As their three-year artistic, two years everything, Flash run comes to a close, Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato have begun the transition into their new Gotham digs over in Detective Comics. Yesterday, as part of an interview with Newsarama and a post over at DC HQ, details continued to emerge on the team’s final act.
First, here is a plot summary and preview page (above) from Flash #25 via DC Comics:
In THE FLASH #25, you’ll meet a young Barry Allen before he’s realized his full potential as the Scarlet Speedster. A recent graduate from the Police Academy, Barry finds himself partnered with Harvey Bullock in Gotham City when he volunteers to go help the city deal with the chaos brought on by the events of “Zero Year.” But Harvey is not thrilled with working with someone so young and inexperienced, leaving Barry to team up with Gotham Gazette intern Iris West to help solve the case of a mysterious drug appearing on the streets of the city that is causing people to spontaneously burst into flames. And it’s in this first meeting between Barry and Iris that the “will they or won’t they” tension is introduced to their relationship.
Francis Manapul: The Flash #25 is going to serve as a natural bridge to what we’re doing on Detective. There are story elements that continue. And in a way, it almost feels like we never left The Flash at all because the story that starts in Flash #25 continues into Detective.
Brian Buccellato: It’s a prologue.
Manapul: So this story will be filling in some of the gaps in the history of Central and Keystone City…It was supposed to be issue #6 and #7. But Captain Cold got moved up, because, you know, people want Captain Cold.
Buccellato: We have a whole history for the Gem Cities, and we never got to tell it. In Rogues, for those that read the Rogues story in villain month, there was a reference to the gem cities being founded on diamond mining — in the opening scene. And this story is going to explain that.
I’m creating a villain called The Miner, who is born out of the history of the gem cities and diamond mining. It’s going to be more of a scary, horror type of villain for Flash.
Manapul: What’s great about it is that there was always a real difference between Central and Keystone. Central is more like a Metropolis, as the business hub of the twin cities. And Keystone is a little bit more run down. With this story that Brian’s going to tell, people will find out how that happened.
It’s great because you’re going to get context for why the two cities are so connected, and why The Flash protects two cities. It’s not just because he’s so fast, although one city’s not enough for The Flash. [Laughs.]
Buccellato: There are also a couple other loose ends. We didn’t leave many. But there are a couple that I’m also going to tie up so that I can leave the book and we can both be satisfied.
Manapul: A lot of people like that natural ending. But with our run on The Flash, we kept the story going all the time. It was kind of blurred when a story ended and a new one began. And I think at the end of “Gorilla War,” there was a very definitive ending for it, tying up stories that had begun with the first issue.
Brian and I would have liked to have saved the Flash entering the Speed Force until the end of our first year, but as everything started moving quickly, the story lines started moving faster than we wanted. And that’s one of the reasons we’re really happy that with Batman, we’ll be able to let the story breathe a little bit.
On the hard work put into their Flash run:
Manapul: I think one of the things I have to say I’m most proud of with The Flash is that Brian and I have been working our asses off on The Flash. We’ve been under a lot of deadlines where we would have two weeks to pencil, ink and color an issue. I remember we turned in an issue in a week and a half. You know?
Buccellato: Right. We’ll do ink wash in four days. Three days.
But we’re willing to do that.
Manapul: Yeah. Brian and I have sacrificed a lot, physically, emotionally, just to get the book out there.
Buccellato: It’s monthly publishing, and the deadlines don’t stop. And you make concessions in life. And we’re incredibly proud of the work we’ve done. Nothing’s ever perfect, and there’s always hindsight, but I stand by our body of work.