So, the real cover for the upcoming Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #13 was revealed at Heroes Con this weekend. Things don’t look promising for Bart, especially since there’s a history of Flashes dying… but let’s remember there’s also a history of Flashes (and supporting cast) appearing dead on the cover, but still making it through the issue. The full cover—and more than 20 examples of dead Flash covers—appear below. Continue reading

Showcase Presents: The Flash.The first volume of Showcase Presents: The Flash came out today, reprinting ~500 pages of Silver-Age Flash stories in black-and-white for cheap. If you’re familiar with Marvel’s Essential line, it’s the same concept.

I took a look at it to see what stories were included. (DC’s solicits didn’t say.) As expected, it features the first several years of Barry Allen’s run as the Flash, from the original Showcase appearances starting in 1956 through the beginning of his series in 1959–1961. That includes the first appearances of the Elongated Man (who got his own Showcase Presents book last year) and Wally West as Kid Flash.

There was one surprise: “The Rival Flash,” from Flash Comics #104 (1949). That was the final issue of the Golden-Age series, and the last solo Jay Garrick adventure printed for years. I’d heard that the Showcase Presents books were making use of restoration done for DC’s Archives series, and this tracks: That same story also appeared in The Flash Archives Volume #1.

It also appears as a backup in The Flash #211 (1971), and is listed in the contents for the upcoming Flash: The Greatest Stories Ever Told, tying the origin story in Flash Comics #1 for the most-reprinted Golden-Age Flash story yet.

Full contents:

  • Flash Comics #104 (1949)
  • Showcase #4, 8, 13, 14 (1956–1958)
  • The Flash #105–119 (1959–1961)

[Picture of the Flash (Barry Allen) from Showcase #4]I missed the first half of Saturday’s “50 Years of the Flash” panel because we missed the red line and got stuck waiting to transfer at America Plaza. The shuttle might have gotten us there faster (maybe even on time), but we were pretty sure they wouldn’t let us on with our coffee.

What I did see of the panel was still mostly retrospective, and mainly Mark Waid, Geoff Johns, and Danny Bilson. Carmine Infantino told a couple of stories (one of which he’d told at Thursday’s panel, about the “war” between him and Julius Schwartz: he’d try to draw ever-more-nasty cliffhangers on his covers, and every time, Julie would come up with a story to go with it. So finally he drew one with the Flash and the Golden Age Flash both racing to save some guy, and said, “There! Top that!” The rest, of course, is history).

After a while they started talking about the new Flash book. While the most common answer in the Q&A session was, “Wait and see,” Bilson and DeMeo did answer a couple of questions that I’ve seen people asking about.

For the “legacy pages” in the first two issues, they did a whole bunch of research, sometimes finding conflicting info. (They didn’t mention this one, but the issue of “Who named Impulse” is probably one of those cases.) Any changes in continuity are accidental, and not intentional.

The reason Bart’s acting so morose in these first few issues is that he’s got this problem to deal with, and once he starts to work through it, his impulsive nature will start taking over again.

I almost got the new #1 signed, but staff kept telling everyone to clear the room, and as near as I can tell, Bilson and DeMeo took a different exit than I did.

Update: I forgot to mention some of the other stories. There was a good one Bilson and DeMeo told about how when they pitched the TV show, the powers that be wanted the Flash to be running around in a gray sweat suit. So they got Dave Stevens to design a suit and his rendering convinced them to go with it. Even then, the network resisted bringing costumed villains in until they showed it could work. And apparently what killed it wasn’t bad ratings, but network politics. Someone wanted his show, so he could get a better bonus. A real pity, as the second season opener would have been a two-hour special with the Trickster, Captain Cold, and Mirror Master—a Rogues Gallery episode.

Update 2: Adding more stuff as I remember it (and have time to type). Continue reading