Monday, July 31, 2006

Crossing the Atlantic

I'm departing for London this afternoon and will be away from my computer for nearly a month. I will endeavor to update this blog with comic related news items, minutia, and assorted distractions whenever possible. I'll also be on the lookout, of course, for any Flash Finds whilst I'm across the pond. As I prepare to spend most of the day aboard various airplanes heading toward Britain, here's the elegant, striking, and aeronautically-themed cover artwork to Legends of the DC Universe #15 by British artist Carl Critchlow. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Find the Flash: Comic-Con '06

Kelson Vibber has posted his photos from Comic-Con '06. The album features plenty of amusing snapshots of men and women who attended the convention in costume, including this photograph of the Flash waiting in line at a San Diego Starbucks! Are we surprised that the fastest man alive drinks at Starbucks? Also, it looks like the Flash keeps his keys on his belt, which can't be safe at high velocities. Then again, I don't suppose the costume has pockets.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

June Sales

Diamond Comic Distributors have released their sales numbers for the month of June, and Comic Buyers Guide has posted a review of the data. It looks as if DC has accomplished their goal with the relaunch of The Flash. Bart Allen has brought the title to the top. The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #1 comes in at number seven on the list of top selling comic titles, with an estimated 120,400 copies of the issue sold. Time will tell just how long the numbers remain this high.

1. Civil War #2 ($2.99) Marvel - 253,900
2. DCU Brave New World #1 ($1.00) DC - 140,900
3. New Avengers #21 CW ($2.99) Marvel - 134,300
4. Wonder Woman #1 ($2.99) DC - 132,600
5. New Avengers #20 ($2.99) Marvel - 125,600
6. Civil War Front Line #1 ($2.99) Marvel - 122,100
7. Flash Fastest Man Alive #1 ($2.99) DC - 120,400
8. Astonishing X-Men #15 ($2.99) Marvel - 120,000
9. Wolverine Origins #3 ($2.99) Marvel - 116,100
10. Amazing Spider-Man #533 CW ($2.99) Marvel - 113,000

Friday, July 28, 2006

Find the Flash: "Spaced"

Last night I was watching an episode of the hilarious Channel 4 comedy Spaced, starring Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson, a program that can't properly be enjoyed unless you're a true geek. The episode -- "Epiphanies," from the first series -- contains an amusing sequence in which protagonists Tim and Daisy are embroiled in a hotly contested game of Scrabble. (One of the words Tim attempts to earn credit for is S-H-A-Z-A-M. "It is a word!" he insists. "I've got a pile of comics this big!") During the scene Simon Pegg can be seen wearing a red t-shirt emblazoned with the familiar Flash symbol. Although you can't quite make out the lightning bolt logo in this screen capture from the episode, you can spy a portion of the "Graphitti" trademark on the t-shirt's left sleeve, meaning Pegg's shirt comes from the same supplier that printed all of the Flash t-shirts that I own!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Classic Covers: The Flash #111

Those of you who are using the new DC Comics postage from the United States Postal Service will be seeing a miniature reproduction of the cover to The Flash (V.1) #111 . Here's a larger look at the classic comic cover by Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella, featuring the Flash striving to outrun the deadly lightning bolts cast by invading cloud creatures. The set of twenty stamps are also available as stamped postcards.

With these 20 colorful stamps, the U.S. Postal Service honors stars from the world of DC Comics. Ten stamps show portraits of super heroes; the others show covers of individual comic books devoted to their exploits. Art director Carl T. Herrman worked with the creative staff at DC Comics on the design of this issuance.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Stan Lee's Lightspeed

The world premiere of Stan Lee's Lightspeed is tonight at 9:00pm on the Sci-Fi Channel. The film will also air at 1:00am. The Sci-Fi Pictures original, the first project from Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment, focuses on a man gifted with the extraordinary ability to move at the speed of light following a near fatal mishap. Sound familiar? This makes Lightspeed the latest in a long line of superhero speedsters. In fact, I would have to say that the titular hero in this film, stylistically speaking, bears more than a passing resemblance to the character drawn by Kevin Maguire for Just Imagine Stan Lee Creating the Flash! Just imagine this Daniel Leight under the goggles in place of Lee's Mary Maxwell and you've got a match. It just may be that Stan the Man decided to bring his reinterpretation of DC's fastest man alive to the screen.

Comic book wizard Stan Lee presents Lightspeed, a government agent (Jason Connery) who uses his new super powers to combat an old friend (Daniel Goddard) who has become a serpentlike supervillain. Lee Majors and Nicole Eggert co-star.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Flash Family Tree

I picked up a copy of Wizard Magazine #178 (August 2006) yesterday afternoon and was pleased to discover a colorful two-page spread presenting the Flash family tree. Entitled "The New Flash" and posted under the banner of Wizard's Revamp Mania! review, the Flash family tree offers a visual representation of how Bart Allen is connected to the likes of Barry Allen, Wally West, the Tornado Twins, Captain Boomerang, Zoom, the Thawne clan, and a number of future Flashes. The illustrated diagram covers pages 98 and 99. I've added an excerpt from the introduction below. The chart pays particular attention to the fact that the Flash's legacy has been twisted into knots by time travel, and the magazine makes an effort to clarify the situation for new readers. For longtime readers already familiar with the life and legacy of Barry Allen, I suppose it's easy to forget just how complicated this particularly superhero family tree can be!

With The Flash: Fastest Man Alive now out of the starting blocks and issue #2 touching down like a lightning bolt in July, Bart Allen is speeding down the path to donning the yellow and red as the brand new Flash, the fourth such hero to go by the moniker. But does the former Impulse and Kid Flash have any idea what he's getting into? Being the Flash is about more than just running real fast and grabbing pizza for the JLA's dinner breaks -- it's a legacy that already spans 10 centuries, includes friends as well as foes and descendants who may actually end up filling their ancestor's shoes thousands of years before their predecessors were even born! Confused? Not surprising -- but you don't need to be! Follow along with this helpful family tree and learn everything you need to know about those who ride the lightning. You may want to take notes, Bart.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Comic-Con '06

  • Kelson Vibber has posted a rather detailed overview of what transpired at the "50 Years of the Flash" panel at the San Diego Comic-Con this past Saturday. It includes some comments from writer Danny Bilson regarding The Flash television series and the future of the comic title, wonderful stories from Carmine Infantino regarding the great Silver Age, and commentary from Geoff Johns concerning his involvement in the series.
  • According to Newsarama, at Comic-Con's DC Universe panel Danny Bilson hinted that "a kid named Inertia is behind a lot of the problems" in upcoming issues of The Flash, and Geoff Johns promised that "Inertia will be in Titans East as well." It looks as if Bart Allen will soon be facing off against his evil clone once again.
  • Newsarama also reported on DC's JLA/JSA panel, during which the creators commented on the fate of Wally West and the new Flash's potential place in the League. "Opened by DC Executive Editor Dan Didio, Friday's JLA/JSA panel included Justice League of America writer Brad Meltzer, editor Eddie Berganza, Justice Society writer Geoff Johns, and editor Stephen Wacker discussing the legacies and futures of their respective teams, as well as teases aplenty about just who may be on the final lineups of the DCU's premiere powerhouses... Asked about the possibilities of Wally West and his family returning sometime soon, Didio said that Wally's story is not over yet, but at this moment, and for the foreseeable future, Bart Allen is the Flash. When asked about the presence of the Flash on the JLA, Meltzer replied that it would be good to have a speedster on the team."

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Gorilla City Games

Eidos have released a demonstration video of the Flash in action from the upcoming Justice League Heroes videogame. Below is the footage, posted at YouTube. It looks as if they've done a fairly good job at representing the Flash's unique powers in the gameplay, and the footage presented here, taking a page right out of the Silver Age, appropriately features the fastest man alive cleaning up Gorilla City...

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Justice League Animated?

The scarlet speedster's first foray into feature films may be animated rather than filmed. Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Warner Bros. is considering an animated feature that will chronicle an epic adventure of the Justice League of America. The Superman Homepage has also posted an excerpt from Issue 888 (July 28, 2006) of the magazine. The article, entitled "Comic Booked," specifically cites the Flash as one of the characters Warner Bros. is hoping to launch into his own franchise and suggests that a Justice League film may be one way to establish the character with audiences. Considering the success Warner Bros. Animation has had with DC properties, it doesn't seem like a bad idea.

Superman has returned. Batman has begun again too. Might we ever see these Super Friends share the screen? Count on it, true believers -- but not in the flesh. EW has learned that Warner Bros. is developing what could be the greatest spandex story ever told. The concept doesn't only involve the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight, but their cohorts in the Justice League of America, too. The animated movie -- part of a larger superhero-related Warner media initiative -- is likely to be based upon a famous comic saga. One possibility: an adaptation of Identity Crisis, a 2004 murder-mystery smash written by novelist Brad Meltzer that could be used to launch the likes of Green Arrow and The Flash into their own films, 'toon or otherwise. One request: No Gleek, please.

Friday, July 21, 2006

DC Comics Postage Released

Today the United States Postal Service launches a series of commemorative stamps featuring the most prominent stars of DC Comics. This marks the first time that the Postal Service has issued a postage collection spotlighting superheroes. Among the characters featured in the set of twenty is the Flash. A portrait of Barry Allen in motion -- illustrated by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson -- appears as part of the first half of the set. The second half features a reproduction of the cover to The Flash (V.1) #111 by Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella.

The U.S. Postal Service immortalizes 10 comic book heroes Thursday, July 20 at the San Diego Convention Center when it dedicates the DC Comics Super Heroes commemorative stamps and stamped postal cards. The 10:30 a.m. PT ceremony will take place in Room 5AB to launch the world's largest comic book and pop culture show—Comic-Con International 2006. DC Comics President and Publisher Paul Levitz and some of the greatest comic book artists of all time will participate in the ceremony and a panel discussion on the historical and cultural legacy of DC Comics superheroes. San Diego holds the unique distinction of being the only city in the nation where the stamps will be available that day. The DC Comics Super Heroes commemorative stamps will be available nationwide, Friday, July 21.

This is the first stamp pane honoring comic book super heroes to be issued by the Postal Service. Half of the pane of 20 stamps are portraits of: Aquaman, Batman, the Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Plastic Man, Supergirl, Superman and Wonder Woman. The other 10 stamps depict covers of individual comic books devoted to each super hero. Art director Carl T. Herrman worked with the creative staff at DC Comics on the stamp designs. For information on the DC Comics Super Heroes stamps, go to: The 2006 Commemorative Stamp Program. For information on DC comics, go to: