Flash news from Comic-Con

DC released a lot of information over the weekend in San Diego, which I’ve pieced together from CBR, Newsarama, and reports from fans’ conversations with Dan Didio, Francis Manapul and others.

Writing the Flash

Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato talked at Sunday’s New 52 panel. Newsarama reports:

Brian “When Francis approached me and asked if I wanted to cowrite Flash with him I said hell yeah! But I was also nervous, because we’re both unknown quantities as writers”

Francis: “You should be scared that we’re writing this thing, but fear translates into excitement. We’re gonna take him into new directions and portray speed in new ways you haven’t seen before. We’re gonna be showing you what it’s like to be the Flash. If I could, I’d get you all yellow boots and put you in them, but this is the closest to that we can do. You’ll see what he can do physically and what he can do mentally”

Brian: “We have a really strong metaphor for the way Barry Allen thinks,” and how his mind moves just as fast as his physical body.

“I do want to say we have written things before. There is a history of writing, but not in the forefront. You’re not taking a ride with a bunch of guys who just said “hey we’re gonna write and see what happens” Brian assured the crowd.

CBR adds:

“It’s a very personal story,” said Manapul, adding that the tone they set is exactly how they felt when first starting out on the book: excited and fresh.

“We are putting ourselves in Barry Allen, we are not trying to reinvent him,” said Buccellato.

Newsarama again, Francis: “Our first arc, a lot of the stories are going to be a little bit longer, so we can establish what the new world order is. After the first arcs there will be more one and done stories, I’ve read them from some of the other writers”

Art Style

DC discussed Flash at their Friday Justice League Panel. According to CBR:

After Johns admitted that giving up “Flash” was difficult, Manapul said that he’s looking forward to write the character he’s enjoyed drawing. Buccellato, co-writing with Manapul, admitted taking over from Johns was intimidating.

Johns described Manapul’s art as “JH Williams meets Francis Manapul,” and said there would be inset or call-out panels on many pages illustrating how fast the Flash thinks. “Every panel can be something he’s looking at or thinking about, they’re all options,” Johns said. Buccellato added that “there are downsides to thinking so fast, too.”

Newsarama clarifies Geoff Johns’ remarks: “Flash thinks so fast, so in the middle of the page you’ll see all these insert panels of his options and then the next page will be what he really does.”

Manapul said that the Flash will now put on his suit by having his ring shoot out pieces of the costume, which he runs toward and which bind to each other in the heat. Manapul said.

Newsarama’s report (reformatted):

On the new costume ring, Manapul: “When I got the designs from Jim, I’m just trying to work off what he had done. There were these end seams on it and I wanted to have the costume appear in a different way. The ring will shoot out and he will run towards it and pieces of the costume will form together and pieces of the suit will be fused by the speed and electricity. And that’s why, when he’s running, the seams seem to light up.”

CBR adds: “It was a new DC, so I wasn’t sure if I could do this. So I just did it anyway,”

DC also released a gallery of concept art.

The Rogues

On Saturday, TheFlashReborn met Francis Manapul and Dan Didio and got to ask questions about the future of the Rogues. Again, reformatted for clarity:

Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato are wanting to concentrate on new villains & new characters at first (duh). They’re gonna introduce the Rogues one at a time bc they’ve gotten so used to acting as a group that they’ve lost their individual flavor. Also they (Dan) wanna get rid of the technical aspect & make their powers natural.

Rogues

Newsarama at Sunday’s New 52:

Barry/Flash will be facing “In the first arc a brand new villain group,” [Mob Rule].

“We will be introducing the rogues slowly, we want to focus on what makes each one of them dangerous to Barry Allen. The Rogues have broken up, you won’t know why. Captain Cold is the only one trying to get them back together. He’ll be coming back and forcing them to work together”

Supporting Cast & Returning Characters

On Sunday, a fan asked if Iris was dead. According to CBR

“Iris is alive,” confirmed Manapul, saying that in the comic Barry Allen and Iris went out in the past but it never progressed and he is currently single. Director Sing, Captain Fry, and Forrest will be involved in the comic added Manapul, as well as Gorilla Grodd and there are plans to bring back the Pied Piper.

Wally West

It turns out that the fans asking about Wally West at Thursday’s DC: The New 52 panel were none other than @SpeedsterSite and @BitterWallyWest.

Incoming co-writer Brian Buccellato responded to disappointed fans of Wally West on Twitter, encouraging them to give the new series a try anyway.

I think the key response is this one.

https://twitter.com/#!/BrianBooch/status/94260150759735296

@SpeedsterSite talked extensively with Dan Didio on Friday, and reported on his conversation via Twitter. I’m stringing them together as a paragraph to make it easier to read.

You will not be seeing Wally for the foreseeable future. Dan stated that the Perez era TT were very difficult to deal with because of their age. Dan specifically stated that Wally’s kids were a big reason why he’s off the board. When asked why Iris and Jai were aged up in the first place, Dan admitted poor planning.

Dan told me that with Black Lightning having two teenage kids made the decision to choose Static easier. With those two characters being so similar they felt Static provided more potential.

Dan mentioned that Donna Troy is off the board as well, especially because her similarities to Diana are too great. He said its hard and very difficult to accept but eventually the Perez era will be gone.

When Kyle Rayner’s new book was brought up, Dan said it’s much easier to branch out with Green Lantern than most titles. Dan also said that they realize they are pushing the limits of the Bat books and that they may be “dwindled.”

We were able to record some of our conversation so hopefully the audio isn’t horrible. Also, he gave me two poker chips.

29 thoughts on “Flash news from Comic-Con

  1. Jason West

    Hey thanks for posting my convo with Dan & Francis. It was ridiculously serendipitous (sp). For the record I’m TheFlashReborn on twitter but I’ve been posting on here as Jason West for years. ^_^

    Reply
  2. Jaime

    It may sound petty sand pouting but I’m done with Flash. No Wally?That’s crap.I never thought giving him kids was a good idea (for any hero) and now my point was proven. Because they wrote badly the fans pay the price (with no WW). Garbage,utter garbage.

    Reply
  3. Chris

    Although I’m disappointed to hear Wally won’t be in the Flash book in the future; I still hope and have faith that he’ll be in a future animated feature at least. I’d love to see an Showcase presents short of him, based off of one of his stories.

    Reply
  4. Lia

    Not happy about the Rogues news, not happy about Barry and Iris’ marriage being retconned…not happy about any of this, I guess. It’s frustrating to want to support Francis (who I like) but not want to support DC.

    Reply
  5. Kyer

    I don’t care if people call me a pouting sore loser….this totally mouths calcite.

    Wally in the DCAU? Don’t hold your breath. When was he last time you saw Wally as a toy or a statue? Two Earths had been planned back in the days of DCAU JL as part of that series so they couldn’t easily magically make Flash Barry in that.

    A scene where Barry considers his various options? That’s original, exciting and fresh. Wait…no…Wally did that in California when he was up against a tsunami. Foot loose and fancy-free? Just like all the revised new version of DC heroes.

    In fact, take away Linda and the kids and this sounds like a younger Wally up against revised villains. But they couldn’t revise Linda and the kids out of existence because….because Wally isn’t Barry?

    Did you notice what they did? Barry *already* had a relationship with Iris and it didn’t pan out. No reason whatsoever to meet the nephew who doesn’t exist anyway. The Rogues as meta humans? Ugh. Mob Rule? Ugh. The only draw for me now is Manupal’s art and, frankly, good artwork can be found in a lot of places other than DC.

    Time and time again I’ve been told by old-timer fans that Johns, Didio, and Manupal love Wally. Why? Because they *said* so. Every time I waited and failed to see the actions that justify their words.

    George Johns’s Flash: concentrated on the Rogues just as much as The Flash. Was this because Johns really wanted Barry and not Wally? Kind of late to convince me otherwise given this past month.

    “Wally will return and be awesome.” Yeah…that came about. Died helplessly at the hands of a Rogue. Barry didn’t even think of him even though Wally seemed to think nothing BUT about Barry during Road To Flashpoint.

    Didio is a used car salesman nice guy. They just reported a nice guy having murdered his neighbor over a dispute on food. Turns out nice guy had a history of assault. Used car salesmen have long been a standing joke for hucksters. Nice guy or not, I wouldn’t trust Didio to watch over my sandwich during lunch.

    Neither would allow Waid to write the 90’s Retro. Hold a grudge much? Maybe hold a grudge about more than one thing of the past? You decide.

    Manupal would have liked to use Wally? Maybe, maybe not…we’ll never know now.

    Not even a demned apology from them unless you count the two Retros as them and they probably are just so they can point and say “we gave you that so see, we care!” Don’t even bring up the Omnibus to me, that overpriced piece of John’s worship!

    Excuse me if my godhead worship of the DC Editorial has utterly died and I’m seeing them as flawed human beings with the same petty inclinations as the rest of humanity. No, don’t excuse me. I don’t care what you think.

    Barry statue coming Tuesday. Must find hammer. I’m thinking of mailing them the head.

    Reply
    1. Lee H

      Given that the Flash is now younger and single, I’m surprised they didn’t go with Wally as Kid Flash rather than Bart. It would’ve put things a bit more in line with the Young Justice cartoon, and left the opportunity to reintroduce Impulse at a later point.

      “Wally in the DCAU? Don’t hold your breath. When was he last time you saw Wally as a toy or a statue?”

      The Young Justice figures that just came out.

      “Mob Rule? Ugh.”

      Do you know something about Mob Rule that we don’t?

      Reply
      1. Kyer

        Wally West as Flash. (I was racing the clock to post that in order not to miss my carpool ride.)
        Going by what the name implies, Mob Rule puts me in mind of a bunch of criminals who group together in order to overwhelm the authorities…sort of like the Hell’s Angel bad guy types would go into a small town knowing there was only a couple of officers to confront them. I’m in favor of quality over quantity. The Rogues are one thing…a mob of average baddies in number only seems boring.

        I’d try to find out more, but really don’t intend to stick around for long anyway unless something spectacular happens.

        Reply
        1. Kyer

          Forgot to mention that I also can’t seem to get into this YJ Kidflash Wally. The costume is too…square? Blocky? It doesn’t have that Iamsofast! look to it; plus the goggles really turn me off because you can’t see his eyes. Impulse’s goggles let you see his eyes. It’s the same reason why I always hated the white eye lenses.

          Reply
  6. Thunderbolt_005

    I will read the first arcs and give the new series a try. As a Wally fan I miss that aspect of the Flash already.
    A Showcase Presents (b/w) format of Wally would be cool since I have every (almost every) issue of the Wally run. Nostalgic reasons and hard copy preservation.
    In life as in Baseball if a trade doesn’t hurt it’s not a good trade, this “trade” hurts, so maybe it will be worth it.

    Hang on Flash friends this could be great!

    It has to be… because it hurts.

    Reply
    1. Penny Dreadful

      I still say Wally will probably reappear in 2-3 years. Two to three years after COIE, Supergirl and Huntress returned (albiet with different origin stories). And who’s to say this “reboot” will last?

      Reply
  7. Ken O

    I’ve been trying to stay pretty positive about everything…but the comment about the Rogue’s powers? Ugh. Let’s hope that is far enough out that it will be changed before seeing print.

    Reply
    1. Lia

      Nobody seems to like that detail, that or the talk of splitting them up. Caused a great flurry of angry excitement on Tumblr.

      Reply
      1. Lee H

        Breaking the Rogues up for a bit is long overdue. Ethan Van Sciver said the same thing during a Rebirth interview. If the Flash can easily defeat six of his villains at once, on a regular basis, then each of them looks even more ineffective individually.

        Internalising the Rogues’ powers could do them a world of good, as long as it’s still rooted in science fiction and not magic. The major criticism of Flash villains is that they’re just not powerful enough to be credible threats for someone who can think and move at the speed of light. Currently, all Flash needs to do to get the upper hand on most of his foes is knock a gun out of their hands, then they’re just a guy in a costume. And there’s nothing to stop other people using their weapons, as we’ve seen numerous times, which takes away their uniqueness.

        Captain Boomerang has already gotten an upgrade. It’s already been hinted that Weather Wizard has the potential to use his powers without the wand. And just think how much more effective Mirror Master would be if he didn’t need a gun. Or if Heat Wave could control (but not create) fire like X-Men’s Pyro.

        Obviously this wouldn’t work on characters like Trickster, and it would be difficult to apply to Captain Cold without changing the character fundamentally, but the general idea is sound.

        Reply
        1. Lia

          Speaking for myself — and at least some of the people I’ve seen dismayed — part of the concern is that breaking them up means they won’t have their close ties anymore or for a long time. And that is the appeal of the Rogues for many peope — the sense of (dysfunctional) family. I agree that it’s good to get some of the other Rogues out from under Cold’s shadow for a bit, but am concerned about the implications of this move.

          But I’m afraid I strongly disagree about making their powers innate. Sure there’s concern about it being too easy for the Flash to beat them, but truthfully he should be able to beat them even if they have innate powers, because he’s too damn fast for anyone but another speedster. Honestly, I think the Flash should be slowed down and depowered a bit unless you want to have him fighting other speedsters all the time.

          Believe me, I wasn’t a fan of the powering of Boomerang, Piper, or Weather Wizard — I’ve actually been grumbling about this trend for a few years. And you’d have to change a lot about all of them to make them metas, not just Cold. They’re a bunch of underdog blue collar guys, not powerful metas, and they’d lose a lot of their appeal if they became powered.

          On a personal note, having Heat Wave develop Pyro’s powers would enrage me for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on. Pyro is my favourite Marvel character, Heat Wave’s one of my favourite DC chars, and it just seems so…wrong for Mick.

          Reply
    2. I.Strange

      Yeah, I hate that. With a power set as disparate as mirrors, weather, boomerangs, etc. you need a unifying concept like “gimmick tech.”

      Reply
  8. Jack

    The Perez era is over?? It appears that this new 52 is not much of a relaunch. This new Universe is intact almost as before despite a few minor changes the only thing they have done with some weight is the Perez era!!

    Over the years the Perez era has tied a lot of the DCU together. It’s just doesn’t sit right that they have appeared to pick and choose.

    When I heard about the relaunch when they first announced it I was very excited, I thought they were going to revert Dick back to Robin and have a Cliff Chang style Nick Cardy Titans, and if they did that, by going back to bare fundamentals then I would be happy with it; welcomed it. But it looks like they tore half the page and then was too scared to finish it off.

    I’m definitely giving it’s go before I become too judgmental. But I really hope they haven’t fucked up New Teen Titans for nothing.

    Reply
  9. Ted

    I was one of those guys wanting Barry to come back. Key word is BACK. As he was. Not completely unrecognizable to what he was with his past retconned as much as possible. I did not Wally taken off the books. Wally was a great character. I feel bad for you Wally fans, but who knows, maybe in 20 years he can come back and have his marriage wiped out and get a tragic backstory too!

    Coke learned their mistake when they introduced New Coke. Don’t mess with the formula.

    This is exactly why the market is failing and people are downloading books.

    DC just lost a 30+ yr reader.

    Reply
    1. Penny Dreadful

      I suspect Wally will back much sooner than that. This sounds like another Heroes Reborn. And absolutely NOBODY seems to like the changes to the Flash.

      But hey, Barry’s single, so he can romance some JLA ladies! Won’t that be awesome?

      It’s obvious that the real Barry/Wally partisans were the DC staff, NOT the fans. As a fan of both characters who also likes the Rogues, I thought, “The more, the merrier.”

      Reply
  10. Penny Dreadful

    “…and there are plans to bring back the Pied Piper.”

    There were plans to bring back the Pied Piper in 2010. Along with a bunch of other things.

    I wish DC would stop blowing smoke like this. If there’s one thing I can’t abide about these guys, it’s the dishonesty.

    DC must really want to lose Flash fans.

    Reply
    1. Lee H

      How is it dishonest? Sometimes plans aren’t followed through on, for various reasons, doesn’t mean the plans weren’t there.

      Do you have any reason to think that Geoff Johns was lying? Or that Francis Manapul is lying?

      Reply
      1. Penny Dreadful

        IMO, DC’s brain trust has not been entirely honest in what it says about plans for the Flash book. See: the Speedforce book, the backup features, the Kid Flash series, story arcs featuring Gorilla Grodd, etc.

        Now they say they’re bringing the Piper back. He showed up in a flashback in Boomerang’s origin issue. And there was a Flashpoint version who’s barely been used. And that’s it.

        IMO, this is the same old song and dance.

        Reply
  11. Dylan

    I’ve been saying that this is what Johns and DiDio were going to do for about 6 years. They started laying the foundation A LONG time ago. No one believed me. Well there you go, everyone. Enjoy Johns’ and DiDio’s new DC.

    Reply
  12. Zachary Adams

    Secret Six #36 is now officially the last non-creator-owned book I buy from DC for the foreseeable future. I’m not going to buy any of the New 52 at all; too many broken promises and too few books that interest me on their own merits. If they had done the reboot five years ago I might have been okay with it, but readers, particularly those who loved the 90s at DC, have been jerked around too much and I think some of us are starting to come down with Battered Fan Syndrome. So I’m out…more money for creator-owned work.

    Reply
    1. Kyer

      Battered indeed. There is nothing I like about Didio Comics that Detective Comics didn’t do better save for maybe the fact that Superman will no longer be playing billiards with whole planets…he was too powerful.

      Yet here they want the new Flash book to have Rogues with meta abilities? Can you say Professor Zoom? Look where that went when they made Thawne insanely powerful. Next thing you know, the villains will be so powerful that the heroes will have to become more powerful and it’s the Cold War Arms Race with Superman eventually flying and blowing the moon back into orbit with a breath.

      Reply
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  14. Jason West

    My opinion about all of this is as follows: I’m more than just a Wally fan. I’m a die hard Jay Garrick, Max Mercury, Bart Allen, AND most of all, a Wally West fan. It’s why I loved Rebirth and hoped until I couldn’t hope anymore about Johns’ Flash post-Rebirth. I am gonna pick up The Flash (vol 4? 5?) number one but if I’m not impressed, I’m not wasting my $$. I picked up every issue of Wally’s 231-247 run out of desperation & excitement & hope. If I don’t like it, I don’t read it. By the time September ends my DC pull list will probably only have about 5 titles on it: Green Lantern, Aquaman, Resurrection Man, The Fury of Firestorms, & Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE. Brilliant stuff, brilliant writing, not too much change (besides Firestorm). I’m giving it a shot but it’s not a hopeful one…

    Reply
  15. Michael Kramer

    The GL universe and JLI may be the only DC Titles i read September-on (I’ll flip through a Flash book here and there but I have the feeling my Dc related spending is going to abruptly cut back!

    Reply

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