Hello! My name is Dallin Turner and this is my blog about the Scarlet Speedster himself, as portrayed in the current DC comics. I'm a lifelong superhero fan, but I haven't seriously started reading comics until the New 52. I was excited to jump in at that point, but I was disappointed to see that my favorite character, Batman, did not really reset and I wasn't too keen on the direction the many Bat titles were going, but Action Comics jumped out at me. I was very happy with for about a year, but then things started to get a little too weird for me, so I decided to pick up a title I'd been eyeing for a long time, The Flash, and I instantly fell in love.
After very quickly reading from Issue #0 through the annual and beyond, I began to look for more sites, blogs and podcasts that covered this book I loved so much. Sadly, I wasn't able to find much. There is speedforce.org, which focuses on all news related to the Flash, but doesn't provide many reviews. There is also the FLASH-back podcast, which is a very nice podcast that covers each issue of The Flash. But I wanted something more. I wanted a more comprehensive cover of anytime this Flash, Barry Allen, showed up in any current DC comic. (This will mostly just be The Flash and Justice League, but every now and then he makes another appearance somewhere else, like in Captain Atom.) So here I am, attempting to create the kind of blog I've been searching for. I owe a lot of my inspiration to the New 52 Adventures of Superman podcast, which covers every appearance of every Super-character (Superman, Superboy, Supergirl). I'd like to include Kid Flash in this blog, but in the interest of time, I'm going to focus exclusively on the main Flash, Barry Allen. Besides, I haven't seen much connection between the two characters so far. But I'm keeping myself open to the possibility of that changing.
Keep in mind that I am by no means a Flash expert. I only started reading him in November 2012. But I think this will provide the blog a fresh perspective on the character. I've decided that I have a lot of difficulties with Batman and Superman books because I have so many preconceived notions of the characters. With the Flash, I knew basically nothing coming in. My biggest experiences with him were through the Justice League cartoons, which never got too deep into his individual backstory. So basically, I was able to come into this title with no baggage. I don't know or care who Barry Allen's girlfriend is supposed to be or what happened to his parents or even how his powers and costume work. It's all new to me, and so far, I'm loving every minute of it.
I also write another blog, called Sports and Superheroes, where I basically write anything I want to about my two great loves, sports and superheroes. Currently, I've been reviewing a lot of episodes of Batman: The Animated Series, but you'll also see some occasional posts about my favorite teams, the Utah Jazz and BYU Cougars.
For a fun change of pace, I'm going to try to cover the Flash in the chronological order in which the stories occur, not necessarily when they were published. So I'll start with Issue #0, then do the Justice League run that happened five years in the past, then I'll start with Flash #1. It'll be pretty tough to figure out what exactly when the Justice League stories happen in relation to the stories in The Flash (I don't think anybody really knows that), but I'll do my best. I should have the review for #0 up in a couple of days, but I'm not going to hold myself to a strict schedule, mainly because I don't want to make promises I can't keep. Mostly, I just hope you'll share in my love and enjoyment in this exciting and entertaining character.
For a little bonus, here are the first official "appearances" of the Flash in the New 52 — the covers of Justice League #1. The New 52 began on Aug. 31, 2011, with Justice League #1, which doesn't have the Flash in it, so I won't be covering it, but since he is on all 10 of the covers, I figured I should show them here. (This monumental issue went through several re-prints, getting a new cover for each one.) I want to use this blog to document and show every time Barry Allen/The Flash appears in the New 52, but I wasn't sure what to do with these covers. They're not really a story connected to the continuity, they're just covers. So I'll stick them here and begin my official coverage with The Flash #0.
These first covers are by Jim Lee, Scott Williams and Alex Sinclair.
This is the original, main cover, which was the first time anybody saw these characters in their new costumes in the new continuity. The seams on Flash's costume aren't very well defined here, but I like that his mask covers his eyebrows. I know, that shouldn't be an issue, but early in Justice League, Jim Lee just started to show Flash's blond eyebrows sticking out from his mask for no reason. It wasn't always that way, and it's much better when it's not. Anyway, this is a good, exciting cover, which it had to be because of its importance. I am also really happy that Scott Williams inked the black-and-white cover. He won't be doing that for later issues, and while Jim Lee's pencils are unparalleled, they can be a bit difficult to enjoy without the inks.
The first variant cover was done by David Finch, Richard Friend and Peter Steigerwald.
I'm not sure why he drew everyone so evil looking. I just don't get it. Everyone looks really ugly and stupid. I think Wonder Woman's too short, Batman's too tall, Superman's too old, and why is Flash being struck by lightning? Even the black-and-white seems a bit off, and I'm not sure the inks would've helped it.
After this comic book sold out like crazy, they printed more editions with more variant covers. Here's some more by Jim Lee and his team.
This one feels a bit rushed to me, which I can understand. They're busy trying to get the next issues out, when suddenly they have to throw together a new cover. And that's fine, it's not a bad cover by any mean, just not really special. The black-and-white didn't get the inks, but I think it's OK here because there isn't any background for the characters to accidentally blend into, which can happen with Jim Lee's pencil work.
This cover is by Ivan Reis and his team.
Reis did a lot of the Justice League variant covers, which were usually pretty good, but this one just makes the characters look pretty cartoony to me. It is better than making them look evil, but I don't like them to resemble the Super Friends so much. Maybe my main problem with this is the coloring because the the black-and-white doesn't bother me so much.
The next two are sideways covers, which I hate. Why do they have to be sideways? Other than that, they're both pretty good covers by Jim Lee and company.
The most interesting thing for me with this cover is the people in the background — people I haven't seen in Justice League yet, even though I'm writing this a year later. I recognize Deadman, Firestorm and Hawkman, who have appeared in the New 52, and the Atom, who I don't think has made an official appearance yet, although his alter ego, Ray Palmer, was briefly mentioned in Action Comics. I am ashamed to admit that I don't recognize the other people, but I honestly don't care enough to look them up.
This last cover is really just a collection of images from the first six issues of Justice League, with the exception of the Flash, which came from a variant cover for The Flash drawn by Jim Lee. I guess he just never really drew him that well in Justice League.
So there you have it. Now that you know what the Flash looks like, you can learn who he is and follow his adventures in approximate chronological order with me. Enjoy!