Geoff Johns Talks Flash Update

Geoff Johns took a few moments out of his holiday travel to update fans on the state of The Flash. Ordinarily I’d pull out a couple of key quotes and point you to the original post, but this time I think I should just quote the whole thing:

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone! I hope you all have save travels if you’re heading somewhere for the holidays.

Obviously, there have been some changes (among many) in DC’s approach to co-features and, in particular, the Flash universe that have raised questions and frustrations. Yes, THE FLASH will no longer have the Wally West co-feature. It’ll remain one of DC’s $2.99 books rather than $3.99 and Barry Allen will be the lead character. Yes, the plans for creating a book title KID FLASH have altered. (The creative team lined up never started on the book.) And, yes, it was a mistake to announce our plans before they were set in stone. Everyone was just excited about the Flash. No one wants to disappoint anyone. That’s not only bad business, it’s bad karma. So all that above? That’s the bad news.

But there is good news too. You will see the stories Scott Kolins and I have been working on. You will see Wally and Bart and everyone (Jesse will surprise a lot of people!). You will see the Flash universe grow organically. No one wants the Flash universe to achieve the same heights Green Lantern has more than me and the creative and editorial team working on it (and maybe the bean counters at DC! ). I’m also working hard on the movie. Despite what it looks like, the plans have grown for the Flash universe, although the rollout for things has changed. Imagine something more like how Green Lantern grew. The Flash universe is set for something VERY big in 2011 as well. It’ll take a bit more time to build (not too much), but in the long run I do believe the foundation will be stronger for it. I can’t get into specifics too much and I don’t want to until we literally have covers to show – which I’m sure will frustrate some people – but I don’t want to see anyone disappointed.

I am incredibly excited about the future of the Flash and I think when things are finally rolling in April, you all will be too.

I’ll try and answer any questions I can when I can over the next few days.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!


Head over to Comic Bloc to read the original post and comment thread.

Edit: In reading through the thread, I’ve spotted one more answer by Johns so far, to a question about Wally West:

Think of it this way — Wally will continue to do what he’s always done, continue and build the Flash legacy, only in ways more insanely epic in scope and adventure than ever. Barry is the Flash who started the spark, Wally is the one who fans the fire.


29 thoughts on “Geoff Johns Talks Flash Update

  1. Rob

    Nice he took the time to answer fans’ questions considering he was on his way to see his family!

    I’ll wait & see where Geoff takes this book. I truly hope the Flash franchise does go the way of GL and we get more than one INCREDIBLE book.

  2. Javi Trujillo

    and this is why Geoff Johns is my favorite writer. Thank you, sir, for caring about the fans and doing your best to quell fears for those who are disappointed!

  3. Amagoi

    This does put me at more ease after all this bad news. As long as rest of the Flash family aren’t completely pushed out and at least act as good supporting characters, that’s fine with me. I don’t want an All Barry, All the Time comic book. But from the sound of it we won’t be getting that.

  4. Will

    You know, if Geoff Johns had broken the bad news instead of Dan DiDio, I probably would not have felt as pissed off as I did about it. I think the messenger makes all the difference. I, personally, have little to no respect for DC’s current executive editor. I, however, have an incredible amount of respect for Johns. I think people’s initial reaction to the recent announcements would have been more temperate if they had come from Johns rather than DiDio.

  5. Kent

    I agree. Didio’s has a lot of bad news attached to his name since coming on as Executive Editor, that’s sort of the nature of the buisness. And it was probably NOT a good idea to broach the question in the format he did since all his answers seemed rushed, clipped and just too short.

    And, honestly, I don’t envy his job. He gets next to no respect for the ‘good’ things that Happen in the DCU, but takes the pot shots when something goes wrong.

    Still, Geoff really went out of his way for us here. And I really gotta say he is one of the best writers when it comes to fan relations in the buisness.

  6. Steve

    The reason why didio doesn’t get the credit for any of the good ideas is because it has been well documented that not only did he not come up with them but he also didn’t like them.

    1. Perplexio

      The one idea of Didio’s that I’m glad never came to fruition was killing off Dick Grayson.

      I’m hoping it stays that way too, even after Bruce comes back I’m hoping they figure out a way to keep Dick as Batman for awhile. Perhaps have 2 Batmans patrolling Gotham to increase the size and scope of his legend (make the criminals of Gotham think that Batman that can be in 2 places at once).

      And what the hell is going on with the Titans? They were brought back and now they’re down to 3 members. I was happy they were brought back but after that initial storyline that title has been badly botched. I miss seeing Wally and Dick working together. The friendship between those two was reminiscent of the Barry Allen/Hal Jordan friendship of the silver age. Other than a few exceptions, that friendship has been left by the wayside since New Teen Titans #39.

  7. Angel

    Though I appreciate the comment from Johns, this doesn’t cover all the excitement I had waiting for BOTH Flash books to be released with the Wally backup feature. I was excited to see Bart & Max. I was excited to see both of them running monthly and now im just downright unable to even consider buying a Barry Allen book.

    As of now, they’ve lost my support. I don’t know if ill be able to not buy a book featuring Bart Allen, but im going to try.

  8. Jess

    Thats good. After reading everything off this site for a while now, as well as reading up to 180 of the flash vol 2, I really love Wally West, and even wondered if I should bother finishing the series or read rebirth because I didn’t want to be let down. Wally has grown so much as a superhero and it took him a long time to realise that he was the flash in his own right and I was really sad when I thought that all of that had gone to waste (in my opinion).
    Never knowing Barry, I obviously love Wally.

    Hearing this makes me think that things will get better. I love Johns and his stories, and I think that he is the best person to put things right. He has grown up with Wally as well, and he obviously understands how we are feeling.

    I’ll definately finish reading vol 2, move onto impulse and then read rebirth and any other comics that follow. If Johns is writing, I think he deserves us to give him a chance. Almost any other writer, and I may not say otherwise.

  9. West

    No. That spark? That’d be Jay Garrick, not Barry Allen – at least as far as Flashes go.

    And, of course, there were speedsters before either of them – including the man we call “Max Mercury.”

    Anyway, Johns patted us on the head and told us that everything will be allright. That’s fine, but the overall track-record still speaks volumes when the same people are still in-power.

    I care less and my expectations are lowered. Oh well. It is what it is.

    1. Andrew

      Flash (Jay Garrick) pre-dates Max Mercury (originally Quicksilver) by a number of months actually. Their first appearances are cover dated January 1940 (for Jay) and November 1940 (for Max), respectively.

      The only “speedster” I can think of that came before the first Flash would be Superman, but he doesn’t really count as a speedster in the same sense as his powers are not solely speed-based.

      As for Johns and his comments I believe he means that Barry Allen is the spark in the sense that he, at least, re-ignited the Flash legacy (and began the silver age in the process).

  10. Perplexio

    That’s certainly encouraging news in light of Didio’s remarks last week. I think Geoff probably wants to lay the foundation with Barry’s ongoing before DC tries to extrapolate into another/other Flash title(s). I’m wondering if that’s what Geoff is referring to for 2010. I do hope that Hunter Zolomon and Thad Thawne return somehow too. They were my favorite of Wally & Bart’s rogues (althouh if Thad Thawne returns, I hope its as Kid Zoom and not Inertia, I never warmed to the Inertia costume).

  11. collectededitions

    I’m going to buy Flash: Rebirth in trade, and the first collection of the new Flash series, and then see from there. If I enjoy it, I’ll buy another; if not, maybe it’ll go on a holiday wish list. That is to say, the news about the Wally West back-ups disappoints me, but I’m willing to give the main series a go and then see what happens.

    Probably Kelson’s taking his much-deserved holiday break, but I’m curious how this news strikes him. Does Johns’ reassurances make him feel any better? If Johns can indeed do for Flash what he did for Green Lantern, more power to him. Though I recall someone, maybe Kelson or maybe @SpeedsterSite, expressing some dismay that it would be 2011 before Flash really takes off. Hopefully Johns has some high marks worked in along the way.
    .-= collectededitions’s latest blog post: Review: New Teen Titans Archives Vol. 1 hardcover (DC Comics) =-.

  12. Victor

    I honestly think that DC is just trying it’s hardest to make the Waly fans warm up to Barry, and they figured that if Wally had a backup the fans wouldn’t really pay attention to the Barry stories.

    As for the Kid Flash book, let’s be serious, it would probably last about a year or two and then get cancelled. Bart isn’t as popular as Wally, never has been and somehow I doubt he ever will be. I just don’t think it’s Bart’s time yet and it still feels like they yanked the carpet from under Wally’s feet.

    I don’t envy Geoff Johns, he has a very hard job ahead, but if he figures out a good way of using Wally in Barry’s book, while at the same time making the Wallly fans care about barry, he will have pulled off a minor miracle.

    As for Mr. Didlio, he’s just plain nuts. I shudder to think what will happen to The Outsiders under his watch (probably get cancelled before the end of 2010).

    Here’s hoping Geoff Johns pulls another rabbit out of his hat and saves the Flash before Didio runs it into the ground.

    1. Clegane, Sandor

      Victor, I don’t think we’ll see a lot of Wally in the Barry book.

      And that’s probably best at this point: Barry is the lead character now, and like it was in the 90s when Wally was the lead, the other Flashes show up in a supporting role. If at all.

      Though if/when a second Flash title emerges in 2011, it will probably feature Bart and Wally prominently.

  13. Mike W.

    Ummm… I only have s few things to comment on with regards to all of this Barry only book and no Wally thing now. Don’t buy it! If you really wanna see the great and powerful Geoff Johns version of Barry Allen crash and burn, don’t buy the book. I have no intention of doing so at this point. Rebirth won’t wrap up now until March according to DC’s website. And by then I won’t care mainly because other than the costume change for Wally which was more of an improvemtn than anything, I was really looking forward to to the Wally backup stories more than the actual Barry stories. I don’t care what the price tag on the book was, I was willing to spend it for this. Now I don’t have to worry about either. It just saddens me that I have spent years loving what I was reading about my favorite comic book character ever and now it seems that it was all a waste. The Kid Flash book well, I’m not surprised that it isn’t going to happen at this point. I think DC has enough to worry about than giving Bart his own book again…? Funny how it only took no issues for them to cancel his book this time. I think the greatest thing DC could do is publish two titles with the same name — The Flash and Flash, one featuring Wally etc. and one featuring Barry etc. DC made the compromise with the two Green Lantern titles — Green Lantern(Hal & John) and GL Corps (Guy & Kyle etc.) I would love to see both characters in their own title and then I would love to see what sells more every month!

    1. Jess

      I, too, would be very interested in seeing which book sold the most if there were 2 flash comics.

      If only DC had done, I dunno, a poll or something before making this decision, so they could get a better idea of what the public wanted! I wonder if anyone has done that, or even thought of it…

      1. Kelson Post author

        It wouldn’t matter. Whoever won the poll, the other guy’s fans would say their opponents cheated by voting too many times, or it was skewed based on where it was posted, or who was asked, or how it was done. I’ve seen this happen with favorite character polls on fan sites.

  14. Zach Adams

    I don’t envy the man having to toe a company line that’s clearly not what he wants, and it’s good of him to stop in and try to calm the swarms. That said, my decision not to buy a cofeatureless book still holds, as much because of Johns as anything else. I don’t usually buy books I expect to not enjoy, and outside of GL I haven’t enjoyed the majority of GJ’s work since Flash #200 (I’d go so far as to argue that “Wild Wests” was better than “Rogue War”, and between Rebirth and Legion of 3 Worlds, he was responsible for the two books that annoyed me most this past year). The thing is, Wally’s absence isn’t so much a dealbreaker as his presence was a dealmaker, a factor that would get me to pick up a book I’d normally skip. (Two characters get more or less a lifetime pass from me, regardless of issue quality–Wally West and Matt Murdock.) Don’t get me wrong; I know he’s in a crappy position. But that doesn’t make me want to buy the book.

  15. Victor

    I think DC realy screwed the pooch on the no Wally decision. Most Flash fans nowadays are Wally fans. Most of Barry’s fans are probably old enough to have grandchildren by now, and I doubt they’re still out there collecting comic books. I know they want the fans to love Barry, but let’s face it, the only Flash most current fans have grown up with is Wally. At this point I’m pretty sure that as far as sales go, the 1st issue will probably do ok and then steadyly decline every other month.

    If the new series last more than three years i’ll be amazed.

    1. Clegane, Sandor

      Victor, that’s ridiculous.

      The sales figures on the Waid relaunch were atrocious. There aren’t enough Wally OR Barry fans to guarantee anything.

      The dealmaker is the costume, the powers and the villains. The guy behind the mask is important, but the secret ID alone doesn’t sell ANYTHING in large numbers.

      Setting aside the hardcore online community, it’s the Flash that sells books, not Wally or Barry.


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