Following back-to-back weeks with new Flash issues hitting the stands, the new writing team of Van Jensen and Robert Venditti sat down with Newsarama last week to talk about some of the major introductions made and threads introduced.
Be warned, the two go into some spoiler-level detail if you have not read the last couple issues. For more on Wally West, his parents, Future Flash and more, follow the jump!
On the impact of “Forever Evil” on Wally West and his family, plus his view of both Flash and Barry:
Venditti: That’s had a very personal effect on Wally, in the sense that his mother had gone missing during Forever Evil, and then he’s part of this enormous police backlog, where the force is trying to get itself up and running again after this as well. You can imagine the number of open cases there’d be. And they’re still coming in. They don’t even know what they all are yet.
Then on top of that, Wally coming from a background where he’s somewhat estranged from his father, which is in keeping with original Wally continuity — you know, he really looked up to his Uncle Daniel, who the Flash ended up putting in prison.
So in some ways, Wally’s the 12-year-old kid who’s had a bit of a rough go, and he’s trying to cope with it as best as he can, and he’s sort of lashing out in this way, almost like a form of protest against the Flash.
Jensen: One of the things that’s really neat about the relationship with Wally is that — and this is true of a lot of characters — that Barry has different relationships with the same character based on whether he’s in costume or he’s out of costume, and that’s something we’re going to explore a lot, especially with him and Wally.
On comparisons to various Robins:
Venditti: I’ll say this, in response to the Jason Todd and the “brat” thing and all that: I think it would be really harsh to label Wally as that, given all that he’s been through — again, Forever Evil, mother missing, uncle ended up becoming a criminal and getting locked away, estranged from his father — I mean, “brat” would be a harsh label for that…
But in terms of the kind of character that he’s going to become, I think that’s a large part of what we’re trying to do. We are showing you these Future Flash sequences where you see, obviously, Wally ended up having a very, very close relationship with Flash again, which is something that I think fans are accustomed to, but it’s a matter of how he got there…How that relationship goes and how we come from this place now, where Wally isn’t exactly happy with Flash, to growing into somebody to whom Barry will end up becoming very close, is what we’ll explore, as Van was saying earlier.
Jensen: Much of it looks like this straight road from Barry and Wally meeting and being at odds, to eventually them having a strong relationship — but there are a lot of wrinkles along the way that are going to come up.
On Flash’s “lost time”:
Venditti: You’ll definitely find out what exactly is going on with the Speed Force, and why Barry is having problems losing time. That’s a central mystery of the whole first arc that we’re going to be doing. So those answers are going to be hinted at more and more each issue, and the resolution of all that, we’ll see very soon.
On the “I’m the reason Wally isn’t 32 and married with two kids?” quote:
Venditti: [Laughs.] That was my line. It’s taken on a bit of a life of its own, which is completely unintentional. I have two kids, so yeah, I wrote that line.
Nrama: So wait, you said unintentional? I mean, Barry is the reason, because of Flashpoint. Was that in your mind when you wrote that?
Venditti: Not even in the slightest. It was more of that sort of, just … average home life, U.S. Census Bureau data, you know? Married family, two kids, white picket fence, dog — that sort of stereotypical description.
And like I said, me, myself, I have to kids, and it was just like, “oh, two kids.”
Jensen: Yeah, I can never overstate how little Rob knows about past continuity, at some point.
For much more, including the personality and motivation of Future Flash and the West family dynamic, check out the full interview at Newsarama!
— Greg Elias.
The post Media Blitz!: Flash Writers on Wally West, Future Flash (via Newsarama) appeared first on Speed Force.
So writers, Robert Venditti and Van Jensen have both obviously been very busy since the release of their controversial first issue of The Flash yesterday. Both Newsarama and Comicosity have interviews with the new Flash writing team as they discuss the New 52 introduction of Wally West, the mysterious blue and silver speedster dubbed Future Flash and even Iris and Patty Spivot. We have some tidbits after the jump that stood out to us.
On Wally’s controversial reintroduction as a biracial character:
Van Jensen: That came through DC rather than being part of the pitch that Rob and I put together for the book. And it’s really just a central part of DC’s commitment to representing our modern culture and a diverse society through the New 52 and the entire line of comic books.
And it was something that, when the idea was presented of reintroducing Wally, and a very different take on Wally, Rob and I really just looked at it as a new opportunity to expand what we were doing with the book.
And really, rather than in any way limiting what we were planning to do, it actually became this great, central piece of the story, and we both feel like the story has only a lot richer for having Wally there.
On what different storytelling elements Wally brings to the table:
Venditti: Yeah, I mean, if you’re writing a character like Barry, who’s a solo lead of the title — and he has, obviously, a strong supporting cast around him, but he is a solo lead — then you’re always looking at things from his point of view. Even if it’s not necessarily first person, it’s from his point of view.
When you have a character like Wally — and I would say this is true of Robin or anyone like that — they become almost, not necessarily a second lead character, but very, very close to that. They’re much more than just a supporting cast member. They become part of the series.
On reworking the Barry and Wally dynamic:
Venditti: But I also think it’s interesting to see Wally in the very beginning [of the storyline] and see Barry’s reaction to the circumstances in which we see Wally, and how distraught he is about it, even though we don’t know anything about Wally yet. And that’s five years into the future.
And now, starting with the Annual, we go back to the present, and we see the relationship that develops, even though they haven’t even met each other yet, hinting at how close they’re going to become five years later.
And now we’re going to see how that plays out.
So it’s sort of an interesting way, I think, and a challenge, in terms of writing that kind of relationship. You find out that they’re really, really good friends first, and then you go back to find out how they came to be that way, instead of watching the friendship grow and wondering where it’s going to end up.
On Super Speed and Time Travel:
Venditti: We never felt like we “had” to because of Five Years Later, at all. But I think that examining time travel as part of Barry’s power set was always something we wanted to do, for the very reasons that you mentioned — the idea that it is risky, and it’s something that’s been done before.
We just want to look at it in a different way.
It’s part of the mythology that’s sort of been baked into the character, and I think we’ve come up with a way of going beyond that and putting a new spin on it.
Jensen: It’s also, as a writer, it’s kind of a cool challenge to take on a time travel story that’s been done both in The Flash and just in popular media. There are tons of time travel stories, so to create a little bit of a new wrinkle in that was a pretty fun challenge.
You can see the full interview over at Newsarama where they go into a lot more detail about Wally, Future Flash, and more.
Meanwhile over at Comicosity:
On the decision to finally re-introduce Wally West:
RV: Well, it was DC’s idea to reintroduce the character. Personally, when I’m taking over a new series, I tend to focus more on what’s already been going on with the book and picking up from that point. I would never presume to be able to reintroduce new characters of the stature of someone like Wally West. But, when they floated the idea of doing so, I was of course very excited about it.
I think what we’ve learned as we’ve been writing this series is that bringing him in has added so much to it in terms of not just adding Wally West as a character in the story, but also expanding Barry’s character. We have the opportunity to look at him from another viewpoint. It’s really taken the series in some directions that I didn’t anticipate when we started the job. Our stories are far better because of it.
On what makes Barry different as a hero:
VJ: Barry is really pure, very good — I don’t want to call him “boy scout” because that’s Clark — just a very stand-up guy. If he has any flaw, it’s that he wants to do too much. He wants to help more than he is able to. We see that in him in the present, as well as the strain that comes from trying to do everything, be everywhere, and help everyone.
Then, when we meet him twenty years in the future, we see a very different Barry Allen who, in a lot of ways, is broken, distraught, and disillusioned with life. It begs the question of what happened, and what is it that was able to change Barry in such an extreme way. That’s really the mystery that we’ll be exploring in the coming months.
On the differences between Iris West and Patty Spivot:
VJ: That’s a great question! Patty really is very similar in temperament and mindset to Barry. She’s encouraging and supportive and really energizes Barry. She helps him in his life as a super-hero and working in the crime lab.
His and Iris’ relationship is very different. They are really very different types of people. She’s a little more fiery, as an up-and-coming crime reporter — which is a job I used to have, so I identify a lot with her. She’s really striving to make career for herself. What we’ll come to see is Iris coming up against the challenge of making it big as a crime reporter, which sometimes means covering things and diving into things that are really pretty horrible and nasty. There’s even some ethical challenges to that.
So, there’s a lot to come for both of those characters, and they’ve been a lot of fun to write.
RV: I think that Patty, in addition to being Barry’s girlfriend, is his best friend and his confidante. She knows about his life as the Flash and she is a really big part of that. Above all else, she’s the one person Barry absolutely knows he can count on, no matter what.
With Iris, I don’t think we’ve seen the extent of her and Barry’s relationship yet. There’s going to be a lot of growth there, and we’ll be seeing how, as this relationship progresses, that really affects Barry and Patty in ways that are maybe unintentional. There’s a lot of stuff we’re doing with all the characters, but Iris is going to be a key focus of the series going forward.
VJ: As I mentioned before, now that we’ve introduced Wally, the events in The Flash Annual #3 will end up making her role even larger.
You can check out the rest of the interview over at Comicosity.
So do Mr. Venditti and Mr. Jensen inspire confidence in the direction of the series? Anyone actually excited to see Wally’s new direction? Please let us know in the comments below.
Robert Venditti, the incoming co-writer of the Flash series, appeared at DC’s New 52 panel today at WonderCon. CBR was there to provide coverage of the event, and here are some of the Flash-related highlights. There are possible spoilers revealed here, although nothing major. The creators seem to be keeping most details close to the vest for now.
To the delight of many, Wally West will be a permanent member of the book.
“One of things we’re focusing on is how Barry affects Wally, how Wally affects Barry and how Wally affects the Flash,” said Venditti. “This new character designed by Brett Booth is a mystery figure, but is very central to what this first arc is going to be. We’re introducing new villains, we’re working with fan-favorite villains.”
In response to a fan question, Venditti said he and co-writer Van Jensen won’t be immediately picking up on the Nora Allen murder plotline. Though there weren’t many details about it, he said the book has a planned concrete story arc that will go until October. And part of the book is going to be about “the relationship he has with Wally. As far as solving that great mystery they left that last issue with, that’s going to be pretty far down the road.”
The next issue (out next week) picks up right at the end of Forever Evil, as indicated by the preview we’ve already seen.
“Central City was one of the main focuses of the ‘Rogues Rebellion’ storyline. … As a defender of the city, Barry has to try and put the city back together, but also put himself back together. How does he deal with the guilt of not being able to be there when the city needed him most?” Venditti said. “You can imagine the enormous backlog of crime and death he would have to deal with and there’s no avoiding it.”
Barry and the rest of the Central City police officers will have to undergo psychological evaluation, possibly because of the traumatic events in Forever Evil. Iris West will also be a major focus of the series, and there will be an “opportunity for Barry and Iris to spend more time together.” That seems to hint at a possible relationship and difficulties with Patty Spivot, although Venditti said the writers won’t force anything. And there will be conflict between Barry and Wally, but it “won’t be what [readers] are expecting.”
Are you glad to hear about Wally’s major role, and more interaction between Barry and Iris? Share your thoughts here.
Newsarama has been busy with Flash-related news and interviews over the past few days, and you can find links and relevant snippets here (read the articles for the full details). Some of this information should be considered spoilers, so proceed with caution.
First, they talked to Brett Booth about how Wally West will be handled in the New 52.
Nrama: Let’s talk about what you guys are facing now. We’ve had two and a half years of the New 52 with no Flash except Barry Allen. What’s the biggest challenge about introducing Wally West at this time, with Barry already established?
Booth: I think it will be getting people to accept this version. I know what some people are expecting, I know what I’d want. He will be different, for one thing, in the old DCU he was Iris’s sister’s kid. She has a brother now, so things won’t be exactly the same. The original Wally was from a different time, a very Norman Rockwell sort of place. That is no longer the case for anyone in the New 52. He will reflect that, I’m sure.
It was announced on Friday morning that Captain Cold (and Lex Luthor) will be joining Geoff Johns’ Justice League, and the Flash is mysteriously absent from the team’s pictured lineup. Geoff Johns then gave an interview about what he’ll be doing with the series, as well as some details about some of the other Justice League-related titles. He remained tight-lipped about the missing Flash, saying that people will have to read the book to find out. However, he did say a little bit about Captain Cold and the Rogues’ response to the promotion:
Nrama: I know you love the Flash Rogues. How do they react to Captain Cold joining the Justice League? Is that something you’ll show?
Johns: Yeah, they have a lot of drinks and get really drunk. They assume they get a get-out-of-jail-free card. You know? No, they think it’s golden, but Cold is in way over his head, you know? He’s the guy that goes to the Watchtower, after he teleports into space, and you know, he’s sick for 10 minutes. But I think Captain Cold brings again, it’s like, personalities. As soon as I start to put these characters in a room, they have these reactions. They have to work together.
Johns also mentioned he was busy working on the Flash TV series, but didn’t say much beyond that. Still, it’s interesting to know he’s so heavily involved with the project.
What do you think about these revelations? Feel free to share your thoughts here! For the full interviews, follow the links above to Newsarama!
— Greg Elias.
The post Media Blitz!: Booth on Wally, Johns on Cold (via Newsarama) appeared first on Speed Force.
In an article at USA Today, DC Comics announced some major Flash news.
First, the new creative team will be co-writers Robert Venditti and Van Jensen (Green Lantern Corps) with artist Brett Booth (Teen Titans). They’ll take over with Flash #30 on April 23.
Venditti on the appeal of the Flash: “From a very young age, one of the first things you want to be able to do is run fast,” the writer says. “You don’t want to fly, you don’t want to have a ring that makes constructs out of light. It’s just a simple, basic thing: ‘I want to be able to run fast.’”
Second, Flash Annual #3 hits the following week…and will reintroduce Wally West, DC’s original Kid Flash and the main Flash from 1986-2008.
This isn’t a cryptic remark from Dan Didio. This is a clear statement in a national newspaper. Wally West is returning. In what form, in what role, remains to be seen. This black-suited speedster could be him, or it could be someone else. Brett Booth has long championed the idea of bringing Wally West into the New 52, and went so far as to design a costume for him back when the New 52 was young.
(Images via Newsarama)
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Interesting number of comments…. /r/comicbooks
As hinted at in our review of the issue, Teen Titans #26 reveals at last the New 52 origin of Kid Flash, a.k.a. Bart Allen.
Stop reading now if you don’t want to find out.
Major elements in the Flash mythos that have changed with the New 52 Flash #0, and in some cases with Flash: Rebirth, as compared to the original Silver Age history.
Friday Flashback: The Flash’s New 52 origin!
DC’s November 2013 solicitations are out, including…
THE FLASH #25
Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL and BRIAN BUCCELLATO
Art by CHRIS SPROUSE and KARL STORY
Cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
1:25 B&W Variant cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
On sale NOVEMBER 27 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
A BATMAN: ZERO YEAR tie-in! What crucial part did Barry Allen play in the Zero Year saga, and how did it shape his future as The Flash?
More after the jump.
TEEN TITANS #25
Written by SCOTT LOBDELL
Art by TYLER KIRKHAM and ART THIBERT
Cover by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND
1:25 B&W Variant cover by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND
On sale NOVEMBER 27 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
A FOREVER EVIL tie-in! The Titans’ fall through the time stream is stopped by Echo! But is this the help they’ve been looking for, or are things about to go from bad to worse? Plus: The secrets of Kid Flash’s origin begin here!
FOREVER EVIL: ROGUES REBELLION #2
Written by BRIAN BUCCELLATO
Art by PATRICK ZIRCHER
Cover by DECLAN SHALVEY
1:25 B&W Variant cover by DECLAN SHALVEY
On sale NOVEMBER 20 • 32 pg, FC, 2 of 6, $2.99 US RATED T
Separated from their leader Captain Cold and trapped in Metropolis, the Rogues must fight for their lives against the Secret Society’s secret weapon: the horrifying Parasite!
Also: Earth 2 #15 features the start of the new storyline by Tom Taylor, and Forever Evil #3 continues the universe-spanning mega-event.
Collected editions for December include the paperback of Rogues Revolution. (The hardcover is out this week).
THE FLASH VOL. 2: ROGUES REVOLUTION TP
Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL and BRIAN BUCCELLATO
Art by FRANCIS MANAPUL, MARCUS TO, MARCIO TAKARA, SCOTT KOLINS and others
Cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
On sale DECEMBER 4 • 176 pg, FC, $16.99 US
The Rogues Gallery is united for the first time in The New 52 in this title collecting issues #0, 9-12 and THE FLASH ANNUAL #1! Who is behind their sudden organization, and why are they after their Captain Cold?
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