Media Blitz! Manapul and Buccellato Talk Barry & Iris, Gem Cities, Detective

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.
For more on Barry-in-Gotham, the Gem Cities and run reflections from the creative team, follow the jump!
From the Newsarama interview, on the tie between Flash #25 and their 2014 Detective Comics run:

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.

On Buccellato’s upcoming three-issue solo Flash stint, where it appears we’ll finally see the story that was originally solicited for issue #6:

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.

On the way their stories dovetailed and produced one continuous story:

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.

For much more, check out part one and part two of the Newsarama interview!


5 thoughts on “Media Blitz! Manapul and Buccellato Talk Barry & Iris, Gem Cities, Detective

  1. Kyer

    Horror. Well, that did ‘kill’ my desire to read the history story. If he’s anything like Murmer I’ll take a pass. (Even though–again!–the artwork is perfection.)

    Too fast? Seriously? Every moderate review (never saw a bad one) of the series complained that it was too slow paced for a book on the fastest man alive. I mean, Cold is okay. Personally would go with Weather Wizard if had to pick a Rogue who remained a Rogue, but do get that a lot of people like CC. Am more inclined to place the blame with Editorial on that. DC Editorial being my version of the boogieman.

    Monthly deadlines. Yep. Never cease. Like doing the damned dishes in a large family. I feel for them there.
    Wish they weren’t leaving Flash.
    Although….am wanting to see how they draw/portray Alfred and maybe occasionally…Nightwing?

    1. MisterNefarious

      Actually my biggest critique on their Flash run was that ironically it moved too fast. After Mob Rule, it never slowed down to let us see Barry explore his powers more or really get into his lab work. It was always running to the next thing.

      I actually like Murmur, so I’m excited to hear about The Miner. It’s not that I think Flash should be grimdark- I really, REALLY don’t- but I do think that dark circumstances can help give balance to the more comic booky stuff and also really help illustrate who The Flash is by how he processes it.

      I would never ever want to see the Flash be completely composed of villains like Murmur, though. It would kill the series’ identity. Murmur is more of a Batman style baddie, which is like I only like those guys here in moderation.

      1. Kyer

        For me horror….I prefer suspense. Alfred Hitchcock told scary stuff that didn’t also make me want to upchuck. Just sold for pennies on the dollar two beautifully rendered Brightest Day hardbacks because just couldn’t stand the sheer amount of gore in them. Great art, great characters….too much mangled body pieces in all their Gray’s anatomy-correct glory. Sucked the enjoyment of the art right out for me and was glad to be rid of them.
        Make my blood chill without emptying my stomach….okay. Would rather have fun, but once in awhile I could deal with suspense.

        In that drawing? Is that Barry or someone else? I’m asking because the blond not only looks like he’s wearing a domino mask, but also because he looks like he’s deranged there. Or could be its just something in the air. It’s Gotham; maybe crazy early Joker gas?

        1. MisterNefarious

          Well Hitchcock was a master and for good reason. What you don’t see is often more terrifying than what you do.

          I’ve got a strong constitution. Gore doesn’t bother me, but I don’t NEED the gore. Murmur and the like would work just as well without the graphic depictions of it all.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.