Thursday, November 30, 2006

Shirley Walker (1945-2006)

Shirley Walker, a film and television composer best known for her exceptional work on Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series, has passed away. Walker provided distinctive and dynamic music for a number of DC Comics projects, including The Flash television series. has posted a brief obituary.

Composer Shirley Walker, best known for her television work on Batman: The Animated Series, has died of a brain aneurysm at the age of 61. Most recently, Walker has been known for her work on the Final Destination series of films, and had just completed Black Christmas for long-time collaborator director Glen Morgan. She was a wonderfully sweet, kind and generous woman, and will be missed.

The Fastest Beagle Alive

Laura Gjovaag at the Aquaman Homepage has posted an amusing link to an artist's gallery offering interpretations of what might happen if Charles Schultz's Peanuts characters were to find themselves in the Marvel and DC universes. Here, with the Justice League assembled, we see Snoopy himself as the scarlet speedster...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Interview: Mike Wieringo

Newsarama has posted an excerpt from Modern Masters Vol. 9, an interview with Mike Wieringo. The artist reflects on his beginnings in the comic book industry, including the work he contributed to his first monthly comic title--The Flash. The article also offers a look at a couple of Wieringo's pencilled pages from the title. Mike Wieringo illustrated the scarlet speedster's adventures for only a year, but his unique contributions to the title really are unforgettable.

"I think 'intimidated' would be an understatement. I was terrified... petrified [to be working on The Flash]. Y'know that old saying that goes, 'Be careful for what you wish for--you just might get it'? Well, I'd been dreaming about getting a gig drawing the monthly adventures of a major comic book icon since I was around eleven years old, and here I was having that dream come true. As it turned out, the dream was much more hectic, difficult, time-consuming, and frustrating than I ever thought it would be. The monthly deadline was entirely intimidating and from the get-go; it felt crushing to me. I feel like I've been living under the gun ever since. The stress associated with a monthly comic book deadline is very high."

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Rock & Roll

Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo's stint on the scarlet speedster's comic is near its end. Why? Dan Diaz of Comic Book Commentary, tongue firmly in cheek, hypothesizes that DC Executive Editor Dan Didio may have finally gotten around to watching his DVD box set of The Flash television series and caught a glimpse of this scene presenting an, er... atypical take on the title character. Rock on, Barry Allen!

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Art of Brian Bolland

Wizard has a six-page preview of The Art of Brian Bolland, an extensive collection of the artist's remarkable work due for release on May 31, 2007. Bolland contributed dozens of captivating covers to The Flash throughout Geoff Johns' memorable run on the title, carrying on a proud scarlet speedster tradition.

Often referred to as the “artist’s artist,” Brian Bolland has spent the last quarter century producing some of the most memorable and inspiring illustrations the comic industry has ever seen. This handsome volume is a retrospective of this astonishing artist’s career and a look at the man himself.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Logos by Hughes

Graeme McMillan over at Newsarama Blog directs our attention to the official website for Rian Hughes, a graphic designer who has done work for DC Comics. Hughes has posted an extensive array of title logos that were designed for various DC titles and merchandise. Some made their way to comic covers, others went unused. Among them you'll find the logo designed for the Dark Flash story arc (The Flash #152-159), the logo for Tangent's Flash title, and a Justice League t-shirt emblem featuring the scarlet speedster. There's also some beautiful DC Comics related artwork in the design section of the site. I was always rather fond of the futuristic, speed-distorted logo that graced those Dark Flash issues. Hughes's gallery is definitely worth a look.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


Brian Cronin of Comics Should Be Good has posted a fun twenty-question comic book trivia quiz--entitled "All Crossed Out"--that challenges readers to name the comic crossover represented by a given list of titles and issues. Can you name the four-part crossover written by Mark Waid and Gerry Jones that took place in Green Lantern #30 and 31 and The Flash #69 and 70?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

On the Road

Today, on what is traditionally the busiest day of travel of the entire year, we're all wishing that we possessed the powers of super-speed. I am, at the very least. It would be a joy to spend a few moments channeling the speed force rather than a number of hours behind the wheel.

Unfortunately, we can't all be as lucky as Barry Allen, granted astonishing abilities via freak electrocution. (Although, apparently there's some potentially dangerous Superman merchandise available this holiday season that might do just that for a few lucky youngsters! Zap.) Unfortunately, we'll have to join millions of ordinary men and women in taking to the skies and roadways in the traditional way. I'll be updating the blog during the next few days if I'm able to.

Travel safely, boys and girls.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Interview: Bilson & DeMeo

Wordballoon Podcasts has posted an audio interview with Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo. The writers discuss their upcoming comic projects as well as the situation with The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive. There's also a link to an archived interview in which the two discuss their work on the Flash television series.

Writers Danny Bilson and Paul Demeo are back to discuss Red Menace, the new Wildstorm mini-series about a 1950's superhero who unmasks for the anti communist US senate committee, led by Joe McCarthy. The book is co-authored by actor Adam Brody, who plays Seth Cohen on Fox TV's The OC, and art is provided by the great Jerry Ordway. Billson and Demeo also discuss their run on the DC comic The Flash, and the chorus of internet complaints about the shift from Wally West to Bart Allen as the scarlet speedster.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Barry and Iris

David "Hermanos" Brothers of 4thletter! has posted an overview of the role that the romantic relationship between Barry and Iris Allen plays in Darwyn Cooke's DC: The New Frontier and, by extension, the great Silver Age. Love, after all, has always been the driving force behind each of the fastest men alive. Brothers has also posted for download a number of pages from one of the book's memorable scenes, in which the Flash saves his one true love from the chilling clutches of Captain Cold.

Barry Allen, and by extension Iris West/Allen, is pretty awesome... I can’t put my finger on why. He’s a forensic scientist with an investigative reporter girlfriend. He doesn’t play up the Clark Kent stumblebum garbage. Instead, he’s just late to things. What better alibi does the fastest man alive need? “Barry can’t be the Flash, he’s been late to every one of our dates!”...

If Barry is cool, Iris is, too. She’s the glue that holds the latest Flashes together. Barry’s wife, Wally’s aunt, and Bart’s grandmother. She gave Barry a reason to continue fighting the good fight, she gave Wally confidence, love, and support back when he needed it most, and she saved Bart’s life. Each of them would willingly die for her, and Barry even went so far as to kill for her.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Interview: James Kakalios

Newsarama has posted an interesting interview with James Kakalios, the physics professor who has written The Physics of Superheroes. In the classroom and in his new book, Kakalios examines the scientific basis--or lack thereof--behind the superpowers of some of history's most noteworthy comic heroes. Considering this premise, it's not surprising the the fastest man alive is one of his favorites. Kakalios spends much of the interview discussing what we'd call Flash Facts, incorporating references to the Silver Age as well as Geoff Johns' recent run.

James Kakalios is a comic book nerd but he’s one with a secret identity. He is a physics professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota. That means when people are arguing in a comic book store about whether The Flash could outrace Superman, Kakalios might have a plausible scientific answer. Now Kakalios has taken his years worth of useful and useless knowledge and turned it into the very funny and informative book, The Physics of Superheroes...

"Nearly without exception, the superpowers themselves violate the laws of physics. You just cannot run at super speed. You cannot stretch your body like a rubber band. So rather than just go around like a grump and say, 'Well this is impossible and that could never happen, and what’s the deal with the Hulk’s purple pants anyway?' What we do is we say, 'Okay. Let’s give them a suspension of disbelief. Let’s say you get one miracle invention from the laws of nature that accounts for the superpowers and then are what they’re shown doing in the stories consistent with actual physics?' Frequently the answer is yes and especially in some cases the Silver Age is just great for this. John Broome and Gardner Fox were writing stories at DC Comics, edited by Julie Schwartz, and they were making a real effort to try to put science in there. They were always coming up with a new and innovative application of the superpower because the Flash is fighting Captain Cold yet again. That’s what we do in scientific research. "

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Upcoming: DC Direct

There are a couple of Flash items among DC Direct's planned releases for the new year, images and descriptions of which have been posted at Comics Continuum. First up is the fourth series of Elseworld figures, which includes a version of the Flash seen in JSA: The Liberty Files (6.75"). The figure will be in stores on January 18th.

Following that, the fourth wave of DC Minimates figures will arrive. Here, a miniature version of Jay Garrick has been teamed with a pint-sized Wildcat. The set will be in stores on April 25th.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Upcoming: The Flash #9

Along with the announcement that Marc Guggenheim will become the regular writer on the title, DC Comics has posted a description and artwork for February's The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #9. Guggenheim plans to start the title fresh, focusing on a story that will cause Bart to reflect on his new role as the fastest man alive and to choose between two prominent teams with strong ties to the scarlet speedster's legacy: the Teen Titans and the Justice League.

Written by Mark Guggenheim; Cover by Ethan Van Sciver; Art by Ron Adrian and Art Thibert. Breakout writer Marc Guggenheim (Superman/Batman, Wolverine) comes aboard for a new chapter in the heroic journey of Bart Allen! Bart has literally grown into the mantle of the Flash, but if he's going to be a team player, he must first choose a team. Does Bart belong with the JLA or the Teen Titans? DC Universe 32pg. Color $2.99 US. On Sale February 21, 2007.

Interview: Marc Guggenheim

DC Comics has announced that Marc Guggenheim will be replacing Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo as the regular writer behind the Flash beginning with The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #9 in February of 2007. This follows the news that Ken Lashley will pass his artistic duties to Ron Adrian. Newsarama has an interview with Guggenheim in which he discusses his take on the scarlet speedster and the plans for his first story arc.

When you’re young, change seems like a constant -- for DC’s Flash, it is -- a change in men under the mask and, coming early next year, a change in writers. Originally, it seemed like a slam-dunk of putting the former writing team of the Flash television series, Paul DeMeo and Danny Bilson on the latest incarnation of the character at DC -- and initially, the newly launched series was met with solid sales. However, as things continued, the writing team’s version of Flash found some tough going with fans of the series who were already reeling with the changes made to the character in Infinite Crisis. In February, Flash will get a new voice in the form of Marc Guggenheim, who joins the title as its new regular writer...

“My instinct is not to dwell too much on Bart's getting older. Rather, I want to focus on him being the Flash. He's the Flash now and we all have to get used to that -- including Bart. One of the things I think is cool about the successive mantle-passing of the various Flashes is that all four of them have distinct personalities. Jay is the older, mentoring type. Barry is the icon. Wally is the irresponsible upstart who evolved into a responsible adult. My inclination is not to dwell too much on Bart's complex backstory and recent ‘maturing,’ but those elements clearly define his personality and set him apart from the Flashes who came before him. So I'm going to use those elements to inform my writing of the character without necessarily referring to them directly or, at least, often.”

Monday, November 13, 2006

Puzzle Pieces

The Superman Homepage has posted information on a number of Superman and Justice League themed puzzles available for purchase online at

Of the designs on offer, my personal favorite has to be this striking image featuring all three of my favorite DC heroes--the Scarlet Speedster, the Man of Steel, and the King of Atlantis. What a trio!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Once again, Tom Bondurant has pursued a fascinating line of thought for his Grumpy Old Fan blog column. This time around, Bondurant considers the ramifications of redefining the DC Universe in a way that reboots all of the familiar heroes without the use of their existing legacies, much as Marvel's Ultimate line has done. Some intruiging questions emerge.

In the case of such a scenario, who should be the man behind the mask as the Ultimate Flash? Bondurant decides, quite logically, that the answer is Barry Allen.

Can Wally West be the Flash without Barry Allen’s influence? Animated Wally apparently was, and apparently (if “Teen Titans” is linked to “Justice League”) was also Kid Flash. However, no Barry means no struggle to live up to Barry’s example, and that was a big part of Wally’s development... Many successor characters have been set up through more complicated story arcs, including Matrix/Supergirl, Kon-El, the Hal Jordan Spectre, Bart Allen, and arguably the newest Firestorm, Blue Beetle, and Aquaman. These tend to make them dependent on existing characters, and therefore would probably exclude them from this freshman class... So, with all that said, who makes the cut for Earth-Smorgasbord’s freshman class?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

On Sale: Absolute New Frontier

Today, DC Comics has released a hardcover Absolute edition of Darwyn Cooke's DC: The New Frontier. The epic crossover bridges the Golden and Silver Age of comics and, as a result, prominently features the likes of Barry Allen and the Martian Manhunter as symbols of the Silver Age, representative of the new era's breed of superheroes . The story is also soon to be adapted by Warner Bros. Animation for a direct-to-DVD film release.

Written by Darwyn Cooke; Art and Cover by Darwyn Cooke.

Writer/illustrator Darwyn Cooke's critically acclaimed masterpiece DC: The New Frontier is celebrated in this oversized Absolute edition featuring new story pages, detailed annotations, alternate sequences and an extensive gallery of sketches, pinups, action figure art and much more!

In the 1950s, Cold War paranoia outlawed the Mystery Men of the Golden Age. Stalwarts such as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman continued to fight for truth and justice, but as the world hurtled toward an uncertain future, it would take a new breed of hero to define the American Way. DC: The New Frontier takes readers on an epic journey from the end of the Golden Age of heroes to the beginnings of the legendary Justice League of America.

Darwyn Cooke's most ambitious project yet features the stunning color art of Dave Stewart, an introduction by DC's President and Publisher Paul Levitz, and an afterword by Cooke.

DC Universe. 464pg. Color. Oversized Hardcover. $75.00 US.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Newsarama's Troy Brownfield has posted "High Society: The Re-Return of the Justice Society of America," a look at the history behind the first superhero team in comics. The article also looks forward to the upcoming DC relaunch of the team's title and asks, "Why do we still need the JSA?" Most amusing to me, however, is the writer's topical byline for the story...

Troy Brownfield writes a bunch of stuff for Newsarama. His son was the Wally West Flash for Halloween, so the old man had to be Jay Garrick. It’s legacy, you know?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Project Rooftop

Dean Trippe directs our attention to Project Rooftop's latest selection, a complete redesign of the Flash's costume by an artist named Bannister. In keeping with Project Rooftop's goals, the detailed design is rather radical in its approach to reimagining the character's tried-and-true traditional costume. Bannister has replaced the familiar trappings of the scarlet speedster's uniform with elements inspired by the gear worn by bicyclists and sprinters.

Bannister has managed to simplify the Scarlet Speedster’s colors and iconography from the Flashes of the past and gone in a bolder direction, though I think on the same path that Wally West established after taking over for Barry Allen. Wally retained Barry’s major elements, but his uniform’s material always looked more advanced, more aerodynamic and resistant to friction. Barry’s lightning belt design was also modified to look more dynamic. It has a futuristic feel, which works with Bart’s origin. I mean, if you were suddenly living several centuries ago, wouldn’t you try to find outfits that were more like the modern attire you were used to?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Titans Remix

The Teen Titans were recently redesigned over at the always engaging Project Rooftop. Artist Eric Canete's remixed version of the team includes a Kid Flash energy being that invokes the memory of the Wally West of Kingdom Come. Canete has also posted further sketches of the team members at his own website.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Upcoming: Lightning in a Bottle

Newsarama has posted a press release from DC Comics announcing their collected edition titles for March and April of 2007. Among them is a new The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive trade paperback, for those readers willing to subject themselves to the critically derided first story arc of the relaunched title.

The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive--Lightning in a Bottle TP. Written by Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo; Art by Ken Lashley, Karl Kerschl, Andy Kubert and Joe Kubert. $12.99 US/$15.99. 144 Pages. Collects The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #1-6.