Tag Archives: Smallville

Black Flash in Ame-Comi Girls & Smallville Haunted TPB

Two items from DC Comics’ September solicitations, both from their digital-first line:

AME-COMI GIRLS #7
Written by JUSTIN GRAY and JIMMY PALMIOTTI
Art by HORACIO DOMINGUES, EDUARDO FRANCISCO and RUBEN GONZALEZ
Cover by EDUARDO FRANCISCO
On sale SEPTEMBER 4 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST

Meet the Hellions—a team of misfit Ame-Comi Girls out to have fun and save the world. It’s not easy for Black Flash being the only undead, crime-fighting teenager in school. But when she meets Red Raven and her badass besties, she may have finally found a place to fit in.

The Black Flash statue was originally a repaint of the Jesse Quick-as-the-Flash statue. I find it interesting that the Ame-Comi comics have expanded to include the repaint characters. Presumably the chapters featuring her will appear digitally in August. Does anyone know if Jesse Quick/The Flash has had a spotlight story in this series?

SMALLVILLE SEASON 11 VOL. 3: HAUNTED TP
Written by BRYAN Q. MILLER
Art by JORGE JIMENEZ
Cover by SCOTT KOLINS
On sale OCTOBER 16 • 144 pg, FC, $14.99 US

In these stories from issues #9-12, mysterious speed storms have struck across the globe, and a familiar face returns to help Clark to stop them. Then, Lex moves against Tess to reveal what she knows about The Man of Steel, and the secrets of Earth-Two Chloe are revealed!

This collects the full story that quest-starred Bart Allen as Impulse and Jay Garrick as the Flash of the Justice Society in the Smallville universe.

Smallville: Haunted

Of Robins and Flashes…Endangered Species?

flash v3 issue 12SOME SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN’T READ SMALLVILLE SEASON ELEVEN

Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out just what is more dangerous in the DC Universe – to be a Robin or to wear a lightning bolt on your shirt?  There seem to be a lot of beloved characters falling by the wayside lately, and it bears some examination.  After all, Jason Todd, Stephanie Brown, and now Damian Wayne have all died while wearing the symbol of Robin.  It hasn’t been the safest role to take on in the DCU…although I would make an argument that running fast seems to attract even more trouble.

In the latest print issue of  Smallville Season Eleven we find the conclusion of the story arc that features Bart Allen, the Impulse of the Smallville-verse.  In this story, Clark and his good friend Bart are reunited in a globe-hopping battle against the Black Racer, the enemy of Flashes past and present.  In the end, Bart saves the day…but sacrifices himself to do so.  All we are left with are Clark’s plans to build “a big statue” to Bart, and another Flash that has left some form or other of DC continuity.

This adds to the demise of the Wally West of Earth 16 in “Young Justice”, and the deaths and disappearances of Flashes over the years.  Let’s take a partial toll here:

  • Barry Allen died saving the Earth in Crisis on Infinite Earths, remaining basically “dead” until Flash Rebirth.
  • Jay Garrick and the rest of the JSA died over and over again soon after CoIE while in a continual time loop, fighting the battle of Ragnarok.  This is where they stayed for several years until they were brought back into DC continuity.
  • Wally West has been in and out of the Speed Force, presumed dead more than once, killed in the Flashpoint series without ever having taken on the mantle of Flash, and now does not even exist in the New52.  He was killed once again on Earth 16 in Young Justice as noted above.
  • Bart Allen was pummeled to death by the Rogues while serving as the fourth Flash, being brought back to life some time later.  And, as noted above, his Smallville-verse self just took a one-way ticket (presumably) into the Speed Force.

This doesn’t even start to list other dead or missing speedsters like Johnny and Jesse Quick, Max Mercury, or Wally’s kids.  It really doesn’t seem safe to run fast these days.flash tfma 13

The toughest part of all this for me is the way the actual deaths are being handled lately.  Bart’s passing in Smallville felt forced…it wasn’t truly necessary.  Yes, he got rid of the menace…but how did that help Clark and the rest of the Smallville gang?  Believe it or not…exposure to Speed Force energy somehow cleansed Clark of the tracking radiation Luthor was using to follow Superman’s every move.  This allowed Superman to resume acting as Clark Kent without being found out by Luthor.

In other words…Bart’s sacrifice was made so that he could act as a “spot-remover” to some radiation that was creating an inconvenience for Clark.

I have supported (and continue to support) the New52 volume of The Flash, as it represents some of the finest scripting and art in the DC lineup today.  I’m not the guy that would ask “Where’s Wally?” for the thousandth time to Dan Didio at a con.  I do like most of what I see from DC – I’m a DC guy and have been for over 40 years of collecting.  I’m just sad to see the plot device of killing off speedsters used so much.  It seems that being a Robin or a Flash means you are wearing a red shirt in the metaphorical sense as well as in the literal sense…and both roles are simply too valuable to the history of the DC Universe to continue to be treated in that way.

Bart and Jay Once Again in Smallville Season Eleven (Review of issue #12)

Smallville 11 issue 12Issue #12 of Smallville Season Eleven continues the “Haunted” storyline, which has several different story threads…including the return of Bart Allen and our chance to meet the Jay Garrick of the Smallville-verse.  It is truly hard to say much more without spoiling…so let’s go straight to the review…

SPOILERS AHEAD! DO NOT READ FURTHER UNTIL YOU HAVE READ THE ISSUE!

Continue reading

Flash Collections for Fall 2013

Flash #13: Gorilla WarfareDC Comics has released their Fall 2013 collections list, including the following titles:

The Flash Vol. 3: Gorilla Warfare HC
Writers: Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato
Artists: Francis Manapul, Marcus To, Ryan Winn and Marcio Takara
Collects: The Flash #13-19
$24.99 US, 176 pg
December 2013

Amazon already has the book available for pre-order.

The Flash Vol. 2: Rogues Revolution TP
Writers: Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato
Artists: Francis Manapul, Marcus To, Scott Kolins, Diogenes Neves, Oclair Albert, Marcio Takara, Wes Craig and Ray McCarthy
Collects: The Flash #9-12 and The Flash Annual #1
$16.99 US, 176 pg
December 2013

This is a surprise because it’s a very quick turnaround from the hardcover, which is coming in August!

Smallville Season 11 Vol. 3: Haunted TP
Writer: Bryan Q. Miller
Artist: Jorge Jimenez
Collects: Smallville Season 11 #9-12
$14.99 US, 144 pg
October 2013

Also on Amazon. This is the story that guest-starred Impulse, which will finish up its final chapter in digital format this Friday and in print format next month.

Bart and Clark Come Face to Face With The Black Racer! (review of Smallville Season Eleven #11)

Smallville black racer 3In Smallville Season Eleven, issue 11 we follow Bart and Clark’s efforts to track down the elusive Black Racer, to see if there is a way to end its threat to speedsters past and present.  This issue treats us to a meeting with the Smallville version of Jay Garrick, the original Flash…but is he still ready to run?  Can he help…or is he even willing to try?  This issue of Smallville Season Eleven collects the digital editions (chapters 33 through 35) as we attempt to answer these questions and more…

SOME MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD – PLEASE READ THE ISSUE BEFORE CONTINUING! Continue reading

Making Sense of Smallville’s “Haunted” Digital and Print Editions

For DC Comics’ same-day print-and-digital releases (i.e. most of their line), the print and digital editions line up exactly. But things get a bit confusing with their digital-first comics, because they run smaller weekly chapters online, then collect them together for the print editions.

In the case of Smallville Season 11, currently running a storyline guest-starring Impulse, every three digital chapters are collected in a print issue the following month. Each digital page is the top or bottom of a print page, run landscape to make it easier to read on a desktop screen or a small tablet.

The numbers get a little confusing because, starting with #28, instead of taking one week off each month to keep the print and digital runs in sync, DC started running a side story during those formerly-skip weeks, which is being collected separately.

Here’s how the digital and print chapters of “Haunted” line up.

Digital Chapters Print Issue
Chapters 25-27
Smallville Season 11 Chapter 25
Issue #9
Smallville Season 11 #9
Chapters 29-31
Smallville Season 11 Chapter 29
Issue #10
Smallville Season 11 #10
Chapters 33-35
Smallville Season 11 Chapter 33
Issue #11
Smallville Season 11 #11
Chapters 38-40
Smallville Season 11 Chapter 38
Issue #12
Smallville Season 11 #12

Two things stand out about the different covers that suggest different target audiences:

  • The digital covers by Cat Staggs go for a realistic look and focus more on the TV show’s cast.
  • The print covers by Scott Kolins go for a more stylized, comic book look, and focus more on the guest star and super-heroic elements.

This suggests to me that DC is aiming the digital editions at fans of the TV series and the print editions at more traditional comic book fans. It certainly makes sense — by numbers alone, a lot of people who watched Smallville don’t read comics, and it’s going to be easier to get them to buy online than walk into a comic store. I really wonder what DC’s market research has turned up as far as the digital/print audience breakdown.