is asking.

Frustrations with DC: One Year Later

Actually it’s closer to a year and a half since I wrote about my frustrations with DC Comics, but it’s a good time to look back at them.

In June 2008, I listed three main problems I had with the current state of DC:

  1. I’m tired of mega-crossovers.
  2. Mishandling of the Flash after Geoff Johns left.
  3. The wholesale slaughter of “redundant” and C-list characters to make a point.

So, what’s the current status?

Crossovers

DC is even more focused on mega-crossovers than before, with Blackest Night ballooning from a Green Lantern story into an eight-issue main miniseries, seven three-issue side miniseries, eight-issue arcs in both Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps, a month of eight in-series crossovers, a month of eight one-shots…

But frankly it doesn’t bother me, because of those 61 comic books, I only plan on reading three: the three issues of Blackest Night: The Flash. Realizing that I don’t have to buy the big event has saved me a lot of grief.

Mishandling the Flash

On the plus side: Geoff Johns is back on the title. Bart Allen is back as Kid Flash. Scott Kolins is back drawing Wally West. Most importantly, DC seems to be willing to stick with a direction at this point, and has committed to the point that they’ll actually launch two series, and every month will have new solo stories starring Barry Allen, Wally West, and Bart Allen.

On the minus side: Flash: Rebirth should have wrapped up in September, is currently scheduled to end in December, and individual issues are getting rescheduled often enough that I’m checking daily to see if the release dates have changed. The repeated delays have killed a lot of the story’s momentum, and have actually soured some fans on the relaunch. Plus they’re sidelining my favorite version of the character, though at least they aren’t taking him off the playing field entirely.

Killing Characters

The big crossover is all about dead characters rising from the grave as evil undead. Need I say more?

Has it improved?

Well, one item shows some progress, but it’s mixed. The other two haven’t changed at all…but I’ve gotten less attached to the DC Universe, so it doesn’t bother me as much. I’m not sure if that’s progress or not.

Review: Brave and the Bold #28 (Blackhawk and the Flash)

Brave and the Bold #28

Brave and the Bold #28, “Firing Line,” by J. Michael Straczynski and Jesus Saiz occupies an unusual niche for the Flash. While Barry Allen has been back for a year and a half, this marks his first real solo adventure in an ordinary comic book format since his return. Flash: Rebirth is very much a transition, more setup than story, and while Barry certainly has the spotlight in that book, he shares the stage with a host of other speedsters. Wednesday Comics came close, but was very much caught up in exploring the alternate format.

Calling a team-up story a solo adventure might be pushing it, but this does read much more as a Flash story than a Blackhawk story. It’s told from the Flash’s point of view, the key dilemma is a decision the Flash has to make, most of the Blackhawks are indistinguishable from each other, and a group known for air combat spends the entire issue grounded.

Dilemma

At its heart, the story uses the clash between two classic comic book genres to ask the question: “When is it acceptable to kill?” The Flash — perhaps the example of the Silver Age superhero: slightly goofy, with crazy science adventures and a code against killing — is dropped into the middle of a war, unable to leave until an injury heals. And not just any war: World War II.

On that level, it works. The Flash’s idealism and the Blackhawks’ determination contrast well, until he finds a way to align them. Jesus Saiz’ artwork feels a bit stiff and static during the Silver Age-style framing sequence, but is well-suited to the war story that takes up the bulk of the issue. The coloring also highlights the contrast between the Flash’s bright red costume, the Blackhawks’ dark blue, and everything else in muted grays and browns.

It also manages to avoid the stilted dialog that occasionally crops up in JMS’ writing. Every once in a while I’ll be reading something and a line will leap out as either very awkward, or a quote from Babylon 5. That didn’t happen even once here.

So what doesn’t work?

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