The “Zero Year” arc edition of The Flash finds a younger, pre-Flash Barry Allen on the streets of Gotham…and he isn’t the only citizen of the Gem Cities hanging around these mean streets. Manapul and Buccellato give us one last great story before their own move to Gotham City, complete with one “beginning” we see in this issue for the first time anywhere!
LIGHT SPOILERS ONLY
The call for help has gone out from Gotham to law enforcement agencies across the country, and new Central City Police Academy graduate Barry Allen is one of those who has answered the call! Barry has been assigned to Harvey Bullock and his partner Spencer. Together, they are tracking down a very dangerous street drug called Icarus, one that eventually causes it’s users to explode into flames! If you want a quick lesson on the differences between Gotham and Central City, just watch the ways Barry and Bullock approach the situation here. While investigating, they meet up with another Gem Cities native who is working as an intern with the Gotham Gazette…Iris West! Yes, in this issue we get the New 52 first meeting between Barry and Iris…and it is every bit as awesome as any Barry/Iris fan could ever wish.
This last issue for the team of M&B was a bit of an interesting choice in that Barry hasn’t had his lab accident “yet” and therefore can’t put on the familiar red and yellow uniform. Still, The Flash #25 provided a great back story for Barry himself, one well worth checking out even if it weren’t the last time Manapul and Buccellato are paired together on The Flash (Buccellato will script some additional issues before M&B take on Gotham in the pages of Detective Comics). And, just a note for fans looking for that familiar hidden “DC Comics Proudly Presents The Flash” on the title page…you won’t find it there (it features the main “Zero Year” format)…but you won’t be disappointed either, just keep looking.
I have been a fan of Francis Manapul’s and Brian Buccellato’s work from the beginning, and while I wish them both the very best for their run on Detective, I will miss what they have brought for the last 2+ years to my favorite superhero here in the pages of The Flash. The next team will have some rather large yellow boots to fill.
— Ed Garrett.
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Publisher’s Weekly reports that WonderCon still wants to return to the Bay Area, but that the limiting factor is scheduling.
- A convention needs additional days at the convention center to set up and tear down the event. So for a 3-day weekend event, they need to be in Wednesday or Thursday through Monday.
- They’ve been trying to avoid conflicting with other big comic conventions, specifically C2E2 in Chicago and Emerald City in Seattle. I remember one year they were the same weekend as MegaCon, but it was all the way on the East coast, so the two events were drawing from a different pool of guests and attendees.
WonderCon’s last year (so far) in San Francisco was 2011. C2E2 launched in 2010, and grew to 41,000 attendees in 2012 and 50,000. Emerald City has been around for a decade, but expanded dramatically over the last few years, jumping from 13,000 attendees in 2009 to 32,000 in 2011. This year, all three cons* were in the 53-56K range.
The other shows’ explosion in size coincides with WonderCon’s move out of San Francisco. Both shows were already growing before WonderCon moved to Anaheim, so while I’m sure some former regulars decided to go to Emerald City instead, I doubt it accounts for the bulk of the growth. It makes me wonder (no pun intended) whether WonderCon might be facing similar scheduling conflicts even if it had stayed in San Francisco back in 2012.
If they do have to go up against another high-profile convention, it’s going to be one of those damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t situations. My feeling is they’d be better off scheduling for the same weekend as C2E2, since Chicago’s three times the distance and two time zones away. Sure, it could be seen as a proxy battle between the NYCC and SDCC juggernauts, but it would play better than looking like they’re stepping on the little guy.
*I couldn’t find figures for ECCC 2013, but Wikipedia cites 53K in 2012, and they’ve been growing every year. C2E2 2013 was 53K, and WonderCon’s site cites 56K for 2013.
The final Manapul/Buccellato issue of The Flash is out today. It’s a flashback, set in Gotham City during Zero Year, featuring a pre-speed Barry Allen and Iris West. Preview at Heat Vision.
ComiXology doesn’t have any new Flash or Impulse backissues this week. I suspect DC has moved Flash from a biweekly reissue schedule to a monthly, leaving Impulse biweekly for now. I hope they’ll at least wrap up Impulse on this schedule since there are only four issues left (Impulse #85 was already rereleased as part of a Young Justice crossover). Also two annuals, a pair of team-up, and Bart Saves the Universe.
I spent Saturday at Long Beach Comic and Horror Con, which despite its name is still, five years on, one of the most comics-focused “comic con” events I’ve been to. Among other things, I caught the Young Justice Voice Acting panel with a dozen cast members and Greg Weisman, a discussion panel between Marv Wolfman and Scott Lobdell and a spotlight on Mark Waid (see photo). Wolfman and Waid are always fascinating, and Lobdell turned out to be really interesting as well. Brian Buccellato was supposed to be there as well, but I never saw him. Artist’s Alley was huge, though, and I never quite managed to do the full systematic pass that I intended, so it’s entirely possible that all my trips through the area missed him.
Some interesting Flash-related bits:
Jason Spisak, when asked about getting into his character, remarked that Wally West’s lines in the script always look like he’s a “total douche,” but what he had to do was think: His friends keep him around. There’s got to be something endearing to him that they want to have around. He’d find that and make it come through in his acting.
Speaking of Young Justice, the game studio that did Young Justice: Legacy still has the license. If the game does well enough, they’d like to do a sequel…set during what would have been season three.
Mark Waid, when asked what story felt like he’d finally made it, said “The Return of Barry Allen.” That’s interesting, since the story was about Wally West reaching the point where he felt like he’d finally made it. He also said that his record at making good cliffhangers is due to the fact that he writes them before figuring out how the character’s going to get out (which makes for a few stressful days at the beginning of the next script). If he doesn’t know how, the audience isn’t going to guess!
Scott Lobdell compares the New 52 Kid Flash’s personality to Woody Woodpecker.
That’s a lot of Deadpools. #lbchc http://instagram.com/p/hFA2K2DcgK/
Tribbles claw game. #lbchc #startrek http://instagram.com/p/hErAWVDcrg/
Super-bat #cosplay group at #lbchc http://instagram.com/p/hEfACJjckc/
Awesome #Loki and ? #cosplay at #lbchc. Someone shouted “What’s Tom Hiddleston doing here?” And he just put his finger to his lips in a shhh gesture. http://instagram.com/p/hEelx5Dcj1/
Iron Man #cosplay at #lbchc http://instagram.com/p/hEebM8Dcjh/