Archive for the The Flash Category

Solicits for the DC reboot madness

Posted in Batman, comic books, Superman, The Flash with tags , , , , on June 14, 2011 by Paxton

Well, the whole DC relaunch thing has the comic fanboys losing their damn minds.  In case you don’t know, it seems comics fans are up in arms because DC decided to reboot all their titles back to #1.  Comic blogs everywhere are kvetching about it.  CT from Nerd Lunch even deemed it necessary to talk about the relaunch.  CT mentions that he hates some of the costume redesigns, but I like them.  Especially Flash.  They just look more modern.

Now, I’ve read comics since the early 80s.  I started with Flash and then ventured into Superman, Batman, X-Men and The Fantastic Four.   I still read comics, but I tend toward the trade paperback collections and don’t really care about single issues anymore.  I don’t care what number is on the cover, I just want good stories.  But I look forward to this relaunch as a “wipe the slate clean” and start fresh with cool ideas.  Almost buried in the announcement of the reboot is the fact that DC will also start distributing comics digitally the same day they release them in print.  That’s huge.  Reading comics digitally is growing quickly in practice, much to the consternation of comic book fans everywhere.  With the iPad and other tablet computers, we finally have the perfect way to read a digital comic.  I am looking forward to doing just that.  I have been reading digital comics for the last few years now and while I prefer print, digital isn’t bad (especially when I get a tablet computer).

Anyway, I was reading The Source, the DC Universe blog, and they gathered together all the solicitations for the new reboot titles. There are lots of cool and interesting titles that have been announced.  Let’s take a look at them.

Action Comics 1 Superman 1
Here are the Superman reboots.  The two images above are for Action Comics #1 (left) and Superman #1 (right). In the solicit you can also see covers for Superboy #1 and Supergirl #1.  Like I said I don’t care they are rebooting Superman, because, technically, they already did it once back in 1987 with John Byrne.  This Superman #1 is interesting because it’ll be written and drawn by George Perez who took over from John Byrne back in 1989.  I’m actually a bit surprised they are rebooting Action Comics due to it’s history.  I mean, it was about to hit #1000.  But they got Grant Morrison to write it, which is awesome.  He did the spectacular All-Star Superman series with Frank Quitely.  I’ll definitely want to check these out.

Detective Comics 1 Batman 1
Here are the solicits for the Batman reboots. Detective Comics #1 is on the left and Batman #1 is on the right. I like Batman, I’m just not a huge Batman fan. Rebooting Detective Comics back to 1 is interesting to me because of the history (like Action Comics). It also nearly hit 1000. However, also interesting is the fact that this will be the first time that Batman has EVER appeared in a Detective Comics #1 (or #2-26).  I’m surprised they didn’t reboot Detective Comics back to #27.

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12 comic book covers featuring super heroes and their secret identities

Posted in comic books, pop culture, Superman, The Flash with tags , , , , , on April 22, 2011 by Paxton

I was perusing one of my favorite sites, Cover Browser, the other day. It’s great. It has hundreds of galleries of comic book covers. Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age as well as more modern comics, you can see it all. Some of the images are of great quality and some are blurry scans that look like they threw the comic book into the air and tried to take a picture with a cell phone from 2001. But it’s great fun to look at old issues of Superman, Batman, Hulk and Iron Man. You can find some real gems.

Looking through you can see all types of trends and gimmicks companies used when creating their covers. Anything to capture the public’s eye. One of the more prevalent gimmicks is to have the superhero appear on the cover alongside their secret identity. I’ve gathered 12 such examples of superhero and secret identity co-existing harmoniously on a comic book cover. Not only that, I’ve split the list into two sections. In the first section are 5 comic book covers featuring super heroes fighting their secret identities. The second section will feature the superhero interacting with their secret identity.

So here are the first 5 covers featuring superheroes fighting their secret identities.  Thanks to Cover Browser for the majority of these images.

Action Comics 341
Action Comics #341 – Battle of the Alter Egos.  Turns out the “extra” Clark Kent is another survivor of Krypton that DC loved to throw out in the ’60s and ’70s. He took over Clark’s identity and Supes had to straighten things out.

The Flash #15
Flash vol 2 #15 – Wally West trashed by The Flash.  This is the second Flash series.  Wally West had taken over the Flash costume.  There was a drug called Velocity-9 that gave the users temporary super speed.  A junkie got a fake suit and totally sucker punched the living sh*t out of Wally.

Web of Spiderman #117
Web of Spider-man #117 – Spider-man vs Peter Parker. This is the beginning of one of the most controversial Spidey storylines ever – the Clone Saga. A clone of Peter reveals himself.  He’s this homeless vagrant who then names himself Ben Reilly.  Arguments develop over who is the clone and who is the real Peter.  Peter is discovered to be the actual clone and Ben the “true” Peter.  Clone Peter becomes so outraged he “accidentally” hits Mary Jane in the face. It’s pretty much insanity incarnate and due to high sales Marvel’s upper management kept the creative teams churning out the story for much longer than was originally planned.

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DC Comics going retro with summer one-shots

Posted in 80s, comic books, pop culture, Superman, The Flash with tags , , , on April 8, 2011 by Paxton

I’m a big DC Comics fan. I love Superman and the Flash. I even wrote a post about their many races. So I was perusing the DC comic blog The Source the other day and they announced a fun little event called DC Retroactive.  It takes place this summer and is a throwback to the DC of the last three decades (70s, 80s and 90s).

The event will consist of 18 one-shot comics.  The 18 one-shots will be split up into three groups representing the aforementioned specific decade in DC’s history.  Here are the Retroactive logos for each decade starting with the ’70s.

Retroactive 70s
Retroactive 80s
Retroactive 90s

I love these logos. They look exactly like the logos/typeface DC used in the respective decade.  Like I said, the 18 one-shots will be split up into the three groups of six.  Each group will utilize different writers/artists that are known for their output in that decade.  DC just announced the writers for each decade and what comics they’ll be writing.  They haven’t released the artists for each issue, but you can click the images above to read the full list of writers.  Expect DC luminaries like Cary Bates, Marv Wolfman, Louise Simonson, Alan Grant, and Dennis O’Neill.

My favorite hero, The Flash, will be written by Cary Bates (70s), William Messner-Loebs (80s) and Brian Augustyn (90s).  I’m very excited by these writers.  Bates is a very popular writer from DC.  He did a lot of his work in the ’60s – ’70s.  He wrote a bunch of Silver Age Flash comics throughout the ’70s and early ’80s.  Bates will also write the ’70s JLA issue.  William Messner-Loebs wrote a slew of issues of the awesome Wally West Flash series starting around issue #15 in 1988.  I still have the majority of his issues in my collection.  Brian Augstyn was the editor on the aforementioned Wally West Flash series.  He was the one that brought in Mark Waid in the early ’90s to help him plan a revamping of the series  (Waid would’ve been another good choice to write the 90s issue).  So, from the writing standpoint, these are all solid choices for the Flash books, which are the ones I’m mostly concerned about.  However I am looking forward to the Superman books, too.

Batman in the 70s Superman in the 80s

As for the other heroes, DC got Marv Wolfman to do the 80s Superman book.  Great choice as he helped John Byrne plan out the Superman reboot of 1986, but I would have preferred to see John Byrne also included.  They haven’t announced the artists, so they could have got John Byrne to draw the issue, which would be awesome.  I think Byrne has to be involved in this event because he was such a large presence at DC in the 80s when he wrote and drew both Superman and Action Comics for nearly two years.

Anyway, to see the full list of writers, head over to DC’s The Source.  They should be announcing the artists and other creative teams for these books in the near future.  I, for one, think this is shaping up to be an awesome and wonderfully nostalgic event.  DC didn’t say, but I’m hoping the stories for each decade actually take place in that decade.  I want Barry Allen in the ’70s issue and Wally West in the ’90s.  I don’t want it to just be nostalgic, I want the events to be taking place in that time period.

Should be a lot of fun.

The Flash TV Special comic book

Posted in comic books, pop culture, The Flash, TV shows with tags , , , on September 22, 2010 by Paxton

Monday was the 20th anniversary of the premiere of CBS’ The Flash TV series which lasted only one season in 1990. Today, I will take a look at the DC Comic The Flash TV Special #1 which was a promotional comic tie-in to the TV series.

The Flash TV Special #1

This comic was released towards the end of The Flash’s first season.  It was intended to pump up interest in the show during its hiatus.  It contained two brand new Flash stories set within the TV show universe as well as a behind the scenes section detailing how the TV show was made.

The first story in this special issue was written by the great John Byrne. Byrne wrote The X-Men’s Dark Phoenix Saga and Days of Future Past as well as the 1986 reboot of Superman after Crisis on Infinite Earths. The story is titled The Quick and the Dead and it has very dynamic art by Javier Saltares.

The Quick and the Dead Flash TV Special page 7

In the story, Central City is stalked by a “ghost” who is killing former STAR Labs scientists and Tina is next. The Flash must figure out how to defeat something that he can’t touch and is twice as strong as he is. It’s a pretty good story and something typical you’d see in Season 1 of the show. It literally could have been a script that Byrne either wrote for the show or just re-worked an existing, unused show’s script. And Javier’s artwork is great. You can tell he took his style from the TV show. The Flash suit is directly off the screen with the red boots and stylized cowl. However, for some reason, they didn’t draw Barry Allen to look like John Wesley Shipp. They made him the traditional blonde, like in the comics, but since this is based on the show, it’s weird to see.  Here are some panels of the oddly blonde Barry Allen.

Flash TV Special Barry Allen

See? Looks nothing like Shipp from the show.  Despite this, the story is light and fun and, like I said, totally feels like an episode of the TV series.

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The Flash ran onto TV screens 20 years ago today

Posted in comic books, nostalgia, The Flash, TV shows with tags , , , , , on September 20, 2010 by Paxton

The Flash 2 hour premiere

20 years ago today, on September 20, 1990, CBS aired the two hour series premiere of The Flash. The show originally ran on Thursday nights in a very competitive time slot, 8pm. The show starred John Wesley Shipp, best known as Dawson’s dad on Dawson’s Creek, as Barry Allen, police scientist turned super speedster. Also starring was Corbin Bernsen’s wife, Amanda Pays, as Tina McGee.

John Wesley Shipp as The Flash

This new super hero show was directly inspired by the 1989 Batman movie. The same guy that designed the Bat suit for Burton also developed Flash’s suit. Danny Elfman composed the opening music which sounds very similar to his orchestral Batman score. The stories were also similar to Burton’s Batman, at least for the first half of Season 1. Many of those plots involved gangsters, drug dealers and evil corporations, a staple of the first two Burton Batman movies.  Also, at the time, thanks to the speedster effects, this was the most expensive show on TV to produce.  It cost over $1 million an episode, which is why it was so easy for CBS to pull the plug after poor first season ratings.

I first heard about this show (pre-Internet Age, 1988 or 1989) on a trip to Six Flags Over Atlanta.  Warner Brothers/DC owns the park so they were showing a quick 5 minute trailer on monitors all over the park.  I was so excited because I had no idea they were even planning it and Flash is my favorite comic book character.  So I was completely stoked by the time September, 1990 rolled around.

The Flash would get a prime spot, like most hot new shows, in TV Guide’s Fall Preview. Here is The Flash’s entry in the 1990 Fall Preview issue (you can click it to make it bigger).

TV Guide 1990 Fall Preview The Flash in TV Guide

Other shows to appear in that issue? Beverly Hills 90210, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Law and Order and Cop Rock.  Maybe Shawn over at Branded in the 80s will do one of his TV Guide Fall Preview posts about this issue (hint, hint, Shawn).

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