Tag Archives: OGN

SDCC: JMS to write Flash: Earth One

J. Michael Straczynski announced at Comic-Con that he’ll be writing The Flash: Earth One graphic novel. As CBR reports:

Straczynski told a packed room of around 300 fans at Comic-Con International in San Diego that “Flash: Earth One” will focus on the Barry Allen version of the speedster. The graphic novel, he said, should be on shelves in 2016, and will feature the fourth franchise to make the leap to the OGN line which JMS helped launch with “Superman: Earth One.”

“It’s a very different take on the character,” he promised. To convince the audience of his enthusiasm for the character, he described how when he was a kid he repeatedly used to practice catching a falling glass of water because he saw the Flash do it in a comic.

No artist has been announced yet.

The “Earth One” series is built around original graphic novel series instead of monthly comics. The current DC You books are mostly set on Earth-Zero (with a few obvious exceptions like Earth-2: Society, Prez and the recently-announced Superman: Lois and Clark series. Two volumes of Superman and one each of Batman and Teen Titans are available now, with Wonder Woman and now Flash on the way.

Update: Also announced at SDCC: Francis Manapul will be writing and drawing Earth One: Aquaman!

SDCC: Grant Morrison to write “Multiversity Too: The Flash” OGN

Lost in all the Flash TV news on Saturday was this announcement from the Grant Morrison spotlight panel at SDCC: Morrison will follow up the success of Multiversity by writing a series of original graphic novels called Multiversity Too, set in various realms of the DC multiverse. The first is planned to be Multiversity Too: The Flash in 2016.

There’s no word yet on an artist, or which reality, or which Flash the book will focus on. DC is playing up the possibilities.

It’s been a while since Morrison wrote a Flash solo story, back when he and Mark Millar co-wrote the main series for a year back in the late 1990s. He has of course written the character in plenty of team-up books, most recently a number of Flashes in the pages of Multiversity.

UPDATE: As JasonV points out in the comments, Morrison spoke to CBR about the project, explaining:

[I’m] doing the Flash almost as a sci-fi story where it’s a guy getting faster. Really simple, a Richard Matheson idea like “Shrinking Man,” or Stephen King’s “Thinner” where you just take a really simple notion — bigger, smaller. This one, he’s someone getting faster. What does that mean? And seeing how The Flash would emerge from just this very simple scientist getting faster story. So I’m doing that, and to a certain extent it’s a revamp, but it’s happening outside the main continuity.

He went on to add:

I love Wally West, but this one I want to be Barry Allen. He fits in better. I like the idea of the police forensic scientist. And I know they’ve done a lot more of that in the recent [comics], but back in the day that was barely looked at. And I want to do the Iris relationship, the idea of this girl who’s like super fast in this city who’s obsessed with fashion and they all drink coffee. It’s just a fast city and [all that] information. And she can’t stop talking — like me, I can’t stop talking. And Barry’s this methodical guy and suddenly he’s like he’s on speed all the time and it’s just getting worse and worse and worse. And she’s kind of having to deal with her boyfriend who she quite liked as being the slow, methodical guy is suddenly turned into this pop star, this fizzing as if he’s on coke constantly. And there’s there’s also a tragedy of what happens as we start to approach the speed of light.

Multiversity Flashes

Thoughts on Earth One

This morning, DC announced the first two volumes in Earth One, a new series of original graphic novels set in a new continuity. The first two books will be Superman: Earth One by J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis, and Batman: Earth One by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank.

It’s being discussed all over the place, so I’ll just state my initial thoughts.

The Positives

First, I love the idea of a series of OGNs. There’s a huge potential audience out there in bookstores, and while collected editions help meet that audience, there are drawbacks — particularly pacing (when read serially) and the fact that waiting for the trade means missing out on the fan conversation. It works for prose novels, it works for Scott Pilgrim, it works for manga (even if it was originally serialized in Japan, it may as well be OGNs as far as the American audience is concerned), and it’s good to see DC taking the concept seriously.

Second, an Ultimate-style reboot of the DC Universe is a good idea. 80 years of continuity, multiple “soft” reboots, heroes who have been replaced, then come back, major events based on short stories from 25 years ago…the modern DC Universe is a complicated place. A project that reaches out to a new audience is a good opportunity to streamline things without messing with the monthly continuity.

Third, I like the Batman redesign.

The Negatives

It makes sense to start with Superman and Batman, because these are two characters that everyone is familiar with, even those who don’t read comics. But they’re starting with the origin stories. Who doesn’t know Superman’s origin? Or Batman’s? With any other character, I’d say it would be worth starting with an origin, but with these two, it might be better to jump in at the deep end and fill in the backstory as they go along.

If they keep the series going, it won’t be a problem, but I can see it being a problem for the first volumes. It reminds me of the choice for the movie of The Golden Compass to rip out the ending and move it to the start of the second movie. It definitely hurt the first movie, and probably contributed to the fact that there won’t be a second movie.

It also makes me worry that, like so many rebooted series, they’ll eventually turn to retelling older stories instead of telling new ones.

The Earth One branding seems…a little obtuse. It means nothing to the new audience, and judging by comments I’ve seen, it’s already confusing the existing DC audience. [Edit: expanded a bit more in that link.]


I can’t reach the AICN interview, but CBR’s article quotes Geoff Johns as saying that the plan is for two novels a year. Two total? Or two per character? If these take off, two per character would be a much better approach, especially if they expand it to Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, and beyond.