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Apr. 24th, 2014

We have a houseguest here from Great Britain. I haven't had much time to spend with her, due to work constraints.

On the other hand, various things are happening to the house. For example, we've pulled out two pet-damaged pieces of furniture; we've had three pet-damaged screens repaired; we've replaced some moulding surrounding a door that was pet-damaged (are you detecting a theme here?); Stouty came by and finished off a pair of stumps! It all looks much better.

Yesterday was our beagle's birthday. In honor of this, brushette and corveys went to the dog-o-mat, both for a shampoo, and the latter for a shave. They both look fantastic. I don't expect the beagle to stay clean for long.

On another tack, I continue to work my way through a pile of comics gathered over months. I caught up with Battlestar Galactica #8, 9 and Annual. Not so good. Then there's Bushido: The Way of the Warrior #1, 2. This tale is a bit much...a Portugese kid gets shipwrecked in Japan when his vessel is attacked by vampires, and after he gets rescued and raised by a daimyo as a spare son and trained as a samurai, though as a gaijin he'll never BE a samurai, the vampires attack the Shogun and... C'mon! I'll probably finish reading this but I don't expect much from it.

Last night after finishing up some chores, while my wife and our guest went to experience a drive-in theater, I watched The Road via Netflix streaming. Depressing. Post-apocalyptic, though they never really say what the cause of the breakdown was. I guess the point was that the director wanted to make was that people are vile and evil. Not a pleasant film.

http://speedforce.org/2014/04/spoiler-alert-wallys-appearance-flash-30/

http://speedforce.org/?p=32223

After the jump we will have a major SPOILER to discuss regarding Wally West in FLASH #30 – do not go forward unless you’ve read the latest issue (or unless you don’t mind being spoiled)…

SPOILER AHEAD – YOU’VE BEEN WARNED

Wally West is the unidentified kid “five years from now” who doesn’t make it out of that wreck.  That’s why the Future Flash of twenty years from now comes back to the present day…to stop the events of five years from now and to save Wally West.  Thanks to golddragon71 at The Fastest Forum Alive for the following post (CLICK HERE) that includes some important pics.

Wally obviously is not meant to stay “dead” – he has already been noted to have a significant role in the Flash moving forward, and as we all know “dead” NEVER means “dead” in comics.  We should see more of a very-much-alive Wally soon.  The character design is a departure from the past, with dark hair instead of red, and with a look that at least creates the implication that Wally’s parents may have a different heritage than in past iterations of the character.  Still, this IS Wally – and without even taking a breath he has already had major implications for THE FLASH.  Overall, I’m glad to see his return and am ready to give the new team a chance to tell this New 52 Wally’s story.  What are your thoughts?  Happy, not-so-happy, reserving judgment…what do you think?

-- Ed Garrett.

The post SPOILER ALERT – Wally’s Appearance in Flash #30 appeared first on Speed Force.

http://speedforce.org/2014/04/review-flash-30/

http://speedforce.org/?p=32215

Flash #30After the events of FOREVER EVIL, Central City is a mess…in just about every way you can measure.  The reconstruction work has begun, and everyone is dealing with the consequences of the vicious attack on the Gem Cities by the Crime Syndicate.  Barry is feeling a particular level of guilt…after all, he IS the Fastest Man Alive.  The themes of devastation, recovery, regret, and lost time run strongly through this excellent debut from the new FLASH team of Robert Venditti, Van Jensen, Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund.  Oh, and did I mention….Wally?

LIGHT SPOILERS ONLY

We begin with a flash-forward to Iris being pulled from a wreck that Barry was unable to stop.  There is an unidentified (for now) young man who didn’t make it…but more on that later.  In the present day, every member of the Central City Police Department has been required to go through psychological evaluation in order to be cleared for duty.  Makes sense, given the utter devastation the city has faced.  Barry could use some counseling…he can’t stop moving, can’t stop running around the city, can’t stop trying to make up for the simple fact that he wasn’t there when they needed him.  Not that he could help that fact, as anyone who has been reading FOREVER EVIL can attest.  But still, there’s that guilt…that significant guilt.  Later on he receives a special gift from Patty that plays into this theme of lost time, and by the end of the issue you’ll find just how significant that truly is as we flast-forward once again, this time twenty years to find the Future Flash…and a startling revelation!  As for Wally…I’ll have to leave that to you to read.  All I will say is that we will obviously see a lot of him in this series.  Hang on to that thought, okay?

New writers Robert Venditti and Van Jensen have done a great job in establishing their themes for THE FLASH, and I’m looking forward to their contributions to the great history of this franchise.  Many of you know the song “The Ballad of Barry Allen” by Jim’s Big Ego (Jim, by the way, is Jim Infantino, the nephew of Carmine Infantino).  I had that song running through my head throughout reading this issue.   Barry is absolutely the type of guy who would experience this type of guilt and his reaction here makes perfect sense.  As for the artwork…let me admit here that I’m VERY biased, as I’ve been a fan of Brett Booth for some time.  Lest anyone forget, this is the artist who gave us some great redesign ideas for Wally while we were all missing him at the start of the New 52.  He’s obviously a true fan along with being a fantastic talent.  His take on The Flash’s speed mixes in a little Infantino with a little bit of Manapul, and I like how he handles super-speed motion here.  His glowing lines on the Flash’s costume seams may get some notice in our comments section, but overall I like the look and style he brings, with great inks from Norm Rapmund (always a great job whenever he is inking) and excellent colors from Andrew Dalhouse.

A final thought – those very few of you who read my personal blog at the start of the New 52 (before I started reviews here at Speedforce.org) know that I was willing to give Manapul and Buccellato a chance at a time that others were questioning why DC gave such a great assignment to artists who didn’t have a track record in writing.  Not that I’m psychic, but that turned out really well…and I’m still a fan of M&B and am glad to follow them over to DETECTIVE for more of their excellent work.  With this change, I’m once again more than willing to give the new team a chance…but there is a difference.  That difference is I’ve already seen their work in writing and art elsewhere, and I already know what these excellent creators are capable of producing.  I’m certain we will see some differences in tone or plot or style from the new team, and that’s okay – I’m impressed with their first issue and am looking forward to more.

-- Ed Garrett.

The post “Lost Time”…and a new team for THE FLASH (review of #30) appeared first on Speed Force.

http://speedforce.org/2014/04/wizkids-announces-flash-themed-heroclix-set/

http://speedforce.org/?p=32152

wizkidsflashsetbanner

Hey Speed Readers,

So a couple days ago Wizkids announced via ICV2 their very first exclusively Flash-themed HeroClix set. The Flash is scheduled for release in the Fall and Wizkids is going all out for this set. Not only will we be getting a standard 68 piece set, we can also look forward to a 24 piece Primer Gravity Feed set featuring rare and unique sculpts (kind of a sneak peek/sampler) and a 6 piece Fast Forces set spotlighting the Rogues to kick things off. Take a look after the jump.

heroclixflashset1

Booster packs come with five figures at a time and retail for $12.99. They will overall contain 68 figures from all eras of the Flash’s history, including the Harley Quinn HeroClix World Champion Piece, and the 2013 DC Fan Vote Winner, Etrigan the Demon.  Sub-themes include the Rogues, the Flash’s allies, and the Authority among others. MSRP for an actual ‘Clix Brick (essentially a case) is $129.90.

heroclixflashset3

The Flash Primer Gravity Feed features 10 figures with flat rarity and all-new dial designs. Each single figure foil pack contains one Heroclix figure and character card. Play as Max Mercury, Golden Glider, and more as you encounter the mysterious Gorilla City Soldiers and authoritative Central City Police! MSRP is $2.99

heroclixflashset2

“The Rogues” Fast Forces Pack will include 6 figures from the Flash’s most persistent and famous foes (Captains Cold, Boomerang, Mirror Master, Weather Wizard, Heat Wave and the Pied Piper), as well as two exclusive maps.  MSRP is $16.99.

Now for those not completely familiar with HeroClix and the lingo. HeroClix themselves are little miniature figures similar to Warhammer 3000 or any popular tabletop miniature hobby shop game. While at first they would simply issue a set of 60 or so they began to try and make the hobby more accessible by offering starter sets called Fast Forces: packs of 6 or so different popular ‘Clix characters packed together to get one started. The 24 pack Primer Gravity Feed was also created to kind of build hype for the forthcoming full set and can be more appealing to the impulse purchaser by offering better chances to get more popular characters and dials.

For example, purchasing a booster pack will give you a choice of 5 random characters from the main 68 character set. Gravity Feeds are basically Counter Top Displays that enable people who just want a clix of the main characters of the pack to have a better chance to avoid picking up any random ancillary characters.  Typically the 24 characters in the Gravity Feed pack are figures with slightly different sculpts/stats than the main set and are generally more fan-favorites.

combinedpreviewsf

Golden Age Flash, Captain Boomerang II (Owen Mercer), more Gorilla City warriors (we received two a few sets back), Ragdoll I (Peter Merkel Sr.), Harley Quinn, Midnighter, Etrigan the Demon, and New 52 versions of Barry, Weather Wizard, Captain Cold, Mirror Master and Heat Wave were the first figures previewed with Max Mercury, and Golden Glider also mentioned.

I used to be a pretty big Flash and Flash-related ‘Clix collector but I’ve slowed down quite a bit in the last year or so as I’ve expanded my focus to DC Direct/DC Collectibles/DC Universe Classics 6-7 inch figures. Not that I don’t dig these guys as well but some of the rarer pieces from a set can go as high as 50 or 60 bucks. That is not an easy pill to swallow for a figurine that looks right at home in a vending machine. In fact the ‘Clix figurine that finally got me to take a break from collecting was the Super-Rare Flash 050 from last year’s Teen Titans set. It currently goes for about 20 bucks or so on eBay. For that same price I could have an articulated action figure that will further flesh out my main collection. Or to be a bit more practical that could easily get me a week’s worth of meals. Honestly the best thing about collecting ‘Clix was getting characters that I knew didn’t really have a golden snowballs chance in hell of getting created in 6 inch form. If one were attempting to collect any semblance of a complete DC Universe of characters HeroClix would be the place to begin, with the Justice League Unlimited toyline a very distant second. I’ve had a nearly complete team of Rogues for years in HeroClix form. I don’t know if I will ever be able to say the same about DC Collectibles or Mattel. 

While I’m super-excited for this set and that the Flash is finally getting to be a headliner, the amount of money it would take for me to round up this whole collection is something that I’m not prepared to really think about yet. Then again I’m sure I won’t be able to resist cherry-picking updated dials of Max Mercury, the first of Golden Glider (who is crossing their fingers for a classic version as well?) and updates for just about every Rogue. I think the last Captain Cold we got was like 5 years or something ago.

You can look for the Primer Gravity Feed set on October 15, 2014 and the official release of the full set and Fast Forces will follow close behind on November 5, 2014. 

So who will be taking the plunge and attempting to pick up all 68 of the official Flash pack, the 24 Gravity Feed figurines and the Fast Forces 6-pack? Anyone else who will be off to the side sadly cherry-picking what looks to be an awesome set?

Please let us know in the comments below and thanks for reading,

-Devin

-- Devin.

The post Wizkids Announces Flash-themed HeroClix Set! appeared first on Speed Force.

http://speedforce.org/2014/04/flash30-is-out/

http://speedforce.org/?p=32189

New Flash-related comics this week:

THE FLASH #30

An all-new creative team makes its debut to show the deadly consequences of The Flash’s speed powers. During the traumatic events of FOREVER EVIL, Central City suffered the worst that the Crime Syndicate could dish out. Now The Flash has returned to make things right, but there are limits to what even the Fastest Man Alive can do!

Written by Robert Venditti and Van Jensen, art and cover by Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund.

Flash #30 Catwoman #30

CATWOMAN #30

“The Race of Outlaws” begins! Despite her best efforts, Selina Kyle just can’t stop being Catwoman. What’s dragged her back into the catsuit? A globe-trotting contest that will have her competing to earn the prize for being the best thief in the world. But watch out, Catwoman – there’s no honor among thieves!

Written by Ann Nocenti, art by Patrick Ollife, cover by Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson.

Note the presence of Rogues Mirror Master and Glider on the cover.

And in digital back issues, we have The Flash #186: Part 3 of Crossfire. The Thinker has assimilated everyone in Keystone City to create a giant human/cyborg supercomputer — including the Flash!

Written by Geoff Johns, art by Scott Kolins and Doug Hazlewood, cover by Brian Bolland

Flash #186

-- Kelson.

The post This Week: New Flash Creative Team in Flash #30, Rogues meet Catwoman, Digital Crossfire appeared first on Speed Force.

Two Flash Statues Coming in October

http://speedforce.org/2014/04/oct-statues/

http://speedforce.org/?p=32194

DC’s October 2014 collectibles have been announced.

DC Icons Flash

DC COMICS ICONS: THE FLASH STATUE
SCULPTED BY GENTLE GIANT STUDIOS
The Fastest Man Alive takes a split second to pose, joining the rest of his Justice League counterparts in the DC Comics Icon statue line.
Limited Edition of 5200
Measures Approximately 10″ Tall
$99.95 US * On Sale October 2014 * Allocations May Occur

DC COMICS SUPER HEROES THE FLASH BUST
DESIGNED BY JIM LEE
SCULPTED BY JAMES SHOOP
The Flash is captured mid-stride in the latest bust designed by legendary comic book artist Jim Lee.
Limited Edition of 2500
Measures Approximately 5.65″ Tall
$49.95 US • On Sale October 2014 * Allocations May Occur

Flash Bust

Shiny.

-- Kelson.

The post Two Flash Statues Coming in October appeared first on Speed Force.

Flash: Futures End in September

http://speedforce.org/2014/04/flash-futures-end-september/

http://speedforce.org/?p=32173

September is always a special month for DC Comics’ New 52. The first year it was the launch. The second year it was #0 issues. Year three was Villains Month. And next up is a Futures End tie-in month.

Welcome to the future – FUTURES END, that is! This September, DC Entertainment takes you five years into the future of DC Comics – The New 52, where the heroes of the DC Universe face challenges unlike anything you’ve ever seen!

THE FLASH: FUTURES END #1
Advance solicit • On sale SEPTEMBER 24
32 pg, FC • RATED T
3-D Motion Edition: $3.99 US
2-D Standard Edition: $2.99 US
It’s the final showdown between The Flash and his future self for control of the Speed Force – with Wally West’s life hanging in the balance!

According to Newsarama, the advance solicitation is due to the special motion covers, to try to prevent the shipping debacle of last year’s Villains Month covers in which DC didn’t print enough of the 3D covers to fill orders.

Fortunately for us, it looks like the Flash issue fits right into the series’ regular storyline, just like the Reverse Flash one-shot fit into the middle of Reverse.

-- Kelson.

The post Flash: Futures End in September appeared first on Speed Force.

http://speedforce.org/2014/04/july-2014-flash/

http://speedforce.org/?p=32177

Flash #33

DC’s July solicitations continue to roll out, including…

THE FLASH #33
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI and VAN JENSEN
Art and cover by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND
BATMAN 75 variant cover
On sale JULY 23 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Future Flash fights Future Trickster! In the present, Barry solves a murder case, but he’s about to be murdered by the killer himself! Will he be fast enough to save both timelines?

Umm…I’m guessing that’s the killer, not the future Trickster. I like the Ringo/Cardy street signs.

JUSTICE LEAGUE 3000 #8
On sale JULY 2 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Written by KEITH GIFFEN and J.M. DeMATTEIS
Art and cover by HOWARD PORTER

The mysterious leader of the Five is revealed as the villains attack the Justice League and lay waste to Cadmus, killing The Flash – again. But you can’t keep a good woman down! Wait…Did we say woman?

Justice League 3000 #8

-- Kelson.

The post Flash in July: Future Trickster in Flash #33 and a New JL 3000 Flash appeared first on Speed Force.

http://speedforce.org/2014/04/gorilla-tp-and-omnibus/

http://speedforce.org/?p=32166

DC Comics’ July solicitations are going up today, including the next few months’ worth of collected editions. The softcover of Gorilla Warfare comes out in August (the same day as the vol.4 hardcover in fact), and we have a cover and new release date for the previously announced Flash Omnibus Vol.1.

Flash #13: Gorilla WarfareTHE FLASH VOL. 3: GORILLA WARFARE TP
Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL and BRIAN BUCCELLATO
Art by FRANCIS MANAPUL, MARCUS TO, MARCIO TAKARA and others
Cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
On sale AUGUST 13 • 176 pg, FC, $16.99 US

When Grodd and his army descend on Central City, The Flash faces a threat that’s murderous and ruthless. And he’ll need help from the Rogues to keep himself and Central City alive. This new title collects THE FLASH #13-19.

Flash Omnibus 1 / Showcase #4THE FLASH OMNIBUS VOL. 1 HC
Written by ROBERT KANIGHER, JOHN BROOME and GARDNER FOX
Art by CARMINE INFANTINO, JOE KUBERT, FRANK GIACOIA, JOE GIELLA and MURPHY ANDERSON
Cover by CARMINE INFANTINO and JOE KUBERT
On sale SEPTEMBER 24 • 864 pg, FC, $99.99 US

This massive title collects the earliest Silver Age adventures of The Flash, including the origin of the Scarlet Speedster, the first appearances of his sidekick, Kid Flash, fellow detective The Elongated Man, plus his battles against the Trickster, the Weather Wizard, Mirror Master, Mr. Element, Reverse Flash, Captain Boomerang, Captain Cold and Gorilla Grodd. Collects SHOWCASE #4, 8, 13 and 14 and THE FLASH #105-132.


-- Kelson.

The post Upcoming Flash Collections: Gorilla Warfare TPB & Silver Age Omnibus appeared first on Speed Force.

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