Tag Archives: Mark Millar

Speed Reading: Retro Reviews, Doug Hazlewood, TV Shows and More

The Victoria Advocate profiles Doug Hazlewood.

Comics In Crisis presents Flash v.2 #182 (2002), the Captain Cold Rogue Profile story, among the 10 Essential Bronze Age Comic Stories You Should Read. I’d disagree with the Bronze-Age classification (traditionally, the Bronze Age of Comics ran from the 1970s through mid 1980s, with Crisis on Infinite Earths being a good reference point for DC books), but it’s absolutely a must-read.

X-Man reviews Flash vol.2 #1 (1987), noting how different Wally West was at the age of 20 than he is today. That’s actually one of the things Wallys’ long-term fans like most about the character: that we’ve seen him grow and change naturally, rather than simply be given a personality transplant whenever a new writer shows up.

The Quantum Blog talks about TV shows canceled before their time, including the 1990-1991 Flash TV Series. (Hard to believe it’s been almost 20 years. Seriously, Quantum Leap is having a 20th Anniversary convention this month. I feel old…)

The Worlogog celebrates Weird Silver Age Tales of the Flash.

I haven’t had a chance to listen yet, but Raging Bullets Podcast #152 features Flash’s Rogues with listener guest Mike Simms.

Heritage Auctions will be selling a CGC 9.6 copy of Showcase #4, the comic that rebooted the Flash as Barry Allen, launching the Silver Age (via It’s all Just Comics)

A Journal of Zarjaz Things looks at Flash: Emergency Stop, griping that Grant Morrison’s 9-issue run is split across two trades with the second “padded” out with a 3-parter by Mark Millar. IMO, though, Morrison didn’t write a 9-issue Morrison run — he co-wrote 9 issues of a 12-issue Morrison/Millar run. It would have been less responsible for DC to print only the Morrison issues and leave out “The Black Flash,” which has arguably had more lasting impact on the Flash mythos than the other stories in these trades, good as they are. (It is silly that they left out the first two parts of “Three of a Kind,” though.)

Trade Contents Confirmed: Mercury Falling and The Human Race

The newsletter DC Comics Direct Channel #914 identifies the contents of the upcoming Flash Presents: Mercury Falling and Flash: The Human Race trade paperbacks.

May 2009: Flash Presents: Mercury Falling (Todd Dezago, Ethan Van Sciver) will collect Impulse #62-67. That covers the 5-issue story arc itself as well as the one-issue epilogue guest-starring the Justice League, Justice Society and Young Justice.

June 2009: Flash: The Human Race (Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, Paul Ryan, Pop Mhan) will collect Flash v.2 #136-141 and a story from Secret Origins #50. The Flash issues cover both “The Human Race” and “The Black Flash.”

The Secret Origins story is undoubtedly the retelling of the classic “Flash of Two Worlds,” (Flash v.1 #123) in which Grant Morrison figured out how to incorporate the parallel-world story into a single-world setting. Unless I’ve forgotten something, this volume and Flash: Emergency Stop will cover all of Grant Morrison’s Flash solo work.

It also lists the Final Crisis hardcover coming out in June, along with the Final Crisis Companion trade paperback, which includes all the FC one-shots (including Superman: Beyond, which started as a one-shot that just got too long.) No word yet on when Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge will be collected, but there are supposed to be more summer 2009 announcements later this week.

“The Human Race” Finishes Collecting the Morrison/Millar Run

More Flash news from Collected Editions: Fall 2009 will also see the release of the trade paperback, Flash: The Human Race. No doubt this will collect Flash #136-141, containing “The Human Race” (Grant Morrison & Mark Millar, with art by Paul Ryan & John Nyberg) and “The Black Flash,” (Mark Millar with art by Pop Mhan & Chris Ivy), rounding out the Morrison/Millar run on The Flash starts with January’s release of The Flash: Emergency Stop.

Frankly, I’m surprised they went with “The Human Race” as the title. I think “The Black Flash” is a more well-remembered (and well-regarded) story, particularly given the character’s recent appearances in The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive — Full Throttle.

Now if DC will just start filling in some of the missing stories from the Mark Waid/Brian Augustyn run…

Update: Amazon now shows a release date of June 9, 2009.

No Black Flash Trade Yet

Contrary to previous reports, it turns out that “The Black Flash” isn’t getting the collected edition treatment just yet. Now that DC’s December solicitations are out, they’ve officially solicited the January 21 release of The Flash: Emergency Stop. It’s confirmed at a $12.95 trade paperback covering Flash vol.2 #130-135 — only half of the Grant Morrison/Mark Millar run.

So what does that include?

  • “Emergency Stop” — Flash vs. the Suit, with a time travel mystery.
  • A one-shot fighting the Mirror Master.
  • A one-shot focusing on Jay Garrick.
  • The third part of the “Three of a Kind” crossover with Green Arrow and Green Lantern.

See also my overview of the whole run.

The surprise here isn’t that it’s only half the run. 6 issues is typical for a collection these days, and since the whole run is 12 issues, that makes it easy to cover the whole thing in two books.

The surprise is that with “Three of a Kind,” they included 1/3 of a 3-part story. At least it should flow reasonably well, since it was told with its own framing sequence, but it’s still an odd choice.

Update: “The Black Flash” will appear in Flash: The Human Race, shipping in June 2009.

Emergency Stop: Full Run?

Rumor column Lying in the Gutters seems to think that the upcoming Emergency Stop trade paperback contains the entire Morrison/Millar run on The Flash from 1997. And considering that Amazon is currently quoting a list price of $60(!), I certainly hope so! For that price — heck, even for the discounted price of $37.80 — it ought to be both complete and a hardcover!

It’s still listed as shipping in January, so with any luck we’ll get more solid information in DC’s next round of solicitations.

On a related note, the first real substantive post I made on this blog was a summary of the Morrison/Millar run. I don’t remember what price Amazon was quoting back then.

Flash Sales: 1996-2002

Following up on yesterday’s graph showing Flash Sales from 2001-2008, I did some more searching and found a site with figures going back to 1996. More importantly, this one also has relative rankings.

Sales — but not ranking — dropped heavily in 1996 and early 1997. Of course, this was in the middle of the speculator crash, so the entire comics industry was doing pretty badly at the time. (Also, the first issue in these stats might have been higher, since #119 was a Final Night tie-in.)

They stayed in the low-to-mid 40,000s for the next few years, during the Grant Morrison/Mark Millar run and the return of Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn. Highlights during this period include:

  • #130, the first Morrison/Millar issue.
  • #135, part of the “Three of a Kind” crossover with Green Lantern and Green Arrow.
  • #1,000,000, part of the DC One Million crossover. Oddly, it didn’t jump much the previous month, when Waid and Augustyn returned with #142.
  • Small spike for #150, conclusion of Chain Lightning and a milestone issue.
  • Larger spike for #152, start of the Dark Flash saga.
  • I’m not sure what made #157 catch on, unless it was the striking cover showing Linda’s grave.

Sales started dropping as soon as Waid and Augustyn wrapped up the main part of their run (#159), and the book went into a series of done-in-ones.

Geoff Johns took over for a 6-part arc, “Wonderland,” with #164. I was surprised to find that sales dropped through the whole arc, but DC decided to give him the regular gig anyway. They kept dropping through “Blood Will Run,” bottoming out with the conclusion in #174. Oddly enough, that was also the highest rated issue since he’d taken over. The next year and a half held steady around 30,000. And the post-2002 climb is shown in yesterday’s post.

This shows an interesting contrast to DC’s current tactic of changing the creative team every time sales come in lower than the month before.

Other Observations

These years also cover most of Impulse‘s 90-issue run. At the start of this period it was selling in the mid-to-low-30K range, dropped to around 20K in 1998, and down to 15K from 2000-2002.

This also includes the overlap period between regular Annuals and Secret Files.

For three months in 1999, there were four Flash-related books each month: Flash, Impulse, and the miniseries Flashpoint and Flash/Green Lantern: The Brave and the Bold. The latter miniseries outsold Flash for the first two months, then dropped below it for the next four issues.

The actual figures from CBGXtra appear after the cut. Continue reading