Monthly Archives: April 2010

Dead Parents and Super-Hero Origins

One last WonderCon post!

At the Comic Arts Conference panel on super-hero origins, James Robinson and Steve Englehart agreed that one of the key elements to a good origin is that it includes the hero’s motivation and a hook that readers can relate to. Robinson cited the Silver-Age Flash as missing that compelling motivation: Okay, he put on a costume to fight crime, but why? Why keep going?

Robinson also talked about why so many heroes have dead parents in their past: the fear of losing a parent is something that any reader can relate to. In fact, when someone asked later in the panel how one could create a good origin, Englehart flippantly replied, “Kill their parents?”

Later in the discussion, the moderator asked about retelling origins. Robinson said he was always wary of destroying what was already there, and preferred to try to add new detail around what already works. He cited Geoff Johns’ revised origin for Barry Allen, in which his mother is killed and his father framed for it, as a successful example.

Personally I disagree. It drastically alters the character’s history, and raises questions of why his history hasn’t changed in other ways, but most importantly, it introduces a cliche that wasn’t present in the original version of the story. If you’re going to revise a story, it seems better to remove overused elements than add them.

The same weekend, the New York Times published an article on the role of parents in young-adult fiction: traditionally, the role of a hero’s parents in classic literature was to die, or at least get out of the way, forcing the protagonist into his journey of self-discovery: the orphan’s “triumphant rise.” (via Neil Gaiman)

Yeah, writers have been using this trope for a long time.

Kid Flash to be featured in New Young Justice Cartoon!

Exciting news coming down the pipeline. Announced at Cartoon Network’s Annual Advertising Upfront Presentation and confirmed by DC Comics’ Official Blog, The Source, Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. Animation will be bringing “Young Justice” to the small screen for their 2010 Cartoon Line-Up.

The show is described as:

In Young Justice, being a teenager means proving yourself over and over—to peers, parents, teachers, mentors and, ultimately, to yourself. But what if you’re not just a normal teenager? What if you’re a teenage super hero? Are you ready to join the ranks of the great heroes and prove you’re worthy of the Justice League? That’s exactly what the members of Young Justice—Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Superboy, Miss Martian and Artemis—will found out, whether they have what it takes to be a proven hero. This all-new series is produced by Warner Bros. Animation and based upon characters from DC Comics. Sam Register (Teen Titans, Ben 10, Batman: The Brave and the Bold) is the executive producer. Brandon Vietti (Batman: Under the Red Hood, Superman Doomsday, The Batman) and Greg Weisman (Gargoyles, The Spectacular Spider-Man, W.I.T.C.H.) are the producers.

Not a bad little combination although very little reminds me of the Young Justice that I remember and loved. Not only with the presence of Aqualad but also with him randomly being Afro-Atlantean. I guess from a young african-american kids perspective it’s nice to be able to relate to characters, but you should have just thrown Static in there or something. But on the plus side this hopefully means that we will be seeing tons of different versions of Kid Flash action figures. Which will hopefully make up for never getting a Teen Titans one. Not surprised to see Sam Register on this instead of Bruce Timm, as Register is red hot on the TV animation scene, while Timm’s focus has been on the DC Animated Movie front for some time. I’m definitely hoping they tone down the animation this time around though. Teen Titans was almost obnoxious at times. But I guess it’s apples and oranges.

This is the first promotional picture released.

The design for Kid Flash looks a little busy with the random padding and armor look, but I guess it makes a little sense. The goggles I actually kind of like. They are practical for a speedster and a nice little nod to Impulse, although the red hair makes me think this might be Wally like in the Teen Titans cartoon. They may end up avoiding the secret identity thing completely though. It’s anyone’s guess. I wish they would have kept Bart’s original boots though. They would look great visually, especially with the new pseudo-armor look they have going for him. Robin, Miss Martian and Superboy barely sport any differences from their comic book counterparts. Except for Superboy’s random cargo pants tucked into his boots. Arrowette now known as Artemis (are they trying to go for a dual association with Green Arrow and Wonder Woman maybe?) looks kind of fugly as far as the suit goes. I have no more words for Spike…er Aqualad. Except for “Ugh”.

By the way, did I miss an announcement or something? I was pretty sure that DC wasn’t allowed to use the Superboy name in anything while the legal stuff was being sorted out. For those that have been living under a rock for the past few years, DC Comics was sued by the estate of Jerry Siegel over the rightful ownership of the Superboy character. Honestly I haven’t been following the case that closely myself since I really don’t have that much invested in the character. Especially now. Something obviously must have changed though, with the recent return of Conner to comics and now his inclusion in “Young Justice”

Needless to say I’m anxiously awaiting this series and any announcements as far as action figures go especially. We will keep you posted.

Devin “The Flash” Johnson

Kubert Already Working on Flashpoint

Bleeding Cool managed to get a little bit more out of Andy Kubert about Flashpoint: he’s already working on the book even though it comes out in 2011, to make sure it’ll be finished on time.

The article also implies that it’s going to be a separate book from the ongoing Flash series.

Keep in mind that there are a lot of things we don’t know yet about the book. Really, all we know for certain is:

  • It’s coming out in 2011.
  • It’s by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert.
  • It’s about the Flashes.
  • Something is threatening time in the DC Universe.

Among the things we don’t know:

  • We don’t know whether it will permanently* change the Flash status quo.
  • We don’t know whether it will permanently change the Flash’s (or anyone else’s) history.
  • We don’t know whether it will be a self-contained story like Green Lantern: Recharge, a crossover between a couple of books like Sinestro Corps War, or a mega-event like Blackest Night.
  • We don’t know whether it will lead into, grow out of, or ignore the Kid Flash series DC says is still in the works.
  • We don’t know whether Flashpoint itself is a miniseries, a pair of bookends to a crossover, or even an original graphic novel.
  • We don’t even really know that it won’t be a major arc within the Flash series, unless someone has an exact quote from Andy Kubert or Geoff Johns. Bleeding Cool is, after all, a rumor site, and in an article full of statements like “it looks like…” and “I guess…,” the only definite information is the fact that Andy Kubert is already working on it.

Not that any of this will stop the Internet from jumping to conclusions, of course.

*Whatever “permanently” means in comics.

Anaheim Comic Con 2010 – Con Report & Photos

I had a better time than I expected at Wizard World’s first Anaheim Comic Con. Not surprisingly, it was similar to the last Wizard World Los Angeles, except without any comics publishers. (I guess they all went to C2E2.) Without Marvel, DC, etc., the con focused mostly on dealers, fan groups, artists and celebrities.

Read on: A Day at Anaheim Comic Con. Or check out my photos of the con on Flickr.

DC Direct Solicits for December 2010

DC Direct’s Solicits for December are out and there are some great Flash related releases coming up.


The hugely successful BLACKEST NIGHT action figure line continues!

Included in this eighth installment of the series are: Black Lantern Black Flash, Professor Zoom’s reanimated corpse, holds curious sway over The Flash’s other undead rogues; Orange Lantern Lex Luthor, the new Orange Power Ring seeks out Lex Luthor for his avarice and lust for power; Indigo Tribe The Atom, with compassion and sense of duty stronger than ever, Ray Palmer serves as the binding force uniting the spectrum of power; Sinestro Corps Member Scarecrow, delights in instilling fear in others and is rewarded with the Yellow Ring of Power.

The Black Lantern Black Flash figure stands at 6.75″ high, features multiple points of articulation and includes a display base. Character-appropriate accessories are also included.

4-color clamshell blister card packaging.


Real compact – with real impact!

BLAM! A funky, chunky collection of boldly designed toys that pack a lot of punch in a squatty body!

POW! A striking, hyper-stylized twist on the world’s greatest heroes and their biggest foes. Too tough to call small – you’ll want to collect them all!

Packaged on a blister card, each measures approximately 2.5″ to 4″ tall with three points of articulation.

On Sale December 1, 2010

and his Zoom counterpart:


Real compact – with real impact!

BLAM! A funky, chunky collection of boldly designed toys that pack a lot of punch in a squatty body!

POW! A striking, hyper-stylized twist on the world’s greatest heroes and their biggest foes. Too tough to call small – you’ll want to collect them all!

Packaged on a blister card, each measures approximately 2.5″ to 4″ tall with three points of articulation.

On Sale December 1, 2010

The Black Lantern Reverse Flash is a must have for me. Especially since we have yet to get a proper Professor Zoom or Zoom in the DC Direct lines. Well except for that artist-specific, out of scale one coming up in the Classified Series. It’s a shame that I only own five Reverse Flashes. And none of them were made in the traditional sculpt. Two are from JLU(Justice Lords large and small figures), One is a Toyfare Exclusive from the 90s JLA Line, and the other two are from Infinite Heroes and DC Direct’s short lived Pocket Heroes line. I’m actually surprised we’ve yet to see a Zoom in the Minimates line either. I’m crossing my fingers that this Flash Relaunch leads to a DC Direct Flash Series similar to what they’ve been doing with Green Lantern. And then when the movie hits. Wow. I think we are in for a great next few years as far as collecting goes.

I really don’t know what these Blammoids are or what the point of them is but I will definitely be picking up both the Flash and Zoom. I have a feeling it’s going to be a slow month for Flash collectibles anyway. Unless DC Direct or Mattel kicks it up with a *crosses fingers* Flash line or Flash-heavy DCUC release.

I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of the last three heroclix I need from the recent release. Expect a full write up when they get here.

Devin “The Flash” Johnson

Design and Win Your Own Flash Ring Contest to End at Midnight Tonight!

Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances the Design and Win Your Own Flash Ring Contest will be ending at the end of the day, 4/19/2010. All entries must be in by 12:00am Pacific Time to be counted and sent on to ArrobaSilver for the final judging of the contest.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause anyone and I wish all of the current entrants good luck in the contest. The winner will be announced in the very near future and I will keep you all posted on the date.

Thanks again for all the great entries we have received thus far and remember you still have until 12:00am Pacific Time to get those last entries in.

You can find the rest of the contest details HERE

Thank you for your understanding. Any further inquiries can be sent to or

Thanks again.

Devin “The Flash” Johnson

P.S. ArrobaSilver is still offering 10% off for all readers of They have a plethora of officially licensed Flash and Justice League Rings and other jewelry available. Enter GA001 at checkout to apply the discount.