EVS Talks Flash: Rebirth at Word Balloon

I finally finished listening to last week’s Word Balloon Podcast with Ethan Van Sciver this morning. During the 90-minute interview, he talks about Flash: Rebirth, the personal issues that caused the delays, redesigning Wally West’s costume, bringing back Impulse, the balance of power between writers and artists, and Cyberfrog.

Some points that Flash readers will find interesting:

Last spring, Ethan Van Sciver started experiencing chest pains and was told that if he didn’t do something about his health, he was going to have a heart attack. So he embarked on a complete lifestyle change, which threw off his work schedule, slowing down Flash: Rebirth. The final issue, originally scheduled for September 30 of last year, will be out in two weeks on February 24.

It was his idea to make Iris “Irey” West II the new Impulse. He wanted the character back, and deliberately made Iris and Jai younger than they had been previously because of that (and because he didn’t like them as tweens). He also made an effort to draw Bart Allen as Kid Flash looking a bit more like he appeared as Impulse: round face, big feet, slightly exaggerated features. On a related note: Geoff Johns has plans for Jai.

He had a really hard time redesigning Wally West’s costume. The way he put it was that it’s easy to design a speedster costume, but it’s hard to design a Flash costume. Whereas with Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night he basically had free reign with new designs, this time he kept getting notes and had several designs rejected. The final version was quite literally a composite of other Flash costumes: EVS wanted the straight cowl from the TV series & Dark Flash, to make it look like a knight’s helmet (in line with his Barry = King Arthur and Wally = Lancelot metaphor), Geoff Johns came up with using the animated-style emblem, etc. To this day, Van Sciver isn’t happy with the way it turned out.

There’s a lot more in there — it is an hour and a half long — and it’s worth listening to if you have the time. There’s also a discussion at Comic Bloc that’s gotten into the writer/artist balance.

Related note: Daniel Way interviews EVS in connection with Cherry Capital Con.


4 thoughts on “EVS Talks Flash: Rebirth at Word Balloon

  1. Fiery Vulpine

    Having experienced heart palpatations myself (and embarking on a lifestyle change), I sympathize with Mr. Van Sciver and understand the delays. Hopefully fans won’t be as harsh now.

    1. Fastest

      Fans shouldn’t have been so harsh in the first place. “Gee Ethan, now that I know you were having a heart attack, I’m sorry I yelled at you.”

      Before, they were ignorant jerks. Now they are just jerks.

  2. Touch of Grey

    I actually had to check who was drawing the book at the whole costume refresh thing in issue #5. I was like, “Is this an artist collab? Is, is Humberto Ramos drawing Bart again? Is Humberto Ramos drawing WELL again?”. A confused fan, was I.
    But feel better, EVS! I was too busy with moving five times last year to really freak out about the schedule delays, but I did have some negative thoughts, and now I take them back.

  3. Bandito

    If you listen to Ethan Van Sciver’s interview on Word Balloon that came out right after Rebirth #1, you can hear how energetic and excited EVS is. He absolutely loves the characters, the Flash mythos, everything about it.

    Listening to this most recent interview, on the other hand, in light of the delays, the health concerns and the editorial restrictions, EVS sounds so… deflated in comparison. It’s a shame, but it really sounds humbling, almost heart breaking that this experience wasn’t as great as he wanted in the beginning.


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