Speed Force
San Diego Steampunk Flash Costume

This Steampunk Flash costume was designed and built by Dustin Fletcher of Penny Dreadful and Cathy Jones of God Save The Queen Fashions.

Fletcher and Jones each write about their parts of the costume after the jump.

Steampunk Flash
Photo by Nathan Rupert.

My name is Dustin Fletcher and I work for a Production Design company called Penny Dreadful Productions. Now, I am a die-hard Flash fanatic, and when Cathy Jones from God Save the Queen Fashions came to PDP for a specific commission, the project got handed to me. PDP does a lot in the steampunk and con community even though our main focus of work is with Film and TV. I actually had been planning a Steampunk Flash costume for the past year or so and decided that I would do for the client what I was going to do for me. It was a pleasure to bring my idea to life for him. The concept is what if Barry had been the flash in the late 1800s and he didn’t get his speed from a lightning bolt to chemicals in his lab. The costume has a small tesla coil on the back harness which arcs lightning into the winged flanges on his ears and calves which are steel and copper. He is able to harness the speed of the arc through this invention and it gives him his speed. It was a blast to make and I am so happy how it turned out. For more examples mine and the rest of Penny Dreadful Productions work please check us out at www.getdreadful.com.

Photo by LynxPics

My name is Catherine Jones and I am the owner of GSTQ Fashions, a costuming company based out of Atlanta. My primary work is making costumes that get worn to anime/comic conventions by die-hard cosplay fans. A few months before SDCC, I was approached by one of my previous customers, Phillip, to make a Flash costume. But, he wanted it to have a steampunk influence.

I knew absolutely nothing about The Flash, and I had never made a steampunk outfit before. Thankfully, Dustin was quite the Flash expert AND he makes steampunk props. You don’t really question someone’s love for a character when they lift up their shirt to show you a Flash tattoo during your first meeting. At that moment, I knew Dustin was a perfect partner for this project.

After doing a bit of research on Victorian clothing tyles, I pitched a general idea for the look of the costume to my customer - vest, button up shirt, pants, neckwear, boot spats, hat, steampunk gadgets. Phillip trusted my judgement, and gave me the go-ahead. I love it when clients give me creative freedom like this, so I really spent a lot of time planning out fabric textures, keeping with a Victorian aesthetic, and making something that would be comfortable and flattering.

The vest has a gold faux silk and red wool exterior, with red corduroy accents on the pockets, armholes, bound button holes, and antique-look buttons. The lapel is made out of a striped fabric, and has contrasting buttons sewn on to the corners for a little extra flare. The neck wrap fabric matches the lapel. The vest is fully lined for comfort and the back of it has an adjustable belt. The pants are made out of red corduroy, with a fly front, slim fit, and buttons for a set of suspenders. The pants, like the vest, also have an adjustable belt in the back. The gloves, shirt, base boots, and suspenders were purchased (leatherglovesonline, Old Navy, PleaserUSA, and Salvation Army) and distressed, dyed, painted, and adjusted, respectively.

The boot spats are made out of deerskin leather. They have four adjustable buckles on the outside edge, and are lined in red cotton. The helmet and short vest are made out of veg tanned leather. The helmet, after being sewn together by hand, was wet molded to give it a nice, round shape. Both pieces were dyed a rich, cranberry color and treated to a gloss finish afterward. You will also find saddle tan accent pieces on the helmet and vest, to add a little visual interest and color.

As I worked on the fabric/leather pieces, Dustin worked on all the gadgets. Besides doing a bang-up job on those, Dustin also offered to distress the boot spats for me. This was a scary moment for me, because here I’m giving my work to someone else to get beat up! But, once I saw the finished product, I was super thrilled.

This has been one of my favorite projects to work on, and I’m so excited with how well everything turned out. To view more of my work, you can check out my website: www.gstqfashions.com or my Facebook: www.facebook.com/gstqfashions.

Photo by Jim3535

Flash Costumes at Comic-Con (2011)

As fandom moves onto the next big convention of the season, I hope you’ll take a few moments to look back at San Diego and the people who dressed as the Flash (and related speedsters) at Comic-Con International.

San Diego Comic-Con

United Underworld’s incredible gender-swapped Justice League, featuring Psykitten Pow’s Flash. Photo by John Austin.

It turns out that the Flash was the inspiration for the group theme:

“A couple of us like to do female versions of preexisting male characters. One of our friends, Psykitten Pow, she had a female Flash,” says Tallest Silver, who organized the group and who dresses as Batma’am. “One night, we were all hanging out and I said how funny it would be if we had a whole Justice League with swapped sexes.”


Photograph by Chuck Cook Photography.

The group previously appeared at WonderCon, and Psykitten appeared as the Flash last year.

Read More

I’ve completed my full convention write-up for this year’s Comic-Con International.  Here’s hoping I’ll be spending a few more days in San Diego next summer!
Original Article

I’ve completed my full convention write-up for this year’s Comic-Con International. Here’s hoping I’ll be spending a few more days in San Diego next summer!

San Diego Sighting: Steampunk Speedster

One of the booths I stumbled across at Comic-Con was selling trading cards and books featuring the Union of Superlative Heroes and Order of Nefarious Villains: steampunk characters inspired by certain well-known super-heroes and villains.

I had to pick up a set just for this one:

Phineas Fleetfoot, able to run at more than 800mph, phase into the fifth and sixth dimensions, and protect the world from the likes of King Congo, Frankenfahrenheit, Professor Perpetual Motion, Abra Le Clobber, and Dr. Didgeridoo.

The heroes set includes Marquis Le Bat and Duchesse Le Bat, Flatiron Knight, Arachno Kid, the Magic Lantern, Baron von Ocular, and more.

I was sorely tempted by the hand-bound flip book featuring both heroes and villains with additional stories, but couldn’t quite bring myself to spend $45 on it. Then I got home, really looked through the cards I’d bought, and regretted missing my chance.

Huzzah for the internet. When the artists got back from the con, they made the remaining stock available through Etsy.

Image c/o Chet Phillips Illustration.

Galactus. In a Dress. With a Knife and Fork. on Flickr.
DC’s New 52: Escape Hatches Don’t Matter

DC editorial insisted repeatedly over the weekend that there’s no escape hatch, no trap door, no possible way for the old DC Universe to return after the New 52 establishes itself post-Flashpoint.

This is, to put it mildly, an exaggeration.

If the last decade at DC comics has shown us anything, it’s that a determined writer with a supportive editor (or a determined editor with a willing writer) can undo any change he wants, no matter how set in stone it was before.

There was no back door put in place during Crisis on Infinite Earths to bring back Kara Zor-El as Supergirl, or Krypto, or any of the Silver-Age elements of the Superman mythos that were removed by the “Man of Steel” reboot, but they came back anyway. Emerald Twilight was deliberately written to make it impossible to bring back Hal Jordan as Green Lantern, but we not only got Hal back, we got the Guardians and the entire Corps. Neither the reboot nor threeboot Legion of Super-Heroes set up a way to go back to the previous version, and yet the pre-Zero Hour Legion is back in action.

Marv Wolfman actually did write a trap door into Barry Allen’s death in Crisis on Infinite Earths. The idea was that, since he was running through time at the time he died, he could be plucked out of that run at any point for more adventures, but would live always knowing that he would eventually have to go back and sacrifice himself. It sat there, unused, for over 20 years, and when DC eventually brought Barry back to life, they did it another way, without using the trap door.

Trap doors don’t matter.

What matters is editorial direction.

When Dan Didio, or Eddie Berganza, or Jim Lee stands up there on stage at Comic-Con and says, “There’s no escape hatch,” they don’t mean they’ve set up the premise so that no one can go back. If they really want to, they’ll find a way.

It’s just an “in-story” way of saying that they’re committed to the new direction and determined to see it through.

Index of Comic-Con 2011 Coverage

The frenzy of Comic-Con International is over, and San Diego returns to normal…until next year. I was only there one day this year, but Devin and I both followed the event online to collect all the Flash news we could find.

Here’s a quick round-up of Speed Force’s convention coverage.

Flashpoint Reverse-Flash FigureFlash Comics News

A special thanks to @SpeedsterSite, @BitterWallyWest and @TheFlashReborn for asking questions in DC’s panels and around the floor, and posting about their experiences on Twitter. It was also great to meet all three of you finally.

Flash Collectibles News


Around the Con

Analysis and Commentary

I should have my convention write-up finished tonight or tomorrow soon. [Update: It’s up!] In a week or so, after everyone has had a chance to post their convention photos, I’ll publish a full round-up of costume sightings.

Batman Photobombs the Unwritten on Flickr.
Comic-Con Photos are Up!

Captain Cold and The Flash

I’m back from a day at Comic-Con International, and I’ve posted my photos from Friday up at Flickr. This one here is of the two costumed con-goers who came to the Flash photo shoot originally planned for yesterday at 11:00, but now rescheduled for Saturday at 4:00 PM.

I’ll be posting some of the “Flashier” pics here, including a round-up of the action figures on display at the DC Comics booth. My con report, as usual, will go up at K-Squared Ramblings once I’ve had time to write it. Update: Here it is!

Comic Con Tips

Comic-Con International is coming up in only two weeks. Now’s a great time to review your plans and check out Speed Force’s tips to make the most of your trip to San Diego, built up from years of personal experience.