Flash Reboot Creative Team: Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato (UPDATED)

DC has announced ten of the new titles and their creative teams launching as part of their massive universe-wide revamp this September, including The Flash #1.

Rising superstar Francis Manapul, fresh off his acclaimed run on THE FLASH with Geoff Johns, makes his comics writing debut in THE FLASH #1, sharing both scripting and art duties with Brian Buccellato. The Flash knows he can’t be everywhere at once, but what happens when he faces an all-new villain who can? The cover to issue #1 is by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato.

Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato on art? An all-new villain in the first issue?

DC just found a way to keep me reading!

Obviously Manapul as a writer is an unknown quantity, but I love his art on the book, and the way Buccellato colors it. And assigning him the book now seems like a clear vote of confidence from DC upper management, further supporting the idea that he wasn’t solely responsible for the delays in Flash vol.3. I’d hazard a guess that a big part of it was Geoff Johns being tied up with preparations for the universe-wide reboot. That’s got to have been time consuming.

Update: Francis Manapul, addressing concerns about the team’s writing experience, posted the following on Twitter:


As far as what’s in store for the Scarlet Speedster:


Buccellato adds:


Update: Here’s why I’m calling this Flash vol.4.

Update: Bob Wayne’s second letter to retailers insists: “this is the launch of the New DCU. It is not a ‘reboot.’ I think you will soon discover why that is.” My take, based on what I’ve seen in today’s announcements, is that they’re basically doing what they did after Crisis on Infinite Earths, just in a more coordinated manner. The key difference being, it seems that this isn’t going all the way back to the beginning for every character. We’ll have to see what that means for the Flash. I just hope it means we won’t be reading updated versions of old stories every few months.

(More reports & commentary: CNN, Comics Alliance, The Beat, Comics Should Be Good, Robot 6, Comics Nexus, Newsarama, Firestorm Fan.)


44 thoughts on “Flash Reboot Creative Team: Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato (UPDATED)

  1. BMF

    This excites me a lot – love Francis’ art and as a writer, well, everyone deserves a shot right? Maybe we’ll get some proper stories now rather than hagiography.

  2. Flash Fact

    I’m actually really excited for this. It’ll be nice, and don’t take this as anti-Geoff, to not have someone named Johns write the book for a bit.

    1. Aedien

      I agree with you, it’ll be nice to have one of the newer writers working with The Flash, he may not have a ton of experience, but he can bring fresh eyes to the series.

  3. Jimmy

    This restores some confidence, but I’m still cautious at the same time too. I’m keeping all of this with a level head.

  4. Lia

    A bit nervous that I’ve never even heard of the co-writer before, but glad to see Manapul’s still on the book. As I mentioned on Twitter, his work on that cover makes the new costume look not bad.

    …still hoping the chinstrap goes, however.

  5. Savitar

    At least Manapul will be able to focus more on the title without having to worry about being DC’s Chief Creative Officer. Stability is what this title (and character) need and this sounds like a good fit.

    His art is terrific, I’m willing to take a chance on his writing.

  6. JonQCitizen

    This is awesome and exciting!! New writers with fresh perspective, great artwork….The Flash should be great!

    Actually, after reading The Source’s article on all the new comics announced…I’m really excited for September! Mr. Terrific looks awesome, The Savage Hawkman, Green Arrow…they all look great!!

    What excites me most is that they are giving artists a chance to write (Ethan Van Sciver, Manapul, Jurgens, etc.) I think this is really important…these are the ones who turn the writers words and ideas into visual creations….they are immensely important to any story, and I think have the ability to write their own stories as well!

      1. JonQCitizen

        Yeah, I’ve been a big Hawkman fan for years! Philip Tan is a decent artist (see: his work on Green Lantern: Agent Orange), and I’ve liked how Tony Daniel has grown into a good writer.

        Together they have the opportunity to continue growing while developing a character that has a great mythos, savage fighting skills, and an o.k. Rogues gallery.

  7. Kyer

    *sigh* I think the artwork is terrific and that Manapul will likely be a nice if not good writer. Also that the Barry fans will be ecstatic.

    I am sorry. I want to be enthused…realize that I should be…but it’s not there. As much as I like Barry, my heart still worries about Wally and it’s coloring my whole perspective on DC right now. Kind of like when there’s been a carwreck with your family involved and you hear that your dad is just fine, but there has been little to no word on the condition of your mother. You want to feel glad about your dad…and you are…but the shadow cast by the unknown on the other loved one just…saps you. Between real life and this I can’t even dredge up more than a smile about recognizing the contest picture the instant it popped up. Just…drained.

    Does anyone else feel this way? Like somebody pulled the plug on life and your just waiting for the doctor’s report?

    1. Jesse

      Yes. It took Barry’s series to make me realize I am not really a Flash fan, but a Wally West fan.

      1. Mike

        Same here. I’ve been a Flash fan since I was a kid, but it was always Wally. Turns out the costume and the power are awesome, but much like Spider-Man, it makes a BIG difference who’s in that costume and using that power. And if Johns can’t get me to care about Barry (other than the super powered “Uncle Ben” mentor role he provided to Wally), then I doubt anyone else can.

        1. Kyer

          Thanks. I always felt bad when others said that it didn’t matter who wore the costume because I could care less about the costume (I actually dislike the cowls and Barry’s straight belt) it was that well-meaning goofballish awesome guy who sometimes wore strange red costumes who made me smile. A suit can’t make me smile and go FYeah! Wally did. A lot. I got addicted to Wally. Maybe there’s a Wally Anonymous addiction place I can go to and get some sort of closure if DC kills him one way or another.

          1. papa zero

            You shouldn’t feel bad about that. While I prefer Barry – it makes perfect sense that you would like Wally more than the costume since it is the unique character engine that drives the interest. As well it should. Unfortunately, I still don’t really recognize anything about Barry… and though I’ve been willing to accept a recharacterization, he’s been pretty flat in the character engine department unless you count the parent avenger bit.

          2. Kyer

            Papa Zero, I’m not one of those who thinks Barry is without a personality. The character is (or was, who knows know since Rebith?) honest, a bit reclusive, a nerd (comic book nerd so that is a compliment!) honorable and all that. I like him. It’s just not enough to make me love him. I like him like I do Superman and Jay and so forth. Actually finding it kind of disheartening that a Barry fan is having a hard time finding a reason to like Barry in particular. That’s just…wrong to me. I’m sure if you give it more thought you’ll realize why Barry tugs at your heartstrings more so than another. 🙂

      2. kyer

        You…yes…I came to that realization just recently as well. It really hit home with reading how Manapul is not a fan of there being two Flashes and then I came here and read Kelson’s post and…I didn’t capture the updated picture of Flash.

        Let me explain that.

        Since falling for (well, WALLY I realize now) I’ve captured every DC picture of the Flash I could find so I could enjoy them over and over again and for nostalgia’s sake. I even captured Barry’s pictures by Alex Ross though I’d heard how he felt about Wally…because the art was great and Barry meant a great deal to Wally so I felt I should care too. (Bart as Impulse was a joy in itself and I loved the ‘modern’ art/friendship scenes of Shade and Jay.) I realize now that I ONLY cared about Barry because Wally did. In the book JLA One, I paid extra attention to his scenes, but enjoyed Hal and Kal-El just as much as I did Barry.

        So…now we Wally (as opposed to Flash) fans can only sit around and pray Wally is somewhere in those 50 other books. I’m hoping for Nightwing’s now that Flash and JLI are definite NOT’s.

        1. Aedien

          I feel the same way, I really cared about Barry because of his relationship with Wally. I do like Barry, I love that he’s sweet and nerdy and that he’s always seemed to have a clear cut definition of right and wrong, but I started reading the Flash comics because of Wally. I worry about him too, I don’t even want to think about him getting killed off (though flashes seem to die and come back fairly regularly) but I’m also worried about him being shuffled off somewhere with his kids until they grow up. I hope they’ll be nice to my favorite red head.

  8. EJ

    Ever since DC announced this relaunch of their entire line of comics’ i’ve basically been waiting to hear about how it affected The Flash and GL’s books before commenting further.

    Now that the first shoe has dropped with Flash, i’m halfway out the door and ready to close it. This is not only a bad move but it’s mindblowingly stupid proving that maybe all those people who said DC has no clue what to do with the book were right. Flash should be written by a pre-eminant writter with some cashe and an artist that is high profile and can do a monthly book. Handing the keys over to a the guy who basically sabotaged it is a slap in the face to all the fans who put up with the delays of the last relaunch.

    Right now i’m honestly ready to walk it’s been alot of fun coming back to comics these past 7 years, but more and more it’s looking like Flashpoint will be my jumping off point smh.

    1. Kyer

      Hold da phone…What do you mean by sabotaged? Because if you mean Manapul, I remember reading an interview or something with him where he said he was not the cause of the book delays and I had no reason to disbelieve him. For me the book has only been sabotaged by the absence of Wally: a reason that half the fan base could care less about. If the story was good, a delays shouldn’t really matter all that much. I’d wait bi-monthly for a good Wally story. Look how long it takes for a new season of Doctor Who to come out. Waiting multiple weeks just seems normal to me….as long as I know something IS coming.

      1. EJ

        Then you’re a much more patient and forgiving guy than I am. Because I hate delays and have even strongly contemplated dropping both GL and Flash because of them and I love the stories that Johns has told in both books.

        Delays have always been something that has caused me to drop books in the past with those 2 being the lone excemptions over these past 7 years since I came back to comics.

        1. Kyer

          In that case might I suggest waiting for the trades when they come out with the new Barry stories? I like trades because a) I can read the stories all at once even though I already know what they are about through forums and b.I worry less about them getting a bit beat up when I stuff one into my messenger bag to read during lunch break. c) Less commericals. 🙂

          1. EJ

            I’m a floppy fan, i’ve never had the patience to wait for a year later until DC finally decides to go ahead and collect something.

            Which is why like I said if I decide that i’m not going to continue collecting comics after Flashpoint. That’ll be it for me unless one of my friends on a rare occassion decide to pick up a trade of Flash and I read it and love it.

          2. Kyer

            Okay….I’m in an odd situation so kind of have to wait for the trades most of the time.

            So don’t buy…but if the delays are the bulk of your disagreement with DC then here’s my last suggestion: keep an eye out. If what you hear sounds very promising, then wait for about a week before the next issue is to be released, then buy the older copies online. When they come in, get the newest. Now pace out reading them in order so that you read the latest no more than three weeks before the next issue is due out. You’ll get the experience and the satisfaction of everything except being able to knowledgeable gush or complain about it in a timely manner. heh.

    2. Esteban Pedreros

      I think Manapul has very little fault.

      Manapul is a good artist, he did a good job with the Flash but he only got delayed in an issue or two of the book. The delays were Editorial’s fault, probably Johns’s fault, Manapul got assigned to do cover artwork because he didn’t have a script to draw. And he was out of the last few issues of the Flash because DC hurried it’s publication and he was responsible enough to say that he couldn’t deliver in the time he was given to do the job.

      Johns has done some good stories, but he is not beyond criticism, some people seem afraid to say “this book that Johns wrote, sucks”, they aren’t afraid to do the same with other writers, but they put a lot of faith and patience in his work and he doesn’t deliver all the time, and that’s ok, he doesn’t have to be perfect. His work with the Flash hasn’t been good (IMHO; from Blitz to the date), Rebirth wasn’t a good story, and the 12 issues that followed weren’t good. He has proved to be more concerned about satisfying his own fanboy wishes than telling a good story.

      DC brought Barry back, but why?

      Did they have good stories to tell with the character?

      If Flashpoint proves to be a good story then it’ll be the only good one with the character since its return.

      What really bothers me is that DC seems absolutely lost. They simply don’t know what they are doing. They invest heavily in something, if it doesn’t work, they turn around and start over…

      How can you be so convinced about something and 6 months later you aren’t. If it was a matter of adjusting yourself to the situation, the adjustments should be minor… it’s like they are lost in the sea and they turn the ship around every time the sailors start dying.

      Well, enough of my rant, I’m not happy… I wished I cared less about the company’s characters.

  9. Kyer

    Apologies to Kelson.

    I’ve started and erased three posts over at CB just in the past hour. Not sure why, but for some reason I’m feeling out of place over there. Take it as your site seems so much more like chatting at home rather than at a conference room.

    But if multiple posts are eating your bandwidth, I’ll cut down to no more than whatever you say.

    1. Kelson Post author

      No worries. My hosting plan doesn’t charge me for bandwidth, just for memory usage. So it’s not the total number of comments, but how quickly they come in.

  10. Realitätsprüfung

    Well, the book will definitely still **look** good, at least.

    But trusting one of DC’s biggest guns to an up-and-coming artist whose drawn basically 2 Flash stories is a big risk. It’s a risk that might payoff, of course. The trend here seems to be artists-turned-writers. If there’s a 2nd Flash book at some point, does this mean it’ll be by Ethan Van Sciver?

    (And now, having written that, I want to read that Flashforce book by EVS…)

    1. Kyer

      I think people are worrying too much about the writing. From the clips above it seems Manapul has written before so he’s not new to it, plus I’m sure he’s getting or is going to get plenty of input.

      (And, yeah, I feel weird having more faith in a book that I have no intention of going out of my way for.)

  11. papa zero

    I’m sure Manapul was aware of the plot outlines to come fron Johns – so, for better or worse we might actually see those stories come to light after all.

    1. Esteban Pedreros

      Hopefully he’ll get to write his own stories.

      Honestly… You had 18 issues by Johns. I didn’t enjoy them and I don’t care what was left untold. I have no reason to expect it to be any better (and why should we be expected to have any more patience?)

      To me that’s like saying “I hope that Chris Roberson gets to tell JMS’s story”, when I’m actually crossing my fingers that they get away from it A.S.A.P.

      And I’m not saying that Barry should die and Wally should come back, I’m simply saying that the book should move forward and focus on telling good stories, not on building and building story elements for the future story that’s always promised but never arrives

  12. Esteban Pedreros

    I must say that this first announcement has left me cold. I have absolutely no interest in any of the books. I feel no respect for Wallace or Krul, it pains me to see that DC doesn’t think the same and Krul gets to stay on Green Arow, a horrible book.

    Wallace with the Titans (with Deathstroke), is probably the worst ongoing DC is publishing now. I don’t understand why he gets to stay writing comics, much less launching a new book.

    Gail Simone looks like EVS’s chaperone.

    I don’t know when did Jurgens become a Superstar artist.

    And I sincerily have no interest in seeing Manapul and Buccellato in The Flash.

    Hopefully the rest of the announcements will be better, I doubt it. DC is relaunching but keeping the same people, and the same people simply are not gonna cut it for me.

  13. CalmlyDisturbed

    I like Manapul’s art but I still feel like the delays were his fault. But I will give him another chance. If this comic is delayed alot then it was his fault but if not then it must’ve be John’s fault.

  14. Kyer

    I agree that I haven’t really enjoyed Johns on Flash since Blitz (I consider Ignition to have been the epilogue to Blitz) although I have enjoyed the (non-gory) sections of Brightest Day and his GL work. Heck, can’t think of one writer whose hit it out of the ballpark each time, though. It’s the speed force engine thing that most ticked me off until this year. Then when he did bring back Wally it was so incredibly lame and only to uplift Barry even more. pfft. (You notice that twice now he’s used Bart to ‘address’ fan rage over what he’s done?)

    Anyway, it’s really disheartening to realize that the entirety of Rebirth, Dastardly Death, Road to Flashpoint, and Flashpoint have been for the sole purpose of redoing the legacy of the Silver Age.

    By that I mean that FLASHPOINT the story that was going to change the DC world *in a Flash* was…a retelling or better yet a *modernization* of how Barry Allen brought about the Silver Age. Only this time they’ll call the Age something else…probably the Titanium Age or something to make it sound even better than ever….

    The point is they got rid of Wally so that Barry could rebirth a new age just like he supposedly did back in the 1950’s.

  15. Owen

    Okay, so now we know that the whole point of Flashpoint is to reboot through the device of having timestreams crack and change until we are pick to a “real” world that is almost, but not quite, the same as the one we left at the start of the story.

    I think that is a neat device that might explain why Johns started the new Flash with Barry Allen’s parents being murdered and framed for the murder. Perhaps he perform this retcon precisely to have it corrected during Flashpoint.

    If that is the case, I would like to put in a small request. While everything is shifting and swirling before settling into a new pattern, could we have Max Mercury back please?

    I always thought he was an important part of the speed family and one with a lot of potential in terms of stories and hidden mysteries.

    1. Kyer

      If I understand correctly (from another forum) the only returning characters will be those ‘iconic’ ones and those newer ones that are personal faves of the editorial staff. Legacy characters will only survive The Big Bang IF and only IF they are liked by editorial and they can give them a separate identity from the iconic one.

      Where does this put Bart and Max? Or for that matter Wally, Linda, Jai, Irey, and the list goes on? Dunno. Hell, I’m not even sure if Piper is still going to be reformed or will once again be like he was during the silver 50’s, all robber baron and straight.

      Kyer now has a nice big headache. Good thing my quick temper also has a quick release time or I’m going to be worth dung at work today.

  16. russ_005

    Okay I’m in … for a little while. But, gone are the days of buying muliple #1 copies. FJM could be good… for Barry: Flash.

    As for Wally.He has transcended the Flash role passed on to him (that also passed him by). I would like to see the character in his own book.

    Not as the Flash.

    Wally as something else. This character is ready to be evolved. I can’t be the only one who thinks this.

    1. Aedien

      I might actually be able to get behind that. After all Dick Grayson made his own persona, yet the way he operates is similar to Batman (yeah I know he was Bats for a while, but apparently that’s not the case anymore) It would be nice to see Wally step into a new role, especially since he’s always wanted Barry back and the Flash title was really thrust on him to begin with. He did a great job of growing into it, but he’s come up with his own techniques and can do things that the other speedsters can’t so I can see that working.

  17. Savitar

    I thought that as well, that they were grooming Wally for a new identity. But that doesn’t seem to be the plan.

    I’m not going to trash Manapul’s work simply because I have yet to read any of it. If he can write a better Flash, a better Barry than Johns, then I’m onboard for that.

    I am not afraid to say Johns was terrible on this book. He remains a terrific writer, but after being so enthused about making Flash another important cornerstone of the DCU, somewhere along the way, it went off the rails. His focus now seems squarely upon Hal Jordan and Arthur Curry. Manapul, who has been right there since this re-launch, is set to take over so I’ll be there to see how good (or bad) he does.

  18. Dario

    Wally West is my favourite character. Hell, I even wrote a song about him. However, I must say that the original Barry, and the Barry we sometimes saw in Waid’s series, is close second. I just love the concept of the Flash, I love the costume (and the new one is not so different that I don’t like it: I think it’s awesome)… And I love the whole Flash family.

    If I could choose, I’d have them all around. Wally as the Flash, Barry as a de-powered police scientist, Jay as a retired father figure to all of them and Bart as Impulse. With Max and Jesse also taking part: the more the merrier.

    However, I would be happy with ANY situation in which I could have them all around, no matter in what capacity. Hell, I’d even enjoy a de-aged Wally in the Kid Flash identity again. Anything would be better than the current situation in which we only have Barry around… and he’s an asshole.

    I am not against having Barry as the main Flash again. I love him. But I want the old Barry back. The caring one. The one who always ran with a smile on his face. Not this gloomy emo character of late with a tragic past… I just can’t stand him. The Flash was never about tragedy. It was always about fun, escapism, being good people. Good and humane. I know I can’t have Wally back as the main Flash… that’s ok, I can live with it. But at least give me back THAT Barry Allen. Keep the Flash family around, Wally included, and have them actually DO something. I’m not asking much, am I?

  19. Dempsey

    That flash for “Vol 4” is Wally West, its his costume, they’re just gonna change the eye color to green after flashpoint to refrain from spoilers. Think back to Flash Rebirth #5. It was solicited as the black flash attacking barry on the cover but to refrain from spoilers they changed the coloring because it was actually the reverse flash. Hopefully at the end of flashpoint Barry will pull a Steve Rogers and let Wally keep the Flash mantle, while Barry lives his new found life and does some side work. I mean wouldn’t you want to learn about your new surroundings that you’ve been away from for 2 decades and maybe catch up with old friends? or are you just gonna keep being grumpy old Barry Allen? Wally or Bust post-flashpoint


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