Obligatory theme cover!
Armageddon 2001 was a story running through DC Comics’ 1991 annuals. 10 years in the future, a super-hero would turn evil, hide himself behind a mask and take over the world as Monarch. A generation into Monarch’s reign, a scientist working on a time travel project found himself sent back in time and given the ability to glimpse anyone’s most likely future. He proceeded to travel around the DCU, looking at the future of each hero in hopes of finding the one who would become Monarch, and stopping him…by whatever means necessary.
In the case of the Flash, Wally West spent most of the next decade in the witness protection program. He and his wife Bonnie helped take down a corrupt businessman with mob connections and a super-power to learn everything about a person just by touching them. Their son David inherited Wally’s speed, but not the aura that protects him from friction, making his power potentially deadly. Waverider’s view of the future begins when David risks his life to save someone else’s, and is seen doing it. The Flash’s cover blown, Diogenes’ allies kidnap David from the hospital and recruit the Rogues to lead Wally West on a chase to find his son.
Convinced that Flash couldn’t be Monarch, Waverider moved on, though his brief interruption distracted Wally West from the crucial moment in which he and Bonnie would have met.
Fun fact: This was Mark Waid’s first full-length Flash story; he had previously written the framing sequences in The Flash 50th Anniversary special, and would soon start writing the ongoing series.
Not so fun fact: Armageddon 2001 was infamous for a last-minute change in plans. During the summer, news leaked that the Captain Atom was going to be revealed as the future villain. DC swerved, latching onto Hawk (Hawk & Dove had just been canceled, leaving them expendable), despite the fact that Hawk & Dove had already appeared in the future fighting Monarch. Of course, future writers ended up making Captain Atom into Monarch anyway, and Hawk & Dove were both killed and brought back to life by the end of the post-Crisis DCU.
This week’s Flash comics are all digital, including two re-issues today, and one new chapter in the Impulse story on Smallville on Friday.
Flash v.2 #86: The Flash and Argus go against the alien weapons-dealers, the Combine. (Note: ComiXology’s summaries have been off a few issues lately. They describe this one as having to do with the lawsuit storyline.)
Impulse #41: “Arrowette’s back and she’s asked Impulse to help her solve a string of mysterious thefts in several schools. In order to do so, Bart’s got to accompany her to a dance where he believes he’s uncovered the source of these thefts–and it involves just about everyone in Flash’s Rogues Gallery!”
Smallville Season 11 #26: Continuing “Haunted,” guest-starring Impulse. Read more about this storyline in last week’s article..
Can you believe it’s almost 2013? We’re more than a year into the New 52, and the current Flash team is well-established. Plus, the new version of Jay Garrick debuted in Earth 2, Kid Flash got a spotlight episode of Young Justice, and we got to see four generations of Flashes including Impulse in another episode.
Update: The results are in!
TV Guide has an article about Bart Allen’s return to Smallville, including a preview of the new storyline, “Haunted.” Smallville Season 11 takes place in the TV show continuity, where Bart Allen is a founding member of the Justice League under the code name Impulse, though his origin was left extremely vague. So vague, in fact, that Bart himself doesn’t remember how he got his powers beyond there being an accident and a “flash of light.”
The new arc, “Haunted,” will explore the origins of Bart’s ability to run at super speed. “There’s something that has been haunting Bart for some time, some baggage he’s been carrying,” says writer Bryan Q. Miller of the title. “Everyone in our story is being haunted — physically, metaphorically — by some element of their past.”
Other story elements involve Lex Luthor attempting to recover his own lost memories, and Chloe’s quest to learn about her doppelganger from Earth-2. Miller goes on:
“Haunted” will have more direct connections to the television show than Season 11’s earlier stories. “It’s the first time we are relying heavily on previous Smallville series history,” Miller says. “This arc has many more roots in specific episodes and mythology from the series.”
Check out a view of Bart’s new costume after the cut: Continue reading
I haven’t been able to confirm it, but the numbers line up. On Friday, DC will release the digital edition of Smallville Season 11 #25, which I believe is the first part of the story guest-starring Bart Allen/Impulse which will appear in the print edition Smallville Season 11 #9–11. A cover isn’t up yet, so this is the spoiler-blocked version of the print #9 cover.
These digital-first comics are set in the continuity of the Smallville TV show, not the New 52 or old DCU. DC releases three weekly issues at 99 cents each month, then collects them as a single $2.99 print issue the following month. Smallville Season 11 on Comixology.
And in digital reprints from the 1990s, we have…
Flash #85: Part two of Wally West’s battle with Razer, as a Keystone shopping mall is, well, razed to the ground. Something that happens in the background will turn out to have a major impact a few issues down the road. Flash on ComiXology.
Impulse #40: “It’s Manchester High’s annual parent/kid picnic, and this wouldn’t be an Impulse story if something as simple as potato salad and three-legged races didn’t lead to big trouble.” Impulse on ComiXology.
The New 52 Flash continues to speed onto your bookshelves! Collected Editions spotted a number of upcoming DC collections yesterday, including the Amazon listings for Flash vol.2: Rogues Revolution (HC) and Flash vol.1: Move Forward (TPB). Both are listed for August 20, and if that’s not a placeholder date, that most likely means an August 14, 2013 release in comic shops.*
Here’s how the listing describes the book:
Struck by a bolt of lightning and doused in chemicals, Central City Police scientist Barry Allen was transformed into the fastest man alive. Tapping into the energy field called The Speed Force, he applies a tenacious sense of justice to protect an serve the world as The Flash!
The Flash’s Rogue’s Gallery are back–but they are more powerful than ever and they’re each looking to take down the Fastest Man Alive! Who is behind their sudden organization and why are they also after their former leader, Captain Cold? The Flash must think fast if he can outrun and survive their attack!
It doesn’t say which issues are included, but it clearly includes at least #9-12 plus the Annual. The main question is whether the #0 origin issue will be included at the end of this volume or the beginning of the next. Logically, it might make more sense to group it with “Gorilla Warfare,” though in terms of book structure, it might be better as an epilogue than a prologue. There’s certainly room for it in this one if the 160 page count is correct.
UPDATE: DC’s July/August list is up including both books. Rogues Revolution contains Flash #0, #9-12 and Flash Annual 1.
This is the first mention I can recall of the collection’s title. The issues being collected didn’t have an overarching title, and this one fits — with major changes to the Rogues, and a change in leadership — and calls back to the title of Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge.
*Amazon gets their new releases on the bookstore schedule, which is Tuesdays, so they lag 6 days behind the official release date.