December 31, 2010

Flash & Speed Force in 2010: A Look Back

Category: General — By

2010 was a big year for the Flash. After five years of meandering (since DC decided to cancel Wally West’s series during Infinite Crisis because, hey, you can’t have a Crisis without a dead Flash, but couldn’t figure out what to do with the relaunch), it’s beginning to look like DC has finally gotten the character back on track.

The year opened with the wrap-ups of the Flash: Rebirth and Blackest Night: The Flash miniseries, then ran headlong into the Flash vol.3 relaunch in April by Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul. The new series starring Barry Allen has completed its first story arc, introduced new characters in the form of reverse-Rogues, and presented two Rogue Profile spotlight issues. On the downside, the series has been plagued by delays since summer, and those two Rogue spotlights were added to help get the book back on schedule.

Speedsters Really Get Around

Barry Allen has been all over the place: The Flash, Blackest Night, Brightest Day, Green Lantern… A number of Barry Allen/Flash action figures have also been released or announced this year.

Bart Allen, as Kid Flash, has rejoined the Teen Titans.

Jay Garrick continues to be a mainstay of the Justice Society of America.

On TV, Batman: The Brave and the Bold featured a Flash-focused episode starring Jay Garrick, Barry Allen and Wally West (as Kid Flash)…with John Wesley Shipp voicing Professor Zoom. Cartoon Network’s Young Justice launched with Kid Flash as a main character. And of course there’s the continuing presence of Flash fandom on The Big Bang Theory.

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Plush Impulse

Category: Fandom — By

Today’s guest post is by Christine Adamo.

I recently bought a Funko Flash plush, and it inspired me to create a similar plush of my favorite character who doesn’t get much love these days in toy form — Bart Allen. Especially as Impulse (Don’t get me wrong; I love that he still exists as Kid Flash, but I, like many, long for the Bart of old).

Reverse-Flash Immunity

Category: Opinion — By

The Professor Zoom spotlight in The Flash #8 (review coming soon) reminded me of something that’s been bugging me about the current version of the character. In Flash: Rebirth, it’s pointed out that while Eobard Thawne can change history to make Barry Allen’s life a living hell, he can’t prevent Barry from becoming the Flash. Without a Flash, there’s no Reverse-Flash, and without the positive speed force that Barry Allen generates, there’s no negative speed force for Thawne.

Somewhere along the line, it turned into the idea (stated in The Flash Secret Files 2010) that Thawne can’t kill Barry Allen because he needs Barry’s speed force to power his own.


They made a big point that the speed force, once generated, stretches out and touches all times, past and present. That’s why Jay Garrick, Johnny Quick and Max Mercury could have super-speed before Barry was even born. That’s why John Fox and Eobard Thawne could have super-speed centuries after Barry’s death. That’s why Wally West, Bart Allen, Jesse Quick, and the surviving older speedsters could all have super speed while Barry was gone.

Thawne can’t erase Barry Allen from history, but he can still kill Barry anytime he wants…after Barry becomes the Flash!

December 30, 2010

Interview: Paul Ryan Talks Flash

Today’s guest post is the second in a series of interviews by Greg Elias on The Art of Speed.

With a Flash resume spanning a presidential election, trips to Hell, living clothes and a cosmic death-race, Paul Ryan’s work on the title is some of the most diverse of any artist to ever pencil those pages.

Starting with issue 119, a crossover with the Final Night mini-series, Ryan was paired with Flash scribe Mark Waid. From the Presidential Race storyline through Hell to Pay, Ryan was present for the return of The Top, Wally’s temporary relocation to Santa Marta and the raging comeback of the undead Rogues.

When Waid took a break from Flash in 1997, well-known writers Grant Morrison and Mark Millar took over for a year’s worth of stories. The tone of the book changed with the reintroduction of temporal challenges, mystical concepts and sci-fi elements reminiscent of the Silver Age Flash, as well as the expansion of more recent tropes like the Speed Force and Wally’s childhood.

Ryan also illustrated Legends of the DC Universe: Crisis on Infinite Earths, by Crisis architect Marv Wolfman, which tells the story of Barry Allen’s time on Earth D.

Previously an artist over at Marvel Comics, Ryan co-created the New Universe series DP7 and spent a notable, lengthy run on Fantastic Four. Most recently, he has illustrated The Phantom comic strip.

Recently collected for the first time, Emergency Stop and The Human Race showcase much of the second half of Ryan’s run on Flash.

Ryan answered our questions via email, revealing some of the process and his favorite Flash.

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December 29, 2010

Comic Critics on the Origin of the Flash

Category: Flash History — By

The webcomic Comic Critics presents its take on Grant Morrison-style minimalist origin retellings of various super-heroes, including the Flash.

Head over to Comic Critics to read the conclusion (and the rest of the origins).

As for the Flash one: Harsh, but so, so true.

December 28, 2010

This Week: Flash #8

Category: Out This Week — By

This week sees the release of The Flash #8, a one-shot Rogue Profile story focusing on the Reverse Flash.

Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by SCOTT KOLINS
1:10 Variant cover by STANLEY “ARTGERM” LAU

“Reverse Flash Rebirth!” In this FLASHPOINT prelude, don’t miss the epic telling of the origin of Barry Allen’s greatest foe, Professor Zoom! Eobard Thawne’s story is just beginning — and he intends to finish it with The Flash!

If you haven’t seen it, DC released a preview last week at the Source and at CBR.