Today’s guest post is the fourth in a series of interviews by Greg Elias on The Art of Speed.
Between stints working the Gotham City beat with Robin, artist Freddie E. Williams II took his talents to Keystone City and the home of the young West family.
First teamed with Mark Waid, Williams hit his stride when Tom Peyer took over as writer. Ringing in a mind-bending new villain, the wrath of Grodd and the challenges of high-speed fatherhood, Williams and Peyer brought Flash from Keystone to Gorilla City and into the Speed Force.
In addition to his work on Robin, Williams has handled art duties on Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle, Final Crisis Afterman: Run and JSA All-Stars. Though his time on Flash interiors ended with issue #246, he contributed the cover to issue #248.
We spoke with Williams via email about his time on Flash, including the design of new villian Spin, the joy of gorillas and learning to love the lightning. He shared some of his techniques, as well as some original art!
Here’s a Speed Force first: An original interview (Not a link! Not a reprint!) with outgoing Flash writer Tom Peyer!
SPEED FORCE: You started your run by introducing a new villain, Spin, who has the power to make people’s anxieties into reality. Did you envision him as a single-use villain, or a recurring one?
TOM PEYER: You never really know if a villain is recurring until he or she recurs. I didn’t plan to kill him — but even that doesn’t always stop a villain from coming back. I was just thinking of him one story at a time.
SF: While the Flash has had many enemies over the course of his career, few have had the staying power of the original Rogues. A few years ago, they were practically regulars in the book. If they had been available when you took over as writer, would you have used them early on, or held them in reserve for later stories?
PEYER: Well, we did use Grodd. But the Mirror Masters and Captain Colds had appeared a lot in recent years, so it felt like creating Spin was the right approach. Plus, I wanted to grind my axe about cable news, and the Weather Wizard didn’t quite fit. But if I’d wanted to write a polemic against the Weather Channel… oh, don’t get me started.
SF: How did you approach balancing the story between the Flash and his kids? Do you think that the family dynamic ultimately resulted in more or fewer story possibilities? Continue reading