DC Comics’ next big thing is a massive crossover called Flashpoint consisting of 15 separate character-centric miniseries, a number of one-shots and more that promises to do for the Flash what Sinestro Corps War did for Green Lantern (and not Blackest Night). The herald of the comic book Silver Age, the Flash is an incredibly important character that Johns has a unique handle on. His previous run on the series is legendary and the current monthly series is receiving accolades from critics and fans alike.
Of course, the incentive Flash ring and buttons may not win over many fans who will be struck by price shock at the $4 price tag (especially after DC loudly proclaimed a $3 price tag on all books), but… what can you do? It’s the business…
Representatives from DC Comics have been rolling out a string of product announcements today as part of the latest meeting held by ComicsPRO (the comics retailer trade organization) in Dallas, TX, and the publisher has capped off the day with word that they’ll continue with their highly publicized and occasionally criticized ring promotional program.
On their The Source blog, DC confirmed that June’s “Flashpoint” #2 will ship with a special edition plastic Flash ring and that they “will also be creating exclusive buttons, featuring the re-imagined superhero logos of ‘Flashpoint.’ So far only nine of the logos have been unveiled, but there will be buttons corresponding to each of the Flashpoint mini series. The buttons will only be available at comic book stores and will not be one of our (many) cool convention giveaways.”
A Flash feature film has been hinted at for quite some time and supposedly Johns has been deeply involved. DC Entertainment is banking on the success of Green Lantern to secure the possibility of future big budget films (with the scarlet speedster a clear contender). Much like Green Lantern, the Flash is a legacy hero with a generation predating the current speedster and extending into the far future. But (again like Green Lantern), the Silver Age Flash Barry Allen is regarded as the best and most prominent of the lot.
A mousy and humble police scientist, Barry Allen became the fastest man alive after being struck by magic lightning, drowning Allen with various chemicals in his crime lab. Imbued with the ability to not only move faster than anyone else, Barry Allen is also capable of perceiving the world around him in a heightened way in which the ordinary world crawls past at a snail’s pace. Facing a bizarre and madcap array of villains from Captain Cold to the Human Top, Heatwave, Gorilla Grodd and more, it has always been Allen’s brilliant solutions using his super speed that have earned him the mantle of superhero. After sacrificing his life so that the universe would live, Barry Allen was succeeded by Wally West (the wise-talking Flash of the Justice League cartoon), but in comics death is more like a revolving door than a final end. Allen made an explosive return in the pages of the inexplicably complex Final Crisis and has taken over the monthly book ever since.
Aside from the aforementioned writer Geoff Johns, one of the major pulls for me regarding the current Flash series (currently collected in ‘The Dastardly Death of the Rogues’) is artist Francis Manupaul. The art in the Flash has always been important, from the dynamic and strange motion lines of Carmine Infantino to the maddening detail-driven art of Scott Kolins. Manapaul spoke to the Canadian Press recently about drawing the scarlet speedster and had this to say:
“I’ve actually been a longtime Flash fan since high school and the very first time I talked to (DC co-publisher Dan DiDio) about working with DC, one of the very first projects that I asked for was The Flash,” said Manupal, who got to draw the character when Johns brought Flash back last year and the new series started.
“It’s better to work with writers that you admire and that you mesh with. The story is ultimately what is important,” Manupal said. “Through our experience working on ‘Adventure Comics,’ the collaboration worked out really well. And when Geoff came back to The Flash, he brought me along with him.”
Manapul’s goal has been to incorporate everything fast about The Flash and the series.
“Just that one word. We wanted to make it fast again,” he said.
I know that many readers are scratching their heads wondering why I am making such a big deal out of a superhero whose claim to fame is the ability to run fast. I can understand the reluctance to accept the coolness of the Flash, which is why it is fortunate that a hardcover edition of the new series is available today in comic shops, your local book store, library or even online.