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..
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.
Ghost stories seem a natural fit with some superheroes. Not so with the Flash. An origin based in science, scientifically trained alter-egos, villains who use technology. Even the “magician” villain, Abra Kadabra, is more of a techno-mage, using highly advanced future technology to carry out transformations that seem like magic to our experience. The closest the Flash mythos gets to the supernatural is the metaphysical nature of the speed force, and even that is described in terms of energy and the nature of space-time.
So it makes sense that for 1998’s “Ghosts” annuals, the Flash story would feature not a traditional ghost, but one tied to the speed force: Johnny Quick, who had vanished into the speed force two years earlier during Dead Heat.
Flash #68 concludes the two-parter re-introducing Abra Kadabra, and presents a new vision of the 64th century: a highly regulated world where everyone’s lives are planned down to the second, controlled by a massive computer called the Chronarch. (Mark Waid, Greg LaRocque)
Flash #69 & Green Lantern #30-31 feature the first three chapters of “Gorilla Warfare” — not the current storyline of course, but a crossover between Flash and Green Lantern in which Hector Hammond teams up with Grodd. (Mark Waid, Gerard Jones, Greg LaRocque, M.D. Bright, Romeo Tanghal)
Impulse #29 marks William Messner-Loebs’ debut on the series, as Bart and his friends stumble on a group of criminals dumping toxic waste near their town.
Impulse #30 is a tie-in to the Genesis crossover in which all the super-powers…and all the hope as well…are drained from the world…and an old enemy of Max Mercury’s takes the opportunity to settle the score. (William Messner-Loebs, Craig Rousseau)
Today’s half-remembered quote that I’ll fix when I have time to look it up:
“What kind of super-villain puts the location of his evil lair on his web page?”
Or rather, “That guy” as in the title of the film, or “Hey, it’s that guy!” which was probably your reaction on seeing that photo. Miller has an impressive 175 acting credits on IMDB in a career spanning 1955-2009. You may recognize him from such movies as Terminator and Gremlins, or TV series like Fame and The Flash.
What’s that? The Flash, you say?
Miller had a recurring role on the 1990 Flash TV series as Fosnight, a small-time con man who acted as an informant for Barry Allen. And his signed copy of the shooting script for “Deadly Nightshade” is one of the incentive rewards for backers on the Kickstarter funding project.