Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Onomatopoeia: KRA-KAAASSH

KRA-KAAASSH: As the decade wanes, it's only fitting that we end the year with a bang. And what a bang! Apparently, an exploding laser turret will provide a more than sufficient festive pop. So colorful, too! Supervillains, if your own high-tech weapon of mass destruction emits a similar sort of sound, do consult a repairman--and be sure to search your lair for superhero saboteurs!

Issue: The Flash (v.2) #99 (March 1995)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

Flash Facts: Meteoric Impact

"When meteors--falling toward Earth--meet our planet head-on, the relative speed of impact is about forty-five miles per second; when meteors have to overtake the Earth in its orbit, the relative speed of impact is about ten miles per second."

Illustration: "Meteors and the Earth meet at point of intersection of their respective orbits. The diagram illustrates the meteors associated with the comet Giacobini-Zinner."

Issue: The Flash #150 (February 1965)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Upcoming: The Flash: Secret Files and Origins 2010 #1

In March, after The Flash: Rebirth has finished but before the launch of the new Flash ongoing series, DC Comics will release an all-new edition of The Flash: Secret Files and Origins, featuring the expected line-up of revised origin stories and character profiles. This issue should prove a good jumping-on point for new readers--certainly more accessible than The Flash: Rebirth has proven! The cover for the issue offers us the first glimpse of artist Francis Manapul's take on the crimson comet. As usual, visit Newsarama for a complete listing of DC Comics's March 2010 releases.

Written by Geoff Johns; Art by Scott Kolins, Francis Manapul, and others; Cover by Francis Manapul. Flash Facts! In the aftermath of Blackest Night and The Flash: Rebirth comes the beginning of a new era for Barry Allen and the deadly Rogues! As Barry readjusts to life again, strange happenings explode across Central City that will lead to one of the most bizarre murder mysteries Barry will ever face in the upcoming The Flash #1! Plus, don’t miss Wally West, Kid Flash, Gorilla Grodd and a cold case that will send The Flash down a path unlike any other. Run – don’t walk – to pick it up! On sale March 24th. 48 pgs. FC. $3.99 US.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

News Flash

The holiday edition of Newsarama's 20 Questions with Dan Didio includes some startling news for fans of the scarlet speedster. In spite of all previous announcements, the planned Kid Flash ongoing series has been canceled, along with the much-discussed back-up feature for The Flash starring Wally West. Bart and Wally are being banished to the background in an effort to allow the resurrected Barry Allen to lead. As DC's Executive Editor explains, "Your Flash fix will be Barry Allen, pure and simple, for 2010." Kelson Vibber discusses the announcement in some detail over at Speed Force and, I have to say, I identify with his frustration. This is a disappointment, to say the least. It's also a disappointment that could have been avoided by DC Comics. Visit Speed Force for more details.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Flash Facts: Hall of Speed Records

Issue: All-Flash #1 (Summer 1941)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Onomatopoeia: WHROOO

I would like to introduce a few new recurring features here at Crimson Lighting. Though I very much enjoy our weekly Fast Talk feature, poking fun at the pseudoscience that fuels the scarlet speedster's whirlwind adventures, I do feel the need to introduce a bit more variety to our blogging schedule. Like their predecessor, the new features being added to the rotation will simply provide us with an excuse to pore over some classic comic book panels and have some fun with their colorful contents. Thus, today begins Onomatopoeia, spotlighting that often silly, occasionally stunning poetic device that is so intrinsic to the medium. Admittedly, in the realm of comic book blogging this is not the most original of features but it is one that should provide us with plenty of fun. If there's a graphically-rendered sound effect on prominent display in one of the crimson comet's adventures, you'll see it in Onomatopoeia.

WHROOO: Could there be any better example of a sound effect rendered visual to start with? Not dissimilar to the gusting of a sudden wind or the reverberations of a speeding semi, this is a sound with which the citizens of Central City are no doubt intimately familiar, a reassuring resonance that signals their unseen protector is racing into action at super-speed. "A tornado whips through nighttime Central City--but to its law-abiding citizens the racket is music to their ears! They know the Flash is on the move--hunting down law-breakers!"

Issue: The Flash #182 (September 1968)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Quick Quiz: Favorite Reverse Flash?

It's been quite some time since our most recent Quick Quiz poll closed, well past time for us to review the results! With the resurrected Eobard Thawne causing all manner of murderous mayhem in the pages of The Flash: Rebirth, this particular poll asked the blog's readers to rank those deadly doppelgangers who have always been there to menace the monarch of motion. Of all the evil speedsters to have challenged the fastest man alive, who is your favorite Reverse Flash?

Professor Zoom--Eobard Thawne himself, a fanatical madman who lives his life on a backwards timeline, the first supervillain to be referred to as the Reverse Flash--seized a respectable second-place slot by capturing 36% of the vote. Thawne was bested only by his successor, former police profile Hunter Zolomon, the time-bending speedster known simply as Zoom, who dominated this round with an impressive 56% of the total vote. Zoom is, indisputably, the favorite arch-villain here. Inertia, the impish evil twin to Impulse who also adopted the moniker of Kid Zoom, managed to snag a further 6% of the electronic ballots. Not a single vote was cast in support of Dr. Edward Clariss, the Golden Age Reverse Flash known as the Rival. Forty-six readers took part in this poll.

Given the continuing excitement surrounding the events of The Flash: Rebirth, I'm somewhat surprised that Professor Zoom didn't rank higher in this particular poll. Then again, considering the powerful origin story and relatively complex motives granted to Hunter Zolomon by writer Geoff Johns, Zoom stands as an unforgettable arch-nemesis for the fastest man alive. My own vote was cast in favor of Zoom, in fact. Which of the Reverse Flashes do you favor? Do you have a favorite comic story featuring the Reverse Flash? Let us know using the comment facility below.

Of course, as a result of continuing delays, The Flash: Rebrith is now running parallel with an epic crossover event involving countless heroes and their nemeses. Blackest Night has descended upon the DC Universe and the dead are rising to wage war on the living, with both Barry Allen and Hal Jordan at the center of the macabre nightmare! Blackest Night: The Flash resurrects a number of the Flash's fallen foes--Golden Glider, the Top, Captain Boomerang--in frightening new guises. Of these deceased members of the scarlet speedster's Rogues Gallery, who is your favorite Black Lantern? As always, you'll find the Quick Quiz poll in the right-hand sidebar.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Flash Facts: Oxygen Molecules

"The mean velocity of oxygen molecules in air at normal room temperature is 3/10 of a mile a second."

"Key to oxygen atom: proton, neutron, electron."

Issue: The Flash #196 (April 1970)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Life During Wartime

Comic icons meet alternate history in photographer Agan Harahap's "If Superheroes Had Fought During Wartime," a Photoshopped photo series featuring familiar superheroes and other prominent pop cultural figures. The scarlet speedster himself makes an appearance in a snapshot set during World War II, apparently aiding in the dissolution of the Wehrmacht. In this case, it's Barry Allen, clad in his distinct and unarguably iconic costume, who takes Jay Garrick's place in the war effort. Harahap, a photographer from Jakarta, currently works for music magazine TRAX. The entire collection can be viewed at the art community My Modern Metropolis.

Scenario: Unknown location, 1945

Following the unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht which went into effect on 8 May 1945, some Wehrmacht units remained active, either independently (e.g. in Norway), or under Allied command as police forces. By the end of August 1945, these units had been dissolved, and a year later on 20 August 1946, the Allied Control Council declared the Wehrmacht as officially abolished.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Monday, December 07, 2009

Flash Facts: Barnard's Star

"A star in the constellation Ophiuchus has the greatest proper motion so far discovered. Nicknamed 'Barnard's Arrow' and 'Barnard's Runaway Star' (After its discoverer, [E.E.] Barnard), it takes 180 years to move across the star sphere a distance equal to the diameter of the moon."

Illustration: "'Rapid' displacement of Barnard's Star between 1894 and 1947."

Issue: The Flash #208 (August 1971)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

FoxTrot (2009)

Another of the comic strips kindly clipped for us from the pages of the Houston Chronicle by our friend Papa Zero, this edition of Bill Amend's FoxTrot offers a bit of commentary on Comic-Con International. Can't make the annual trek to San Diego for the convention? Apparently, all you really need is a bag of rocks, a hammer, and a distinct absence of chairs. Dressed as Superman and the Flash, the FoxTrot characters are engaged in a bit of cosplay, thus revealing one of the practical limitations of the crimson comet's typically streamlined cowl. The strip ran in newspapers on 19 July 2009--appropriately, the week before this year's convention. Thank you, Jason!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

On Sale: Blackest Night: The Flash #1

Blackest Night: The Flash #1 sees release today, the first in a three-part mini-series. For my money, Blackest Night represents the most engaging crossover event to hit the DC Universe in a long, long time. It's going to be a lot of fun seeing the Flashes of Two Cities and the collective Rogues Gallery face off against a line-up of undead Black Lantern Rogues. (This fan can't wait to see Black Lantern Rainbow Raider in action!) Of course, an adventure like this is worth the price of admission just for its creative team; any Flash fan knows that Johns and Kolins can work magic together. IGN has a five-page preview of the issue offering a glimpse at the dramatis personae for this macabre skirmish.

Written by Geoff Johns; Art and cover by Scott Kolins; Variant cover by Francis Manapul. The Flashes of Two Cities--Barry Allen and Wally West--battle the undead Rogues. Will the legendary speedsters be able to handle the Black Lantern Rogues's revenge? Plus, witness the resurrection of Barry's greatest enemy, the Reverse Flash in this hyper-speed miniseries event reuniting the fan-favorite Flash creative team of Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins! DC Universe. 32pg. Color. $2.99 US. On Sale December 2, 2009.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

On Sale: The Flash: Rebirth #5

Don't forget to pick up the penultimate installment of The Flash: Rebirth, on sale now! The mini-series speeds towards its time-altering climax with Barry Allen leading the Speed Force--a speedster super-team including Jay Garrick, Jesse Quick, Bart Allen, Max Mercury, Wally West, and Iris West--in an all-out battle against the vengeful Professor Zoom. As Rebirth has been shown to exist primarily to rewrite, restructure, and retcon, you can be sure this adventure contains more than a few milestones in the history of the fastest man alive. A five-page preview of the issue can be found over at DC's The Source.

Written by Geoff Johns; Art and covers by Ethan Van Sciver. The greatest threat to face the Flash Family in decades stands revealed! A new hero will step into an old speedster's boots! And Barry Allen will make the ultimate sacrifice: his life! Oh yeah, you read that right, but you'll never believe just what it means! They always say nothing will ever be the same, but trust us, this one will rewrite the history books! DC Universe. 32pg. Color. $2.99 US. On Sale November 18, 2009.