Those of you who pick up your comics on Wednesdays have no doubt already noticed: Although Francis Manapul was scheduled to draw both Flash #11 and Flash #12, his art only appeared on the cover of this week’s issue. Instead, Scott Kolins provides the interior artwork this time around.
The one-time regular Flash artist explains on Twitter:
Sorry guys I didn’t do flash 11 and only came back to help on 12. Editorial decided to get me started on the next project
Clearly Editorial wanted to get those last two issues of The Flash out before Flashpoint, and the clock was ticking. Manapul doesn’t say what the “next project” is, but I’m guessing it’s either not tied to DC’s event schedule or has a lot of lead time.
My guess: Someone else will pick up the inevitable post-Flashpoint Flash relaunch, but we may see Francis Manapul back for the equally-inevitable Flash: Secret Origin.
Personally I’m sad to see him go. His art was a big part of what I enjoyed about this run, and I do think that “The Road to Flashpoint” will ultimately suffer a bit for being split between two artists with different styles. It really makes me wish DC and/or Geoff Johns hadn’t tied the series to another event with its own deadlines.
One last note: It’s not clear whether Scott Kolins is doing the art for next month’s series finale (except for the 5 pages that Francis Manapul mentions elsewhere on Twitter), but after the two Rogue Profiles and #11, it seems like a safe bet.
UPDATE: Francis Manapul writes more about the move on his blog, saying:
I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to finish this story arc. However, in order to get the last 2 issues out before Flashpoint they had to be done in an impossible time frame that there was no way I could do it without the work suffering.
As for the series’ now-legendary delays:
I will state on the record that I’ve never had an issue with turning in my work and editorial has never had a problem with me. I may have stumbled a bit out of the gate as I was on the road filming during my first 3-4 issues of the Flash, but with the lead time we had we were able to avoid any major delays. I take my normal 4-5 weeks to pencil, ink, and watercolor a book which is the standard time everybody gets just to pencil it. Much of the delays were due to the multiple stops and starts in the work process that is completely out of my hands. Hopefully I won’t have to address this issue again, but I just felt the need to clarify to try and avoid further vilification.
As for what the future holds for the artist:
Moving forward my next project at DC is in the works. I’m EXTREMELY EXCITED about it, and my editors enthusiasm and endless support has been great! I’ve been developing it with my collaborator and editorial soon after my last issue of the Flash. Hopefully if all goes well, we can get started on doing the new book in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime I’ve done a few covers for Flashpoint as well as other DC titles, I also ended up contributing 5 pages for Flash 12 to help close out the series.
I, for one, will be keeping an eye out for it!
Scott Kolins is allowed to draw as many issues as he likes – he is, by far, my favorite Flash artist.
Agreed. But I like his old style better. I don’t know if he wants to go back to that style.
Alright, I could live with that! XD
At this point I can’t really say I care. Flash #10 was a boring read, and given all the “everything will change” nature of Flashpoint and the cancellation (and no doubt, future relaunch) of the regular Flash title I’ve had enough. I’m skipping Flashpoint (everything, even the Kid Flash mini-series). Whether I come back to the Flash franchise (which I’ve been faithful to since 1987) depends on what happens with the character and title post-Flashpoint.
I love Scott. He gets me, man. I think he was trying to somewhat mimic the style Francis had already established on the book. The man is a deadline machine with multiple styles, he needs to be anchored to a title monthly.
Wally, hon, you were not a bit of a jerk under Baron…you were a lot of a jerk. And not only under Baron as Chunk can attest. Fortunately, you were a loveable jerk who was likely only saved by Linda giving you the evil eye on occasion.
Live with it. ;P
i actually didn’t even notice… woops.
I’m already missing Manapul. His art is so beautiful, damn, he is one of my favorite artits! And in a Flash book? How awesome is that! Sigh…anyway. I dig Kolins too, I prefer his old style though.
P.S: Yes, I’m ok with Kolins taking over the book, just a little sad.
I just noticed Scott has been added to the Heroes Con guest list. Fantastic.
Barry Allen looks goofy when Kolins draws him.
Duh. Flash (anyone in the suit) looks goofy when wearing skin-tight dudes with pointy ear covers. Can you imagine going into your local DMV for a smog check while dressed that way? Or a restaurant? Goofy as a certain Disney character. ;P
Yeah I do think he looks kind of goofy, and indeed, it looks like he tried to mimic Manapul style, the issue was great, but I like more the dynamics of Manapul’s art in a Flash book.
I really love Scott Kolins and actually am completely ok with this, but I’m a little afraid that this art change will cause this book to lose readers…I’ve read plenty of reviews that say they’ve only stuck with the book because of the gorgeous art. Hopefully I’m wrong!
I NEED to find a site with even one colored scan from #11 so I too can know what this old/new style talk is about. Loved Kollins work before. Don’t know what ‘washed out’ means unless it’s for the ‘flashback’ scenes I’ve heard about?
I really love Francis Manapul’s art…
I’m really not a Scott Kolins fan…
…But if sending Manapul down the road means that Flash will actually be coming out on time then GOOD RIDDANCE
Well better late than never, personally I wish DC had done this after the first 6 issues it’s clear that Manapul has no business doing a monthly book. I can’t even put into words how angry and disapointed I am in the guy he’s basically sucked all the momentum and hype of The Flash relaunch. And if he never draws another Barry Allen Flash book i’ll be very happy.
Thank god that Scott is there to pick up the ball that Manapul dropped. And hopefully DC will realise that he should be the guy to draw Flash when it’s relaunched after Flashpoint. Because DC cannot afford anymore delays after the Rebirth and Flash debacles that have taken most of the fun out of what’s a very good comic when it actually comes out.
You know, I seem to remember Manapul being a lot more timely on his LSH run (and frankly, I liked that art better anyway). I wonder what happened?
More Flash. More Flash.
I really love Manapul’s work and will miss the Toronto-vibe he puts into Central City. For that reason I’m bummed that he’s leaving the book…but there’s no denying the delays have hurt the series. I hope it can pick up again.
Honestly, I’m glad that the delays weren’t Manapul’s fault. I really liked his art, so the thought that he was holding up the book bothered me. Of course, now I wonder what was really causing them, but either way, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just two issues, and I’m excitedly looking forward to his new project. It’s a shame he couldn’t have enough of a Flash run to go down as one of the definitive artists for the character, though.
I just think the style differences are a little too great. Still I will be sticking with Flash through Flashpoint and beyond.
So, is he subtly implying it’s Johns’ fault?
I like Manapul, but I’ll be just as happy, happier even, if Kollins returns!
Never cared much for Manapul’s Flash stuff. It seemed a bit soft and pastel looking, which wasn’t helped by using only his pencils with no clarifying inks. It wasn’t the look I’m looking for in an intense, hard-driving action book like the Flash (despite Geoff John’s half-hearted attempts at police procedural). Kolins, while occasionally veering a bit too cartoony, delivers what I’m looking for…so I’m hoping he sticks around for awhile after Flashpoint.
As far as Manapul’s work… I enjoyed his work on The Flash but I felt some of his best work was on his brief run on Adventure Comics and on some of the Red Robin covers he did. I think the Red Robin costume looks a little ridiculous, but the way Manapul draws it… it’s at least tolerable. If he’s leaving The Flash and/or Flash related titles I do hope it’s for Red Robin.
I’ve really liked Scott Kolins stuff in the past but the recent work in Legacies, JSA, and Flash has made me take a second look. At first, I thought perhaps it was a rush job just as mentioned above but the difference as far as I can tell in the work I really like and the recent stuff is that the inks define and mold some of the unique proportions and spatial relationships he creates. The three more recent titles have a straight pencil look that come across with bizarre or strained looking facial expressions. I enjoy the old stuff just the same – but this suggests to me that what did it for me was the marriage of the inks to his style. I don’t know that Zoom’s crazed underbite would have worked as well if it hadn’t been constrained by those inks.
I’m curious to see if anyone else has noticed this distinction in the recent titles he’s done as compared to our Flash favorites from yesteryear with the gritty feel…?