Tag Archives: Dan Didio

Not Just One Flash Book?

From the latest 20 Questions with Dan Didio:

12. Is there word on a creative team for Flash post Rebirth? Obviously, it’s assumed that Geoff [Johns] will be writing it…

DD: Yes it is, it is assumed. (laughs)

NRAMA: What are the chances that Ethan will join him?

DD: Right now, we’ve got Ethan [Van Sciver] and Geoff pushing pretty hard on Flash: Rebirth, and once we get a little closer, we’ll be announcing the team on the Flash monthly comic. It’s all part of a bigger announcement, because it’s not just about one Flash book. [emphasis added]


The obvious implication here is that there will be more than one Flash-related series spinning out of Flash: Rebirth. We can probably safely assume that one will be The Flash, starring Barry Allen, written by Geoff Johns. As for the other(s), Didio may simply be referring to the 3-issue miniseries, Blackest Night: The Flash, which starts in November. DC hasn’t announced the creative team for that book, either, so they could be planning to announce the mini and the ongoing together.

But what if he is talking about something more ambitious? What might a second Flash-related book be?

  • Kid Flash, starring Bart Allen?
  • Flash Family, starring Wally West and the twins?
  • Flashback (i.e. Flash: Classified), featuring stories of Barry, Wally, and/or Jay in times gone by?
  • All-Flash, starring a speedster team or rotating cast?
  • The Rogues, starring…well…the Rogues?

What else would you like to see? What else would you expect to see?

(via @collecteditions)

Flash News from Wizard World and HeroesCon (Updated)

A few interesting notes from this weekend’s conventions, HeroesCon in Charlotte, North Carolina and WizardWorld Philadelphia.

Wednesday Comics

Newsarama’s writeup of DC Nation at HeroesCon has the most direct Flash news. Ian Sattler showed of a copy of Wednesday Comics and talked about the series:

Sattler said that the Flash story features Flash Comics on the top of the page and Iris West Comics on the bottom half, but halfway through the story, the two meet and join, as the Flash literally and figuratively “runs” into Iris’ story.

I love this idea. It’s the kind of thing that only really makes sense in a comic-book format, as well. If you did it as a movie, it would just be alternating scenes with each protagonist until they meet.

Kid Flash

Newsarama also says that when a fan asked Ethan Van Sciver why Superboy gets a new series but Kid Flash doesn’t, the artist responded, “We’re going to make you so happy in Rebirth.”

From the way it was presented, it sounds like a non-sequitur. Presumably he means that Bart Allen will have a bigger role in the second half of the miniseries. I don’t really expect to turn to the last page of issue #6 and see a Kid Flash series announced, though certainly stranger things have happened.

The other item of interest comes from Wizard World Philadelpha. CBR’s writeup of Philly’s DC Nation included a segment in which Dan Didio talked about Teen Titans.

DiDio said fans will start seeing a more stable team starting with issue #75, adding that a “couple of returning characters are going to be coming back in”

Now, I’m probably reading too much into this, but Superboy and Kid Flash both returned pretty recently. How many Teen Titans readers would like to see them back on the team?

Following Through

Update: CBR’s article on HeroesCon’s DC Nation has a few details missing from the Newsarama version.

First, Ethan Van Sciver talked more about Flash: Rebirth:

“It’s the best thing to be doing right now,” Van Sciver said. “Geoff Johns and I have a very large vision for these characters.” He said they’re planting “little tentpoles” and have big plans for Bart Allen.

This puts the other remark about Bart into context…though of course, what those plans might be remain in the “wait and see” corner.

A fan also asked EVS about the fate of Rival, and he simply said, “What happens in the Speed Force stays in the Speed Force.”

Another fan wanted Barry Allen to wear bow ties in Justice League of America, but new artist Mark Bagley declined, saying he (Bagley? Barry?) “doesn’t own a single tie.”

Seriously, what is it with the bow tie?

Undoing Crisis & Waiting for the Trade

CBR has posted a write-up of the DC Nation panel at Bristol Comics Expo last weekend, and Dan Didio has (as usual) some interesting things to say about the Flash.

All modern concepts of The Flash stem from the Silver Age Barry Allen version of him, and ‘The Flash: Rebirth’ does not negate the all of the stories that have gone before, it merely brings back the star character of the franchise in order to revitalize and expand the Flash universe, using the core concept as the foundation.

Well, sure, it doesn’t negate them…except for the stories that have been negated. For example, anything that involves Barry’s parents being alive during his career as the Flash, like the Identity Crisis tie-in, “The Secret of Barry Allen.” Hmm, I wonder who wrote that one?

Undoing Crisis on Infinite Earths

Crisis on Infinite Earths Poster

He also explains that since the “pillars of ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’” — the deaths of the Flash and Supergirl, and elimination of the multiverse — had long since started falling, they might as well knock them all over. I’m not sure I’d consider those “pillars.” Things that happened, sure, but the key purpose of COIE was to combine DC’s multiple universes’ worth of characters into a single, cohesive history — and that still stands. There may be alternate realities, alternate timelines, hypertime, a multiverse, whatever you want to call it — but they’re all variations on a theme.

There’s still a main DC Universe which is home to all the Golden Age DC characters, all the Silver Age DC characters, all the characters DC bought from Fawcett, Quality, Charlton and other companies, even the Milestone and Archie/Red Circle characters that they just licensed last year. They’re all part of “The DC Universe,” which itself has become a brand name.

Just adding a multiverse that contains worlds for the Tangent characters, popular Elseworlds concepts, and new alternate realities? That doesn’t undo the Crisis. Really undoing it would mean splitting off groups of characters into separate universes, and at this point DC couldn’t do that without a much more substantial reboot than they did with Zero Hour or Infinite Crisis.

Waiting for the Trade

One last note: Didio’s perspective on trade-waiting, and DC’s focus on periodicals:

We have to make it feel like you can’t wait for the trade. I hate the expression ‘wait for the trade.’ It’s the thing that upsets me the most, because it means in my opinion that what we’re creating isn’t worth reading now. ‘I can pick it up a year from now.’

It’s an interesting take on the issue. It reminds me of a remark someone else made about how if you wait for the trade, you might not remember to pick it up a year from now, whereas if you’re buying something every month, you’re a lot less likely to forget. I suppose there’s some truth to that, but I’ll say this much: when it comes to prose authors I follow, if I’m following a series or really looking forward to their new book, I’m going to either pre-order it or go straight to the local bookstore the week it comes out.

I mean, how many Harry Potter fans forgot to pick up the last book when it came out?

Speed Reading: Kadabra, Death, and the Marks

Linkblogging for a Friday afternoon…

The Absorbascon examines Abra Kadabra, go-to-guy for crazy, impossible things.

Now Read This! reviews Flash: Emergency Stop.

Death and Rebirth

The Alliterates ponders why dead men (Barry & Hal) tell more tales.

Dan Didio talks death and resurrection in his latest 20 Questions feature.

Where Are They Now?

Mark Waid talks Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer.

Marc Guggenheim (“Full Throttle”) and Michael Green talk about trying to get serialized fiction onto TV…not to mention dealing with religious themes on TV.

Speed Reading: Podcasts, Movie, Rebirth, and More

A few Flash-related posts I’ve found on the web over the past week:

Director Shawn Levy tells MTV’s Splash Page why he left the Flash movie. It turns out to be rather mundane: they wanted someone to focus entirely on The Flash, but he didn’t want to abandon Night at the Museum 2.


The Flash-back Podcast has moved to a new site. (Older podcasts are still at the original location.)

Meanwhile, Tom vs. the Flash tackles Flash v.1 #175, the second Flash/Superman race.

The latest Collected Comics Library Podcast focuses on the 1997 graphic novel, The Life Story of the Flash.

Rebirth Reactions

Comics Nexus wants to see the Flash mantle explored, not just one of the heroes who bears it, and characterizes the previous dynamic as:

Jay (the past),

Wally (the present),

Bart (the future)

and Barry (the aspiration, inspiration and reward).

4thLetter!’s David Brothers, in considering the end of 100 Bullets, sees Flash: Rebirth as “a signal that the DC Universe is moving in a direction that is pointedly Not For Me.”

Looking Back

Comic Coverage lists the Reverse-Flash among the Top 10 Comic Book Villains.

You Should Read Comics, looking at early Silver-Age Kid Flash stories, concludes that in his younger days, “Wally West was a narc.” On more recent topics, the blog tries to figure out what Dan Didio is trying to say when he answers questions about Hal Jordan and Barry Allen.

Slightly off-topic

Velocity: Pilot Season (200px)Comics Should Be Good reviews Velocity: Pilot Season #1, the 2007 book that was supposed to lead into an ongoing series from Top Cow.

Christopher Irving of Four Color Reality finds inspiration in Geoff Johns’ career in comics.

And while not Flash-related, I rather like Robot 6’s Grumpy Old Fan’s description of Bruce Wayne:

I think of Bruce Wayne as a frustrated marketer, spreading appropriate amounts of fear and respect virally through Gotham City, with Bat-symbols big as searchlights and small as stationery. In terms of both the real world and the comics, Batman relies on his outsized reputation.

Origins: Only as Complicated as You Want Them To Be

Secret Origins Annual 2Back in February, DC’s Executive Editor Dan Didio stated that one of the reasons they are bringing back Barry Allen as the primary Flash is because “you can’t tell the origin of Wally West without Barry Allen.” I have to agree with Comics Should Be Good that this isn’t a valid reason. It doesn’t take that much more time to explain Barry’s involvement in Wally West’s origin.

I had the same problem with complaints that Bart Allen’s origin was too complicated.

The origins are only complicated because we, as fans, want to include every little detail.*

Up to Speed

When it comes down to it, all you really need to explain the Flash — any Flash — is that he’s really, really fast, and he helps people (as Marc Guggenheim pointed out in his brief run on Flash: The Fastest Man Alive).

Flash v.1 #309How about an origin? For Jay Garrick, Barry Allen and Wally West, the key element is: “A laboratory accident gave him super-speed.” You can get a little more specific if you like, say, “Gained super-speed after being struck by lightning and splashed with chemicals.” As for Bart Allen? “Inherited super-speed from his grandfather” — kind of like Zatanna, who inherited her magic from her parents, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone complain that her origin is too complicated.

Sure, you can go into all the time-travel and accelerated aging for Bart, but you don’t need that for the sales pitch. It might help explain his personality during his years as Impulse, but even then, all you have to add is, “He was raised in virtual reality and has no concept of danger.”

Of course, if you’re going to tell a 7-part, 150-page epic Secret Origin story, I think there’s plenty room to cover a mentorship with a classic hero.


Flash v.2 #62Now, if you’re going to do a Wally West story that really focuses on the fact that Barry Allen was his idol, his uncle, and his mentor, then yeah, you need to explain that relationship. But for the typical Flash vs. some Rogue story, the reader doesn’t need that level of detail. It’s enough to know that he trained under the previous Flash and later succeeded him. Kind of like how Hal Jordan trained under another Green Lantern (Sinestro), and succeeded a third Green Lantern (Abin Sur). Not only does the training under Sinestro seem to factor into most retellings of Hal’s origin, but the history between Hal and Sinestro seems to be extremely important to the current Green Lantern mythology.

Green Lantern #33And yet I’ve never heard anyone claim that since you need to know Sinestro in order to know Hal Jordan’s origin, you might as well focus the Green Lantern series on Sinestro.

Or, for that matter, that since you need to know Obi-Wan Kenobi in order to understand how Luke Skywalker became a Jedi, then you really ought to focus on Obi-Wan instead of Luke. (Though given the current focus of the Star Wars franchise on the prequel era, perhaps that’s not the best example.)


So, is Barry Allen important to Wally West’s origin? Absolutely, no question about it. Does it make his origin more complicated? A little. Does it mean that DC can’t tell compelling, comprehensible stories about Wally West as the Flash? Of course not. Admittedly DC hasn’t been telling the best Flash stories possible lately, but having Barry in Wally’s background certainly didn’t stop them from telling good stories over the previous 20 years.

This is not to say that DC shouldn’t tell stories with Barry Allen instead of Wally West. Just that if they want to claim that it’s somehow necessary or better to focus on Barry, this particular rationale doesn’t hold up.

*Update: It’s not just comics fans, either. I once asked a family friend what Les Misérables was about, and she spent at least twenty minutes describing the plot of the three-hour stage version. And consider this tribute to “excruciatingly detailed” movie plot summaries on Wikipedia.) I don’t know if it’s our attention to detail, or our love of storytelling, but it’s just so easy to pile things on that a new reader doesn’t really need to worry about until a story warrants it.

(Thanks to comics.org for the cover scans.)