Tag Archives: Golden Age

Digital Comics, Wally West, and the Forgotten Gold & Bronze Flash Archives

I hope today’s release of Flash vol.2 #2-6 on ComiXology signals the beginning of a complete digital release of the Wally West Flash series. This brings the total to 63 issues scattered around the 249-issue series (including #0 and #1,000,000, both already available), mostly from the Waid and Johns runs, but there are still a lot of gaps…and most of the material is out of print.

»Flash comics at ComiXology.

The Mike Baron (#1-14) and William Messner-Loebs (#15-61) runs on The Flash have never been reprinted in trade paperback, and only the highlights of the extensive Mark Waid/Brian Augustyn run (#62-162, minus a year off for Morrison/Millar) have been collected. A lot of that is due to the changing market during the 1990s. When Waid started, collected editions were rare. Vertigo was seeing some success, but the idea that people would shell out for a whole series in graphic novel form hadn’t yet sunk in. (These were the days when studios weren’t sure there was a market for complete TV seasons on home video, either.) By the time Geoff Johns took over the title, DC was collecting full runs of a few high-profile series, but not all, or even most of their books.

Now, of course, everyone expects most comic books will be collected, and waiting for the trade is actually a workable strategy. But it’s not often that DC Comics goes back to fill in the gaps in their library — at least, not in print.

Gold and Bronze

With any luck, digital releases will also be the way we’ll finally get the Bronze Age and the Golden Age re-released. I’ve grumbled on a number of occasions that DC seems to keep reprinting the same early years of the Silver Age every time they come up with a new format, and never seem to get past the early/mid-1960s on Barry Allen’s series. (Even the upcoming Flash Archives vol.6 brings that series up to…1964.)

I’d really like to see more Golden Age Flash Archives. DC has only gotten as far as issue #24 out of 104, and the first super-villain (The Shade, as it turns out) doesn’t appear until #33…but these volumes seem to come out so rarely that I expect to die of old age before DC finishes collecting the series. In print, anyway. This is one of the reasons I went forward with my effort to hunt down the original comics, or at least as many of the key issues as I could find in my price range. Continue reading

Wayback Wednesday: How To Make a Golden-Age Flash Costume

With Halloween approaching fast, now* seems like a good time to highlight a pair of old posts on how to make a Jay Garrick costume!

My wife and I (OK, it was mostly her) made this for Comic-Con International 2009, and it worked out really well. Unfortunately the gold paint on the helmet wings has tarnished since then, and the boot covers have detached themselves from the shoes, so it needs some touch-up if I plan to wear it again. Maybe next year.

*Yeah, I know last week or even earlier in October would have been a better time, but I only came up with this “Wayback Wednesday” idea acouple of days ago.

Early Flash (and Jim Membership)

Excerpted from an essay originally posted at K-Squared Ramblings in 2005.

Golden Age Flash Archives vol.1Most comic book character indexes aren’t really interested in the supporting cast, or even one-off villains. If I want to find a major villain like the Fiddler, chances are I can find a complete list somewhere online. But if I want to know which issues featured Jay’s old college buddies, I’m on my own.

Speaking of Jay’s old college buddies, he runs into five of them during the issues featured in The Golden Age Flash Archives, Vol. 1….and four of them are named Jim. There’s Jimmie Dolan, Jim Evans, Jim Carter, and Jim Dane. (Interestingly, the fifth friend is named Wally.) Jim Carter and Jim Dane are both in silver mining. Jimmie Dolan and Jim Evans both know that Jay is the Flash, but Jim Carter and Jim Dane don’t. I suspect that Carter and Dane are the same guy, but the writer didn’t remember the name he used before and didn’t feel like looking it up. (Comics were episodic back then, and you didn’t have continuity police among the readers ready to pounce on every coloring error.)

Also interesting: In the 17 issues collected in that book, no super-villains appear. The villains are all gangsters, kidnappers, corrupt politicians, crime bosses, etc. Even the story with the giant lizards has gangsters creating them. Skimming one list, the first recognizable villain to show up is the Shade—in issue #33! For the first three years (or at least the first year and a half), most of the Flash’s enemies wore ordinary business suits!

Note: Since I originally wrote this, I have tracked down a number of Golden Age stories. You can read a follow-up in Completing the Set: Tracing the Origins of the Shade.

Why the Flash is the Most Important Character of the DC Universe

Today’s guest post is by Shaun Rosado of Shauncastic!

A Sound of Thunder

The sound of thunder, a crack of lightning and in a flash everything is different. No, I’m not talking about Flashpoint; DC Comics’ current take on a “Flash-centric” Event. I’m talking about the Flash as a character and the profound difference he’s made in comics. Ever since I was a child, I always felt a deep connection to the Flash. Perhaps it was the sense of the character’s long history, reaching all the way back to World War 2 with Jay Garrick as the original Flash. Perhaps it was the idea that when I was at my most impressionable the Flash TV show had just begun and would capture my imagination. Or perhaps it’s because the Flash is the most important character of the DC Universe.

Yeah. You read that right. I typed it. The Flash is the THE most important character of the DC Universe.

Of course, I don’t expect to get away with saying something like this without a little backup.

So let’s take a moment and just go over the finer points of my argument. When the Flash began way back in the 40s, he was a character that was given his own book nearly as soon as he was established. In January 1940, Flash Comics began as a variety comic that would feature new characters and give them a chance to flourish. Some of the most famous of these characters would be Johnny Thunder, Hawkman, Hawkgirl and Black Canary. This began an eerie precedence of the Flash establishing ideas and characters that would last and break out of his book time and time again. The book ran nearly the entire span of the Golden age, ending just a few months shy of the “official” end date.

But this is not a sprint and the above argument certainly does not win the Flash the title of Greatest Character Ever. This is a marathon…and as we all know, the Flash is the Fastest Man Alive. Continue reading

The Shade – 12-Issue Miniseries Launches in October

DC has started releasing information about its October comics this week, including several miniseries launching in the second month of the DC relaunch.  Among them: James Robinson’s 12-issue miniseries featuring The Shade, as reported by CBR.

The Shade is probably more associated with Starman these days, but he started life as a Golden-Age Flash villain, one of the trio whose place in DC history was later secured by appearing in Flash of Two Worlds.

Even though he only made one appearance in the Golden Age (as compared to the many tines Jay Garrick fought the Thinker or Fiddler), the Shade is the oldest Flash villain to survive it. The only older themed/named villain, the Threat (All-Flash #2), was a one-off who died in his first appearance and never returned.

1:10 Variant cover by CULLY HAMNER
On sale OCTOBER 12 * 1 of 12, 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US * RATED T+

James Robinson returns to the world of his acclaimed STARMAN series with a new 12-issue series starring the antihero known as The Shade! An attack at the Starman museum kicks off a globe-hopping, centuries spanning quest that will irrevocably change The Shade’s life, and ultimately shed light on his true origin! Artist extraordinaire Cully Hamner (RED) kicks off the series, and upcoming issues will feature art by such luminaries as Darwyn Cooke, Javier Pulido, Jill Thompson, Frazer Irving and Gene Ha!

UPDATE: CBR interviews Robinson about the series.

JLU Jay Garrick Gets A Release Date!

With all the April Fool’s Hoopla on Speed Force and Fastest Fan Alive, I managed to miss this very important and awesome announcement from Matty on Facebook:

JLU Fans,

After much struggle, I was able to convince management to put two of the remaining eight JLU 3-packs up on MattyCollector.com in the fall. This will be a big test to see if it’s a viable option for selling figures this way. If we’re successful, it opens the door to the remaining six packs. If not, we may be out of options.

Here’s the deal… there will be no changes to the packs from the original 3-pack configuration because that would require additional development. We know some of these packs are more “retail friendly” instead of just for collectors (like the inclusion of Superman and Aquaman with fan-demanded Toy Man) but honestly, it is what it is and we can’t change things at this point.

The two packs sold on MattyCollector.com in September will be the Golden Age pack with Hawkman / Green Lantern / Flash and the Space Pack With Starman / Animal Man / Adam Strange. These packs were chosen because they were the farthest along in development, plain and simple.

I’m super stoked to reveal the 3-packs over the weekend at WonderCon so check Facebook to see when I’ve posted pictures of them. And if you’re in the San Francisco area, be sure to stop by WonderCon to meet me and the team!


P.S. This is definitely NOT an April’s Fool’s Day joke. I’d never kid about something like this.

Definitely good news. Very pleased that I won’t have to be dropping 70 bucks or so on a JLU Jay Garrick “prototype” on eBay. Even happier that this is going to be sold on Mattycollector.com, so everyone has a chance at it. I just hope the website is working properly cause I have a feeling this Golden Age set is going to sell out fast. It features figures that appeal to a wide variety of fans; Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, JLU, JSA and even Golden Age fans are going to want a crack at it.

Action Figure Insider had some of the first legit pics up and the set looks absolutely stunning:


Picture Courtesy of AFi


Sculpts and details are all spot on. Only thing now is the waiting, September is sooo far away. I’m almost tempted to bid on one of those Jay prototypes on eBay. Almost. One thing I’m learning is that patience goes a long way for certain collectibles as far as getting the best price. Only thing is you could miss out on an item entirely by waiting for the cheaper deal when dealing with limited items like the Con-exclusive White Lantern Flash. Only 1000 were made, making it extremely rare, and once they are gone, they are gone. The only chance is the after market and then expect to pay even more the longer you wait.

Anyone throwing their hat in for the JLU Golden Age Set?

Devin “Flash” Johnson