The sultan of speed, the human whirlwind called the Flash is highly regarded as the viceroy of the Silver Age of comics that gave us the Fantastic Four, Green Lantern and more. Police scientist Barry Allen was unexpectedly doused in a random selection of chemicals when a bolt of lightning struck his laboratory. Taking up the mantle of his favorite boyhood comic book superhero, he donned a red costume that retracted into a ring on his finger and called himself the Flash.
The early days of the Flash read like a how-to guide for Silver Age comics. Each issue stands on its own and utilizes bizarre concepts and colorful super villains against our hero who must not only defeat his foe but also arrive on time for his date with the hen-pecking but lovely Iris. The Flash’s rogue’s gallery runs the gamut of psychically-imbued gorillas, wizards from the future and madman that hide inside mirrors. While the character lost his appeal in the late 1970′s, he was given a new lease on life by dying saving all of reality from the Anti-Monitor in the 1985 Crisis on Infinite Earths. His protege Wally West took up the legacy of the Flash for many years, before Barry Allen made a triumphant return in another Crisis.
Green Lantern, another of Johns’ favorite characters, was the focus of t Blackest Night crossover that firmly embedded the ring-slinger in the DC Universe. The new event (far bigger in scope that Blackest Night) centers on the Flash. It has been met with generally positive responses as it sheds a new (if grim) light on an alternate future of the DCU.
Superstar Geoff Johns (responsible for one of the finest Flash runs this century) is assuming writing duties on the mega summer event’s five issue main series, which will be bolstered by four one-shots and SIXTEEN mini-series (Flashpoint: Batman Knight of Vengeance, Flashpoint: Project Superman, Flashpoint: Hal Jordan, etc.). You’d better have your checklist handy for this one, folks.
This is a complete gut feeling, but it bodes well for the in-development Flash movie that DC is giving the Scarlet Speedster so much attention. 2009′s Blackest Night was a Green Lantern event, and look: we got a movie this summer. With the Flash movie rumored for 2013, that just makes tons of timeline sense. Hopefully this means DC is going all-cylinders on this one.
Geoff Johns has worked some magic with what are regarded as ‘second tier’ characters such as Green Lantern and Hawkman, but his work on the Flash is legendary. He is also the current Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment, a title that demanded his heavy involvement in the upcoming Green Lantern movie. As Johns’ latest event series brings the Flash to the fore, one wonders if a feature film is not waiting in the wings for the scarlet speedster…
Here’s an excerpt from an interview with Flashpoint architect Geoff Johns via i09:
[i09] In Flashpoint, you’re not just creating a story, you’re building another reality and (re)inventing a ton of characters. How did you coordinate this world-building effort?
[Geoff Johns] Really it was working with editors Eddie Berganza and Rex Ogle. I fleshed out the world, the characters, and the concepts with the rest of the series writers — for example, James Robinson is writing a miniseries about [the 1960s Batman villain] The Outsider, and the two of us discussed that character. It was a team effort with DC editorial.
Two-part question: what made you choose the Flash and the particular trope of alternate realities for Flashpoint?
One of the staple stories of Flash is parallel Earths and timelines. I really wanted to do a story that would have the DC Universe as the entire scope but have the Flash at the center of it. It just made sense — for me, this is the ultimate Flash story. The timeline has been altered so that the hows and whys are the story. Flashpoint is a showcase to demonstrate why the Flash is a major character, just like how we’ve done with Green Lantern. It’s important that the Flash can hold his own.
Is there one particular moment that changed reality or did several things go askew?
I would say that’s a mystery you’ll see unfold!
More info at DC’s Source.