Monthly Archives: August 2011

Barry Allen: Player

One of many pieces of Flash news from Comic-Con that just didn’t sit right with me was the news that Barry Allen and Iris West were being retroactively split up for the New 52, and that Barry would be “playing the field.”

Really? This is the guy who, after Iris’ untimely death, when he finally forced himself to move out of the house where he lived with his late wife and try to get on with his life, promptly fell for the new girl next door. The idea of him dating someone else isn’t preposterous, but a player? That seems a little far-fe—

Oh, wait. Never mind.

(Seriously, though, this is one of the things that bugs me, because in my opinion, the Barry/Iris relationship should be central to the character(s). It might bother me less if DC wasn’t undoing the Lois/Clark marriage at the same time. I still haven’t decided whether to actually put together a post listing all the announced elements I do and don’t like and why.)

DC Comics: Pulling (or is that Polling?) the New 52

So, the DC reboot* is upon us, and it’s time to make some decisions:

  • What new series should I buy?
  • Should I stick with print, or go digital?

I’ll tackle the second question later. For now, here are the books I was looking at when the New 52 was first announced, and what I’m looking at now.



As with Action, it was the creative team that got me excited about the fifth relaunch in as many years. (Seriously, DC, pick a direction and stick with it.) And as with Action, every interview, every announcement since then has chipped away a little more at my interest. But then Francis Manpul posts a new piece of artwork, and I feel like can’t possibly pass it up. TENTATIVE YES.

And yes, that’s a sad verdict for someone who’s spent the last 15 years running a Flash fan site, but it is what it is.

Justice League Dark

Love the concept, hate the title. I had high hopes for this when it was announced, but the execution of Flashpoint: Secret Seven, by the same writer and featuring many of the same characters, has me worried. TENTATIVE YES.

Demon Knights

The complete opposite of Action Comics. When I first read about it, I thought, “Hmm, that sounds sort of interesting, but I just don’t know.” But everything I’ve heard about it makes me more interested. DEFINITE YES.

Regarding Demon Knights and Justice League Dark, it seems that the Matt Wagner/Amy Reeder Vertigo series has made me a fan of Madame Xanadu. Who would have expected that?

Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E.

I really liked the Seven Soldiers version of the Frankenstein monster, and the idea of him as a sci-fi secret agent sounds like a lot of fun. Plus the Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown miniseries was enjoyable (despite a dip in the middle issue), so I’m on board for this one. DEFINITE YES.

Resurrection Man

I keep meaning to read the articles about this, but somehow keep forgetting to come back to them when I have time. So I still don’t know a whole lot about it, but the concept is interesting enough to make it a TENTATIVE YES.

The Shade

Announced as part of the second wave of new titles, the 12-issue miniseries launches in October. I like the character, especially the modern interpretation, and I really enjoyed the 4-issue miniseries James Robinson did back in the 1990s, so I’m on board for this one as well. DEFINITE YES.

Considered, but Skipping

Action Comics

Grant Morrison brings Superman back to his roots. Sounded great at the time, but the more I’ve heard about the actual direction, the less interested I’ve gotten. PASS.

Teen Titans

I’ve been burned too many times, and I think what I really liked about the series was the Wolfman/Perez dynamic, which I’ve come to realize is never going to exist again. I actually think it’s a good thing that they’re taking the book in a new direction, even though it’s clearly not for me. PASS.

Hawk & Dove

As fond as my memories are of the series 20 years ago…I just can’t. PASS.


I liked his solo series back in the day, but between my changing taste and the emphasis on ultra-violence, I don’t have any interest in the new version. PASS.

(OK, except for the issue where he destroys the 405 freeway. I live in LA and commute on that damn thing. It’s a revenge fantasy.)

In Summary…

So that’s my DC Comics pull list for September. 5 comics out of 52 (plus The Shade) may not sound like much, but considering I was only reading one DC proper title before Flashpoint, it’s actually a pretty big increase.

Edited to add: For context, this brings the DC Universe back up to 50% of my active pull list. The rest is 1 Vertigo (The Unwritten), 3 BOOM! (Elric, Farscape & Darkwing Duck, at least until Farscape & Darkwing Duck end in a couple of months), 1 Dynamite (Wheel of Time) and 1 Aspen (Lady Mechanika). Mostly sci-fi/fantasy, with the closest to a traditional superhero being Darkwing Duck.

How about you? What are you planning to pick up?

*Of course it’s a reboot. They’re resetting the system, with some things altered and others preserved. They installed a service pack, and now they’re rebooting. People use the term reboot to mean starting over completely from the beginning, but if we’re going to use the computer metaphor properly, that would be a wipe-and-reinstall.

Flash #1 Variant Covers

Straight from The Source, it’s Ivan Reis’ variant cover for The Flash #1, due in stores and online at the end of September.

It reminds me of the Flash Secret Files 2010 cover, only with the new transformation sequence added to the new costume design.

DC has also revealed the third variant cover, a sketch version of Francis Manapul’s main cover for the book. Continue reading

Why the Flash is the Most Important Character of the DC Universe

Today’s guest post is by Shaun Rosado of Shauncastic!

A Sound of Thunder

The sound of thunder, a crack of lightning and in a flash everything is different. No, I’m not talking about Flashpoint; DC Comics’ current take on a “Flash-centric” Event. I’m talking about the Flash as a character and the profound difference he’s made in comics. Ever since I was a child, I always felt a deep connection to the Flash. Perhaps it was the sense of the character’s long history, reaching all the way back to World War 2 with Jay Garrick as the original Flash. Perhaps it was the idea that when I was at my most impressionable the Flash TV show had just begun and would capture my imagination. Or perhaps it’s because the Flash is the most important character of the DC Universe.

Yeah. You read that right. I typed it. The Flash is the THE most important character of the DC Universe.

Of course, I don’t expect to get away with saying something like this without a little backup.

So let’s take a moment and just go over the finer points of my argument. When the Flash began way back in the 40s, he was a character that was given his own book nearly as soon as he was established. In January 1940, Flash Comics began as a variety comic that would feature new characters and give them a chance to flourish. Some of the most famous of these characters would be Johnny Thunder, Hawkman, Hawkgirl and Black Canary. This began an eerie precedence of the Flash establishing ideas and characters that would last and break out of his book time and time again. The book ran nearly the entire span of the Golden age, ending just a few months shy of the “official” end date.

But this is not a sprint and the above argument certainly does not win the Flash the title of Greatest Character Ever. This is a marathon…and as we all know, the Flash is the Fastest Man Alive. Continue reading

This Week: Flashpoint #5 (w/Preview)

The epic concludes, and the next era in DC Comics begins. USA Today has an article on the relaunch and a preview of Flashpoint #5.

Flashpoint #5

Written by GEOFF JOHNS; Art by ANDY KUBERT and SANDRA HOPE; Covers by ANDY KUBERT and SANDRA HOPE; 1:25 Black and white variant covers A by ANDY KUBERT; Variant cover B by RAGS MORALES

FLASH FACT: The war between the Amazons and the Atlantians has arrived. The battle between Diana of Themyscira and Emperor Aquaman will tear this world apart – unless The Flash can fix it!
DC Universe 40pg. Color $3.99 US

Justice League #1

Written by GEOFF JOHNS; Art and cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS; 1:25 Variant cover by DAVID FINCH

Comics superstars Geoff Johns and Jim Lee make history! In a universe where super heroes are strange and new, Batman has discovered a dark evil that requires him to unite the World Greatest Heroes!
DC Universe 40pg. Color $3.99 US

Flash Quick Hits: Fan Expo

A few bits of info have come out of Toronto this weekend.

The Justice Society returns in a James Robinson/Nicola Scott series set at an unspecified time period on Earth-2.

A the New 52 Panel, Francis Manapul explained that they want to make the new Flash series “introspective and at the same time, a kick-ass action book.” Newsarama’s report adds that he “came up with some incredible death traps for him to overcome, with more than just his speed.”

Francis Manapul and Yanick Paquette (Swamp Thing) also appeared on a Drawing the New 52 panel, in which Manapul talked about his approach to redesigning the Flash’s Rogues, explaining, “It’s about making the characters interesting, and also making them a legitimate [threat] to Flash. Not just about their powers.”