Tag Archives: Speculation

Changes Coming to the Flash Comics

Van Jensen, half of the current Flash comic book writing team, has announced that he’s leaving the book after Flash #51.

As for the future, a bigger change is in the works. DC has teased some sort of “Rebirth”. Those original New 52 series are almost to issue 52. And another long-running creative team, Snyder and Capullo, are leaving Batman the same month.

There are rumors of a relaunch refocusing DC’s comics line to emphasize those characters who have the most media presence: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Suicide Squad in this year’s movies, Flash, Arrow and presumably Supergirl in TV. This of course has led to speculation of a return to previous continuity, though that seems more like wishful thinking to me than anything solid.

That said, superhero comics are wrapped in an ever-tightening circle of nostalgia, with new ideas jettisoned for old ones on a regular basis. Whether you consider this a return to form or a step backwards depends on whether you liked the particular changes involved.

How Soon Will We See a Digital-First Flash Comic?

Flash TV logo on a tablet

DC’s new digital-first Sensation Comics series starring Wonder Woman got me thinking about the publisher’s digital-first strategy. In addition to continuity-free stories about Superman, Batman, and now Wonder Woman, it’s also their platform of choice for media tie-in comics to their games and TV shows: Smallville, Batman ’66, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Scribblenauts, Infinite Crisis, Arrow…

There’s an excellent chance that, with the Flash TV show launching in October, we’ll see a TV-continuity digital-first Flash series by the end of the year.

Double Your Flash!

If so, this would be the first time in years that we’ve had two Flash series running concurrently, unless you count the Rogues-heavy miniseries tied to Forever Evil, Blackest Night, and Final Crisis. (And really, isn’t it awesome that DC has been doing Rogues miniseries with so many of their big events lately?) Flash and Impulse ran together from 1995-2002, and All-Flash ran alongside Flash Comics from 1941-1948, during which time the Flash also had a regular solo spot in Comic Cavalcade.

Admittedly, the Arrow tie-in comic only ran during the first season of the show, but maybe the Flash’s higher profile among comics readers will translate to better sales?

Digital What?

For those of you who haven’t looked into DC’s digital-first comics, they typically release three chapters a month at 99 cents through services like ComiXology, Kindle, iTunes, Google Play, and DC’s own branded portal. Each month’s chapters are then collected in a $3.99 print edition. The comics are designed around a horizontal page layout to make them fit better on tablets and widescreen monitors, with two digital pages stacked vertically to make each printed page. (It typically ends up being about 30 pages of story instead of 20.)

You can read on a tablet, a phone (panel-by-panel view can be awkward for converted comics, but these are designed for, well, digital first), or a desktop/laptop through the ComiXology or DC websites. Or you can wait a month or two for the print edition, or a bit longer for the trade paperback.

DC Teases “Wally,” “Donna,” “Five Years Later” in All-Access

Don’t get your hopes (or dander) up just yet, but in DC Comics’ latest “All Access” video aimed at fans, they teased a few fan-favorite characters by leaving the names “Wally,” “Donna” and “Stephanie” on a whiteboard. They’re also planning a series called Five Years Later, rumored to be looking at the near future of the New 52.

Wally and Donna on a Whiteboard, screencap via Newsarama

Stephanie Brown has been confirmed returning as Spoiler in “Batman Eternal,” so anything’s possible at this point.

Wally West and Donna Troy could appear in the future series, but not the present of the New 52, or perhaps they might show up in Flash and Superman/Wonder Woman as suggested by the board. Either way, it’s worth remembering that many characters have changed significantly in the New 62, and an updated version of Wally or Donna could easily be missing the characteristics that appeal to their fan base.

It could just as easily be misdirection.

Even if it’s a real plan, plans change. The last seven years of The Flash are littered with abandoned plots (everything teased in Flash: Rebirth and Flash Secret Files 2010 that didn’t directly involve the Reverse Flash), dropped characters (never mind the speedsters, how much have we seen of Piper since his reintroduction?) and stories (the Gem Cities cold-case story that was going to focus on Barry Allen’s civilian side), abrupt changes in direction (do I really have to spell it out?), and even outright lies (remember the solicitations for Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #14 and 15?).

(Personally, I wouldn’t put an outright prank past the current regime at DC.)

So the names are out there. Make of it what you will, but it’s way too early to pull out your Jump To Conclusions mat.

Flash Collections Update: Gorilla Warfare & Reverse

Flash #13: Gorilla WarfareTwo updates on upcoming Flash collections.

First up, Collected Editions has located a ton of upcoming DC Comics collections for 2013/2014, including Flash Vol. 4: Reverse, featuring issues #20-24 and the Villains Month Gorilla Grodd and Reverse Flash issues. Reverse Flash makes sense, but Grodd is an odd choice except in the need-to-put-it-somewhere sense. The link to the Reverse entry is down, though, which may be related to this next piece of information.

ComicList’s latest DC Comics Extended Forecast notes that orders for December’s hardcover of Flash vol.3: Gorilla Warfare have been canceled and the book will be resolicited later. As Collected Editions points out, this could indicate a content change. It was originally solicited featurng Flash #13-19, which collects the 5-part “Gorilla Warfare” in #13-17 and a two-part Trickster story in #18-19 with teases for the Reverse Flash.

Pure speculation here, but maybe DC is re-arranging these as follows:

  • Flash Vol.3: Gorilla Warfare – Flash #13-17 and Villains Month Grodd.
  • Flash Vol.4: Reverse – Flash #18-24 and Villains Month Reverse Flash.

It would make more sense than the current breakdown, and put six issues in one book and eight in the next. The only drawback I see is that the Reverse collection would open with the Trickster two-parter instead of jumping straight into the main story that lends its title to the volume.

How Will the Flash’s Villains Month Comics Be Collected?

Flash comics for Villains Month

From Collected Editions we get the news that not all of DC Comics’ Villains Month issues will be collected in trades, “only the ones that fully tie into an ongoing series.” (Dan Didio)

This has me wondering about the three Flash villain issues.

Reverse Flash appears to be essentially part 5 of the 6-part Reverse Flash story currently running through The Flash, so it’s safe to say it’ll be included in The Flash Vol.4: Reverse.

The Rogues is billed as having a Forever Evil connection and is by the same creative team as Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion, so it seems likely to appear as a prologue in the collected edition of that series.

Grodd, however? It’s hard to say. Based on the way DC put the Captain Cold two-parter in with Mob Rule for the Move Forward collection, and tossed in the Trickster two-parter with Gorilla Warfare, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it in the pages of Reverse.

Incidentally, when I asked Brian Buccellato about it, he sidestepped the question (it may not be decided yet anyway), but he and Retcon Punch got into a gorilla pun war that can’t be missed.

What Does “Man of Steel” Mean for a Flash Movie?

Superman vs the Flash

With Man of Steel opening this week, it’s no secret that the future of DC Comics’ super-heroes on screen is tied to the success of the new Superman film. The question, of course, is what form might that future take? With the success of The Avengers, there’s been a lot of talk about a possible Justice League movie, but of course Marvel didn’t launch the Avengers on its own: They launched four solo films featuring different heroes, then brought them together. If “Man of Steel” does well, DC could jump straight into the team movie, or they could do a Marvel-style slow build — and Mike Ryan at Huffington Post suggests that Flash might be the ideal viewpoint character to tie them together.

DC has had a Flash movie officially in development for almost a decade now. Back in 2004, Warner Bros. announced David Goyer was writing a script and would direct. It’s since been through multiple directors and writers. Early treatments would feature both Wally West and Barry Allen, while later treatments focused exclusively on Barry Allen. The last real news came in 2010, when DC announced the Green Lantern script team would be writing a Flash film based on Geoff Johns’ work. Of course when the Green Lantern movie performed less than WB had hoped, everything non-Superman or Batman went on the back burner again. We’ve heard a few rumblings since then, but little else. Everything’s riding on “Man of Steel”: If it succeeds, we can count on more DC movies. If not, we can expect more years of development hell.

But if it does succeed… Continue reading