Monthly Archives: February 2010

Happy Birthday Greg LaRocque

It turns out that today is Greg LaRocque’s birthday! LaRocque drew The Flash vol.2 through all of William Messner-Loebs’ run and the beginning of Mark Waid’s, finishing up with the well-regarded story, The Return of Barry Allen. He pencilled the book for five years, from Flash vol.2 #15 in 1988 through Flash vol.2 #79 in 1993, with only a handful of fill-in issues by other artists, making him the longest-running artist on Wally West’s series.

Along the way he designed Wally West’s shiny costume, which debuted in the above Flash vol.2 #50. In my opinion, he’s still the artist who made it look the best. As Scott Mateo points out on Comic Bloc, when LaRocque drew Wally and Barry together, you could easily tell them apart even at a glance. The artist talks about the redesign in his interview in The Flash Companion.

It’s interesting that LaRocque and Messner-Loebs worked together on the book for roughly four years, and their birthdays are only a few days apart!

Velocity Returns in May

Wally West isn’t the only red-headed speedster out there. Velocity, winner of Top Cow’s first Pilot Season, will finally be getting her own series this May.

Well, sort of.

Velocity has been a member of Cyberforce since it launched in the early 1990s, and has had two solo books: a 1995 miniseries by Kurt Busiek and Anthony Chun, and a one-shot in 2007 by Joe Casey and Kevin Maguire. The one-shot was part of Top Cow’s “Pilot Season” event: they released several “first issues” of potential series and asked fans to vote on which one should be picked up. Velocity won, and Top Cow went on to prepare a series. Joe Casey returned, and ChrisCross took over as artist.

That series never actually launched, though. Casey wrote three issues, ChrisCross drew one full issue and several covers, but the book was delayed several times and finally scrapped due to creative differences. With their newly found free time, Joe Casey and ChrisCross went over to DC and did Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance.


Top Cow has announced a new Velocity miniseries starting in May, written by Ron Marz and drawn by Kenneth Rocafort (who did variant covers for the unlaunched series).

Carin Taylor is the fastest woman in the world. At least, she’d better be if she wants to save her own life and the lives of her Cyberforce teammates. When a former Cyberdata scientist — and test subject — seeks revenge against the members of Cyberforce, only Velocity can save her friends before the clock literally runs out.

Ron Marz remarked to UGO:

I’ve been getting to use the supernatural side of the Top Cow Universe as my playground for a while now, so I jumped at the chance to write one of my favorites from the superhero/tech side.

In some ways it does fulfill the promise of Pilot Season, in terms of the character finally getting a book, but it’s an entirely new creative team. And it’s a four-issue limited series, not an ongoing. I guess after two and a half years Top Cow wanted to test the waters again. Kind of a shame, given how rare it is to find and ongoing speedster comic that’s not The Flash (or Sonic the Hedgehog), but it’s probably sensible not to rely too much on the buzz from 2007.

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths Arrives Tomorrow

DC’s latest direct-to-home-video animated film, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, goes on sale Tuesday, February 23.

In it, the Justice League answers a plea for help from an alternate Lex Luthor, one who comes from a world where good and evil are reversed. The heroic Luthor fights against the tyranny of such master villains as Ultraman, Owlman, Superwoman, and Johnny Quick (a name that DC has reused several times).

It is, of course, inspired by a long tradition of evil-counterpart stories in DC Comics.

Speedster corner: The story is adapted from an unproduced Justice League Unlimited script, so the Flash is the familiar wise-cracking, thinks-with-his-feet type. There’s also supposed to be a good super-speed fight between him and the evil Johny Quick.

This Week (Feb 24): Flash: Rebirth Concludes, Blackest Night Continues

Here are this week’s Flash appearances, including the long-awaited Flash: Rebirth #6, the conclusion of Blackest Night: JSA and the second-to-last chapter of Blackest Night itself.

The Flash: Rebirth #6

Flash: Rebirth #66 of 6 · 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Written by Geoff Johns
Art and covers by Ethan Van Sciver

In a battle along the outskirts of time, the secrets of the Speed Force have been revealed! The new archnemesis of those who ride the lightning is coming for Iris Allen. And the Barry Allen you knew is gone forever…or is he? What change does Wally West face? What destiny will Kid Flash choose? Prepare to meet a Flash Family that’s both familiar and different…and get to the starting line for the next epic adventures of the Speed Force!

This issue will ship with two covers. For every 25 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Ethan Van Sciver), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Ethan Van Sciver).

Edit: There’s a four-page preview at The Source.

Blackest Night #7

7 of 8 · 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
Written by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert
Variant cover by Rodolfo Migliari
Sketch variant cover by Ivan Reis

As Nekron continues to wage war on life throughout the universe, Hal Jordan discovers the grim, true mission behind the villain’s return. But the truth is so cosmically abysmal that it threatens to expose a secret that could tear the very universe asunder. You can’t miss this stunning, penultimate issue to the year’s biggest event!

This issue will ship with three covers. For every 25 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Rodolfo Migliari). For every 100 copies of the Standard Edition, retailers may order one copy of the Sketch Variant Edition (with a cover by Ivan Reis).

Blackest Night: JSA #3

Blackest Night: JSA #33 of 3 · 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Written by James Robinson
Art and cover by Eddy Barrows & Nei Ruffino · Variant cover by Gene Ha

The bloodthirsty combat in Manhattan reaches its stunning conclusion here! Earth-2 Superman returns to prove that the true legacy of the Justice Society of America is death. Can our heroes rise up to defeat their dead mentors, role models and villains? And can even the third- smartest man in the world, Mr. Terrific, devise a way to destroy them – or will Manhattan and the world perish under Nekron’s might?

This issue will ship with two covers. For every 25 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Eddy Barrows & Nei Ruffino), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Gene Ha).

Justice Society of America #36

Justice Society of America #3632 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Written by Bill Willingham
Art by Jesus Merino
Cover by Jesus Merino

The discovery of exactly who was behind the recent attacks on Obsidian and other members of the Justice Society puts the team on the trail of a true Axis of Evil! This means war!

Answering Searchers’ Questions

It’s always interesting to see what searches bring people to the site. Every once in a while I look through for questions, or implied questions, that aren’t already answered here.

Current Events

Why did Reverse Flash have a Brightest Day symbol?

We don’t know for sure yet, but the implication is that Brightest Day is related to characters who come back from the dead after or at the end of Blackest Night.

Is Jesse Quick back?

Well, she seems to be…but then she’s still appearing as Liberty Belle in Justice Society of America and the second features in JSA All-Stars, so it’s hard to tell. Maybe those take place earlier, maybe she goes back to the other costume, or maybe she’s just going to switch costumes depending on who she’s teaming up with that day.

Did Jay Garrick die in Smallville?

He only appeared in flashback, when Checkmate was rounding up the Justice Society and arresting its members on false charges. He was mentioned by other characters as if he was still alive. (Spoilers for Absolute Justice.)

Is DC working on an animated Flash movie?

If they are, they haven’t said anything about it. A Newsarama article more than a year ago included the Flash in a list of upcoming projects, but there’s been no mention of it since then.

Looking Back

What comes before Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge?

Rogues’ Revenge concludes a sort of trilogy, which you can follow in these collections:

  1. Flash: The Fastest Man Alive – Full Throttle
  2. JLA: Salvation Run
  3. Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge

It also takes place after the end of Flash vol.2 and during the first three issues of Final Crisis.

What year did the Flash superhero gain lightning?

That depends on what the lightning in question is:

  • The symbol dates back to Jay Garrick’s first appearance in 1940.
  • Lightning in the Flash’s origin goes back to Barry Allen’s first appearance in 1956.
  • Lightning effects used to convey speed were used occasionally in the early 1990s, became more prominent when Mike Wieringo worked on the book (1993-1994), and really became established during Terminal Velocity (1995).

Slightly Off-Topic

What is Dan Didio’s twitter name?

As far as I’m aware, Dan Didio isn’t on Twitter.

Who was the female speedster in Heroes?

The character’s name was Daphne Millbrook, and she was played by actress Brea Grant.

Flashforward novel how did it know the pope’s name?

It’s off-topic, but I get a lot of these since I posted a review of the novel.

Author Robert J. Sawyer explains in this video interview that he looked at the list of past popes’ names for those that had good reputations and might be “ready for a comeback.”

Speed Reading: Flash in the 1990s

Strangely enough, a lot of the sites I’ve linked to on Twitter or Facebook over the last few weeks were looking back at the 1990s and Mark Waid’s run on The Flash

Max Mercury.High Five! Comics profiles Max Mercury: The Speedster Time Forgot (for a while). Of course, Max goes back farther than — he started as Quality Comics’ Golden Age hero, Quicksilver — but the version of the character known today was established in “The Return of Barry Allen,” “Terminal Velocity,” “Dead Heat” and Impulse.

Terminal VelocityFor Valentine’s Day, Comics Should be Good’s Year of Cool Comics spotlights Flash: Terminal Velocity and a key event in the relationship between Wally West and Linda Park.

Westfield Comics’ Josh Crawley looks back at Mark Waid’s first run on The Flash, picking up with Flash #0 and running through “Terminal Velocity,” “Dead Heat” and “Race Against Time.”

Mania spotlights the 1990s Flash TV series in 15 more shows that were canceled before their time over the last 25 years. It’s an interesting mix of shows I remember fondly (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), shows I remember hearing about but never watched (Murder One), and shows I’ve completely forgotten (Street Hawk?). It also reminds me that I never got around to watching the last few episodes of Journeyman.