Tag Archives: Geoff Johns

iEditorial | JUSTICE LEAGUE Vol. 2: The Villain’s Journey

Unsung tales and missed opportunities deeply diving into the JUSTICE LEAGUE archives reveals insight into narratives that might have been — or may yet — be brought to light from the case files!

For many, DC Comics “The New 52” relaunch was the publishing imprint’s most elaborate failed experiment. In 2011 the entire line of comics were relaunched and rebooted after the near-cataclysmic events captured in the FlashPoint story arc. Geoff Johns the author behind  the revelatory “crisis” event which centered arrived The Flash’s irrational decision to prevent his nemesis the Reverse-Flash from murdering his mother, the result of which has a drastic effect all-across the DC Universe.

The result was “The New 52” reboot which was an effort by the publisher’s to rewrite company-wide mythology and “clean slate” much of the major storylines especially among DC Comics greatest icons which included the membership among the World’s Greatest Heroes the Justice League, in fact when the Justice League #1 launched it inaugurated the arrival of “The New 52”. Johns and one of DC’s Finest Jim Lee teamed up for their revisionist view of many of the imprint’s long-standing characters including Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.

This week DC celebrated Lee by offering many of the artist’s most prolific works, among them the collected volumes of several series runs including Justice League Vol. 2: The Villain’s Journey which reprinted for the first time “The New 52” run of the title’s issues #7-12. It featured the Justice League’s confrontation with a new adversary who has been following their rise to fame, in a new world that heralds them as heroes, but are they really worthy of that title? The complex story arc actually features two additional prologues that reveal some interesting motives.

Unexplored, Not Pursued

Leading up to the league’s battle with Graves, there is an engaging story by Johns and drawn by Carlos D’anda, not Jim Lee, a Justice League team-up featuring Green Arrow. It’s the “first time” in the new continuity that the Emerald Archer crosses paths with the team, as he petitions for a position among their ranks. The League don’t appear all too impressed by the archer, who insists he helped them take down Amazo the Android, helped prevent an attack from the Court of Owls’ Talons, but is rejected by most of the current roster, especially Aquaman and Green Lantern.

The Aquaman snub is interesting because it reveals a dangling plot line that appears to have not been explored: one that placed Arthur Curry and Oliver Queen in directly opposing paths before they assumed their superhero identities. That Green Lantern isn’t impressed by Green Arrow is also of note considering that the pair have often shared adventures together, especially during the Bronze Age of Comics and into the Modern Era. Green Arrow isn’t brought into the inner circle but is approached by the League’s liaison agent Steve Trevor for another mission all-together.

At the conclusion of their adventure and after the Green Arrow pleads his final case, their part ways, but consider the possibility of opening their ranks. It’s then the Batman protests that it wouldn’t be a good idea, and insists how badly it went the last time that the League let someone in…leading to a dramatic double splash page with the Justice League locked in combat with the Martian Manhunter! Readers of the current volume of the Justice League will note that not only is J’onn J’onzz a member of the team, he’s the group’s current chairperson.

Cut To…

Without further integrating that bit of backstory, the Justice League would soon find themselves in a series of big scale brawls beginning with “The Trinity War” and leading into “Forever Evil”. These events brought them in direct conflict with a government sanctioned “Justice League of America” that included amidst its roster the Green Arrow and Martian Manhunter, and inducting several “rookie” members. Firestorm and an Element Woman were invited to train with the team, while the duplicitous Atomica was uncovered as a psychopath from an alternate-Earth.

The Justice League’s core members have pretty much stayed intact and only recently, after entering into the cross-publishing “Rebirth” and facing the dangers of the Dark Multiverse in “Metal” took a major step to reexamine their roster. The latest team includes many of the recent founding members including Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg, but have now recruited John Stewart, the Green Lantern, Kendra Saunders, the Hawkgirl and brought Martian Manhunter back.

Still there is the dangling participle of what exactly transpired — in full detail — between J’onn J’onzz and the original seven members, and though perhaps the beef between Aquaman and Green Arrow may have played into some one-shot story in either one of their respective titles, they’ve never crossed paths since the apparent proclamation of disdain between the two heroes. In fact, the long-term history of the current era Justice League is in much flux, as recent events in the Batman/The Flash team-up arc “The Button” revealed a great deal of missing history.

As the current mythology attempts to restructure itself and open up the possibility that an eventual explanation will be laid out for diehard fans of the Justice League’s illustrious history, in the meantime devoted readers can dive into Justice League: The 100 Greatest Moments by Robert Greenberger and published Book Sales Chartwell. The hardback is available now from various retailers including Barnes and Noble.

Advertisements

iReview :: The Flash #301 “Flashpoint”

Season 3 of The CW hit The Flash is already shaping up as the most unpredictable of all the DC TV series. Welcome to “Flashpoint” where anything can happen…

finaldctv-cw_header_640x200

Careful what you wish for. Clearly it’s never a good idea to travel back in time and trifle with your own history. At the conclusion of last season on The Flash, Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) had just had enough! In a final confrontation with his sworn enemy ZOOM, before The Flash was ultimately able to stop the madman from destroying his world and saved the multiverse in effect! The villain, although, struck our hero with a terrible blow — murdering Barry’s father, Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp) right in front of his eyes.

In the race of his life, The Flash took down ZOOM, but the damage had been done, and Barry believed the universe owed him one.

Though he had finally won the girl, Iris West (Candice Patton) believed that Barry could never be happy, not while he wrestled with some unanswered questions, so Barry felt he had no other choice, but to travel back to the single greatest defining moment of his life: the night that his mother, Nora Allen (Michelle Harrison) was taken from him by another speedster, the time-traveling Reverse-Flash (Matt Letscher). The Flash is determined to stop the man in the yellow suit, the man he believes is responsible for all of his grief, from carrying out his plan — and he travels back in time, to that crucial moment, and stops the Reverse-Flash in his tracks!

fla301b_0057b
The Flash — “Flashpoint” — Pictured (L-R): Candice Patton as Iris West and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Effectively saving his mother, stopping yet another vengeful foe from carrying out a threat against him, Barry Allen as changed everything — creating a “Flashpoint” event that irrevocably has consequences — a butterfly effect — on the history and evolution of events that follow. And although Barry Allen has fulfilled one of his greatest wishes, to have a life where both of his parents are alive and well, everything else has changed. Everything.

The Central City that Barry now inhabits is very similar to the one that he’s always known, except that he is no longer its defender. There’s another “Flash” in town that is dealing with the metahuman threats, especially in the form of one particular baddie calling himself The Rival aka Edward Clariss (guest star Todd Lasance). A speedster who fancies himself “the fastest man alive”. No longer having to concern himself with the responsibility of being a “hero”, Barry Allen focuses on the things that are more important to him now — being a son in a loving family, great at his job with the CCPD, and reigniting those feelings he had for that “special girl”.

In this timeline, Barry Allen and Iris West didn’t grow up as best friends, in fact — the entire structure of the West Family has been compromised. Joe West (Jesse L. Martin), Barry’s surrogate father, is not the loving and responsible, decorated Central City detective that took in Barry after his father was wrongly convicted and sentenced to Iron Heights Prison for the murder of his wife. Joe is now hardly able to pull himself off the couch and meet his responsibilities in the CCPD. Barry is constantly running interference for the office with Captain Julio Mendez (guest star Alex Désert another alum from the original CBS 1990 “The Flash” series).

What’s worse, it appears that Joe is estranged from both his children and has a tenuous relationship with Iris and Wally West (Keiyan Lonsdale) the son that he just discovered he had. The siblings on the other hand couldn’t be closer, in fact Wally has inherited the powers and the title of Central City’s new “The Flash” (although the name “Kid Flash” suits him best) and is singlehandedly attempting to take on the Rival, with little success. Having pursued Iris and begun a courtship, it isn’t long before Barry reveals to her (and Wally) the truth about his super speedster alter ego, The Flash, but has a harder time convincing them about the “rebooted” timeline he has in effectively inspired!

the-flash-flashpoint-flash-and-kid-flash
The Flash (Grant Gustin) teams up with Central City’s new protector Kid Flash aka Wally West (Keiyan Lonsdale) to take on a new enemy threaten the city.

Confident that if they are to stop The Rival from his rampage of Central City they are going to need all the help that they can get, Barry insists on putting together “Team Flash” beginning with enlisting the support of Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes), except that in the new “Flashpoint” timeline Ramon is a billionaire industrialist who wants nothing to do with (either) Flash’s vendetta on crime. Upon seeing Iris and Wally when they arrive at his lab, Ramon asks them all to leave — including Barry whom he’s never met.

But Barry is adamant about pulling the team back together and even “kidnaps” Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) who is this altered-timeline is a children’s eye doctor and not the biochemist we’ve known (and loved) all along. On Barry’s initiative alone, they do band together to bring down the Rival, but it isn’t long until Barry learns the truth…

fla301a_0006b
The Flash — “Flashpoint” —  Pictured (L-R): John Wesley Shipp as Henry Allen and Michelle Harrison as Nora Allen — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

Eobard Thawne, the Reverse-Flash, who has been Barry’s prisoners for the last three months reveals the truth about the damage to the timeline that the Flash has caused by creating the “Flashpoint”. Barry is losing his memories about the original reality and as time folds in on itself it won’t be long until he completely forgets everything — including how to use his powers as the Scarlet Speedster. With so much at stake, including his mental state, Barry agrees along with Iris to return Eobard to that moment in time. The moment when the Reverse-Flash murders Nora Allen in an attempt to set things right.

Barry returns home with Iris to bid his parents one last good-bye, thanking them for “the last three months” before freeing Thawne and succumbing to the effects of the “Flashpoint”.

With Barry unconscious the Reverse-Flash uses the Speed Force to travel back and when Barry wakes up, it looks like everything has returned to normal. Both Nora and Henry Allen are dead and Barry has just beat ZOOM. He returns to the West home and toasts to his father’s memory with Joe and Wally, but when he asks why Iris isn’t there with him, Joe angrily excuses himself — chalking up Barry’s ignorance to grief. Barry learns through Wally that Iris and Joe don’t speak, and haven’t in a very long time!

“Flashpoint” Episode #301 (Season 3 Premiere/Original Airdate Oct 4, 2016)

Directed by Jesse Warn

Story by Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg

Teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg and Brooke Roberts

Inspired by the comic book arc written by Geoff Johns that ultimately re-imagined the entire DC Comics multiverse and introduced “The New 52” timeline to readers, the events in the television adaptation of “Flashpoint” are appropriately scaled down for the serialized television format of The Flash. What was originally a cross-issue event that lead to a complete overhaul of the comic book universe, has been told in an incapsulated one-hour show and wrapped up by the time we got to the credits.

Or has it?

Obviously there are consequences to Barry’s actions. Although his intentions are well-meaning, they are selfish and lead to a total rewrite of the two seasons of The Flash that have come before, but what choice did he have? After all, playing the hero has cost him a great deal. Being the man that saved Central City again and again has lead to nothing but ill-fate for Barry Allen and the contempt and envy of speedsters from not only the the Prime-Earth, but menaces from across the multiverse!

Seeing Barry reunited with both of his parents, even for a few moments is remarkably rewarding, and the scenes between The Allens — Grant Gustin, John Wesley Shipp and Michelle Harrison — are at the core some of the best moments of the episode, especially because of the genuine affection these actors have on display for one another. The same can be said for the chemistry on display between Gustin and co-star Candice Patton, as Barry and Iris get to revisit their courtship and take us along for the ride.

the_flash_season_3_comic-con_first_look_trailer_still
Together again…for the first time, Barry reveals himself as The Flash to Iris.

This episode featured some of the best work between the series two leads, and Patton continues to very skillfully navigate the complexities of a leading lady who has to deal with super-powers, alternate universes, dopplegangers and rebooted timelines! It makes for some challenges that Gustin and Patton approach beautifully and make us believe that whatever it takes love will keep Barry and Iris together. Hopefully, these two can stop having “first dates” and get to really developing eventually into the love story that fans of the comic book are rooting for.

One of the more exciting moments of the series have come from the introduction of the multiverse and the opportunity that this revelation has given the cast to play alternate versions of themselves. Almost every single cast member has now had to play at least 3 different versions of their original characters, and some like John Wesley Shipp have been reintroduced as all-new players on the field. That this ensemble continues to deliver and rise to the occasion is testament to their dedication and the skill and creativity of the writing staff to keep audiences guessing.

It’s obvious that with Matt Letscher back in the picture the Reverse-Flash will continue to play a role as one of our hero’s most dangerous adversaries. Show runners have already revealed that Letscher’s Thawne will become a cornerstone member of the Legion of Doom which will be taking on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow later this season, but there is a greater menace coming that Eobard eludes to and what that will mean for the Flash is yet to develop.

The episode’s “stinger” reveals that Earth-Prime’s Edward Clariss, the “Flashpoint” reality’s “Rival” hasn’t become the villain, but perhaps with the intervention of a new threat that scrawls the word “Alchemy” on his mirror, this season’s big baddie has just been revealed!

DC COMICS Are HOT This Summer!

It looks like DC Comics publishing is experiencing a “rebirth”! Rousing sales over the summer months have resulted in record-shattering sales for the comics imprint which relaunched most of its titles over the season as part of a brand new initiative to return the brand to its greatness.

In an announcement released yesterday the publishing powerhouse confirmed that it has shipped over 12 million comic books this summer, with eleven issues topping 200,000, more than 60 issues exceeded 100,000 and 21 titles went back to print multiple times.

It would appear to confirm that the nostalgically motivated “Rebirth” — not-a-reboot — that was introduced as a marketing effort to re-institutionalize legacy elements that had been missing from the books since the previous imprint relaunch “The New 52” has been enthusiastically embraced by fans. The initial book written by Geoff Johns, DC Universe: Rebirth Special #1 intended to address a lot of those legacy misgivings, was a blockbuster hit on the newsstands!

DC followed the special one-shot with an all-new lineup of stories, restarting many of its more popular titles at #1 including Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman which have also begun to ship twice a monthly, giving the creatives a broad brush by which to work intricate storylines that place the heroes back into their proper legacy context. That is none more evident than in The Flash which brought the missing favorite character Wally West back from oblivion.

The relaunch has also given two DC flagship titles the unprecedented opportunity to resume their original legacy numbering. Action Comics featuring Superman resumed with #957 and Detective Comics starring Batman picked up at #934. “This is the biggest story in comics publishing right now — fan and retailer demand for these books is at an all-time high,” said John Cunningham, DC’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Trade Marketing. “This summer we’ve sold more issues over 100,000 units than we did in all of 2015.”

This bodes well for the publishing giant and for fans, especially the purist who were eager to see a return to greatness for the DC Comics characters, something that many fans felt was lost at the onset of “The New 52” reboot. “Hope, optimism and legacy are integral to the epic, universe-spanning stories that define what a ‘DC’ superhero is to me. As is building on the foundation of all the amazing writers and artists, as well as, characters that have been part of DC’s history and celebrating it,” said Geoff Johns, President and Chief Creative Officer, DC Entertainment.

With the digital market also moving in, many fans have turned to downloading their books using the DC Comics reader app for iPad by ComiXology as an option to keep their shelves open for the collected editions of some favorites. DC confirmed that major “Rebirth” arcs will be available as soon as early 2017.

For more news and recent developments visit www.dccomics.com.

iReview: DC Comic’s JUSTICE LEAGUE #3

The “Rebirth” continues and Earth’s mightiest champions are caught in the middle of an alien invasion with an “Extinction Agenda” on its mind.

NewsletterHeader_DC-NewLogo_week525_640x200-Trinity

The entire premise of “Rebirth” the current imprint-wide rebranding that’s taken over DC Comics is a reset to more pratical storytelling. After the widely admonished “New 52” reboot which was a far more dramatic retcon of established continuity as well as a contemporary cosmetic retooling of the major comics icons, “Rebirth” is taking a step back to get back into the types of adventures that got audiences hooked on the books in the first place. That is none-more apparent than what is happening in the pages of the publisher’s biggest team book.

With Justice League #3 the DC Comics premiere team-book that many of us depended on to deliver on the more cosmic, more epic elements we have all come to enjoy, it appears that the “Rebirth” is being taken very seriously. When the series ended its most recent run, which began with the collaborative legends Geoff Johns and Jim Lee retooling the origins of the Justice League (and the multiverse for that matter) and introducing the initial “Super Seven”, the entire first fifty-two issues of Justice League were larger than life! Really!

For most of those first fifty-issues the team roster (also) hardly changed. There was only a minor draft moment during the “Throne of Atlantis” arc (that was also turned into an animated movie), but none of those “reservist” remained on the team after the end of that mission. The next draft came shortly before the “Forever Evil” arc was implemented and brought most notably Firestorm into the mix, and Atomica (who turned out to be a double agent for the Crime Syndicate). Although the Justice League of America was also incorporated into that crossover, the core leaguers remained the same.

Justice-League-3-2016

Now that the “Rebirth” is taking shape, the line-up has also evolved. It includes not just one, but two rookie members of the Green Lantern Corps intergalactic police officers, and there’s a new Superman on the block — or rather — the original is back! It all may sound a bit confusing, but in the realm of comic books, these are gods onto themselves, and the spirit of them never dies. So although Justice League has been renumbered and rebranded to fall in with the “Rebirth” initiative, it still very much feels like the same team book fans have come to expect.

And this is a very good thing!

Though not necessarily really needing to be heavily overhauled, from the beginning Justice League was heralded as the flagship title for the line. It introduced The New 52 continuity and now continues to illustrate how this new multiverse is continuing to evolve. Now being helmed by writer Bryan Hitch and illustrated by Tony Salvador Daniel it continues to present all the favorites just as we’ve all come to expect them.

And maybe that’s the bad thing!

It all feels like we’ve been here before. In the latest arc opening up the new series “The Extinction Machines” an alien and element threat is possessing the population, stealing our heroes powers and sending Superman on an errant mission to the center of the earth that only he can save us all from. Sure, they are the best that the planet has to offer, but where is the character drama, the human element that really makes these characters stand out from the rest?

The mystery of this alternate-earth Superman that walks among them still has to be explored, but there’s a greater threat out there — the one that Wally West, the original Kid Flash presents at the beginning of “Rebirth” — the missing years and who’s behind them that still has to be addressed. Hopefully the Justice League will get to solving that mystery too, or at least give its readers more story per bi-weekly issue release at the bargain price of $2.99.

The CW’s “The Flash” Races Toward a Reboot?

After facing perhaps his most dangerous adversary, opening up the world to the multiverse, it looks like when The CW hit series The Flash returns in the fall Barry’s world will be dramatically different…

It certainly felt like Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) had no other choice but to confront the evil ZOOM! in a battle to save the multiverse as the second season of The CW’s hit show The Flash spiraled toward a relentless climax. The closing arc had left our hero with very little to lean on, especially after having lost his ability to tap into the Speed Force, then regained his powers after gaining a better understanding of the energies that now course through him ever since the particle accelerator experiment that turned him into the fastest man alive.

But with every action, there’s a reaction, and even though Barry and his friends at S.T.A.R. Labs had every good intention especially of bringing down the tyranny of ZOOM! in the end the villain made haste in a final escape that ultimately cost Barry dearly. His only living parent Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp) was fatally struck down by his enemy, and ultimately lead The Flash to one final race — the race of his life — to stop ZOOM! from putting in play a plan that would ultimately destroy the multiverse. The Flash and his friends were able to stop ZOOM! and even freed his prisoner on Earth-2…

TheFlash-223-TheRaceOfHisLife-3J5673A-CW-Stereo_a29f9f8c1_CWtv_720x400
In the race of his life, The Flash (Grunt Gustin) takes on the menace of ZOOM! for the fate of the multiverse in the Season 2 Finale of The Flash.

It was revealed that “the man in the iron mask” was another speedster, one whose identity ZOOM! had assumed, and whose powers he had stolen — Jay Garrick! To long time DC Comics readers, the name is synonymous with the legacy of “The Flash”. Garrick is the original Golden Age version of the hero, where the more commercially popular Silver Age version (Barry Allen) is more widely known. For the #DCTVU in an even more brilliant twist, the true Jay Garrick bares a striking resemblance to Barry’s father Henry.

Jay Garrick, the “original” Flash is now played The CW show by actor John Wesley Shipp, the “original” Barry Allen/Flash from the 90’s CBS show The Flash. The strange twist of fate, as anyone can imagine, comes at a great shock to Barry having just recently lost his father so violently to ZOOM! and now seemingly found a kindred spirit in his parallel-earth doppelgänger, but before the two Flashes have time to bond, Garrick decides to resume course to his own world — Earth-3 — and leaps through a breach.

Feeling alone and abandoned, although his future may be the brightest its ever been… Barry saves his friends, rescues the multiverse, and even gets the girl. He and Iris (Candice Patton) finally profess their love to one another and decide the time is ripe for them to follow their hearts. Unfortunately Barry’s heart — and mind — are at present unaligned and all he can think about is the one fatal mistake he made once before. He had the perfect opportunity to prevent the Reverse-Flash from murdering his mother.

Now all Barry can think about is making things right! At least by himself! He decides that he has no other alternative but to travel back to that very moment, some 14 years ago, and save Nora (Michelle Harrison) from death, but in doing so, The Flash irrevocably alters the entire timeline, initiating a “FlashPoint” effect that will have as yet unexplored consequences for our hero. Today, Grant Gustin has been teasing fans via social networking. Slipping back into “Barry Allen’s skin” and preparing for Season 3’s new arc.

-the-flash--episode-
The Flash — “Escape From Earth-2” Pictured: Grant Gustin as The Flash — Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

In the comic series FlashPoint was the catalyst event that ultimately lead to the DC Comics publishing reboot that launched The New 52. The storyline revealed the consequences of Barry’s actions after saving his mother’s life. The Flash unleashed a “butterfly effect” that plunged the planet into a world war between super-powers, revealed a dangerously tortured Batman let loose on Gotham along a fatal trajectory towards annihilation! Yes…it’s a bleak future indeed. In the end Barry has no choice but to make things right.

Even without the benefits of an expansive DC Comics Universe, the television landscape that has evolved over the course of the last several seasons on The CW largely in part to the efforts of Greg BerlantiMarc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg has exceeded fans expectations and created a serialized narrative that spans four network television series (although the latest to join the fold Supergirl has yet to address its place in the convergence to The CW) that have captured our imaginations in primetime.

why-the-multiverse-story-can-blow-away-the-competition-the-flash-season-2-529489
Producer Greg Berlanti strikes his most heroic pose alongside his premiere team of heroes Grant Gustin as The Flash and Melissa Benoist as Supergirl.

If Barry’s actions have a relevance beyond his own Tuesday night 8pm EST time slot, or if his “FlashPoint” affect will transcend to the companion series Arrow (returning in the fall to its Wednesday night slot) or the third spin-off  DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (Thursday night’s lead-in) and whether The Flash — which has journeyed over to CBS to visit Supergirl — has affected that series’ continuity are all questions, audiences of the show are eager to have explained. We can only speculate — and what fun is that!

What are some things we might want to see happen as a result of The Flash “FlashPoint” that could happen on the primetime series? Well…for starters:

  1. Nora Allen is alive! How great would it be especially for Barry if his mother played by Michelle Harrison has an opportunity to interact with her son? Having prevented her murder Barry’s family would remain intact. His father Henry played by John Wesley Shipp wouldn’t have gone to jail and been there for Barry’s formative years. In the comic Barry rescues Nora, but at a great cost, including his superpowers. Having the Allens back would also resonate with their next door neighbors…
  2. The West Family! Although he’s pined after Iris West (Candice Patton) the daughter of his surrogate father Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) for most of his life, how will not being raised by Joe affect Barry’s development? In the comics, Iris has moved on, gotten married and has a daughter of her own. Perhaps this would give the writers an opportunity to bring Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett) back.
  3. The Father Figure! Sure Henry Allen may be alive as well seeing as Barry completely altered the timeline, but a heart surgeon isn’t going to necessary be able to make things right when his “super hero” son starts to realize that things aren’t as clear and present as they should be. In the comic series, Batman (Thomas Wayne) helps Barry recreate the accident that turns him into a speedster in the first place. Batman (at present) doesn’t play a part in the #DCTVCW Universe (not yet) but there’s a character from the 1990’s original series, based on a classic Golden Age hero that could be fashioned into an alter-ego for a detective turned vigilante! Introduce Joe West as the Deadly Nightshade which is based on the DC Comic’s character of Sandman a member of the Justice Society of America.
  4. The Flash of Two Worlds! And speaking of the Golden Age of heroes, it was of course revealed in the season finale that ZOOM! was impersonating Jay Garrick (also played by John Wesley Shipp). At the end of that episode Garrick resumes his name and title of “The Flash” and whisks back to his own parallel-earth, but what if he returns to help Barry set things right, after all as we’re learning in the current “Rebirth” series, the consequences of that butterfly effect left the world dramatically changed and the preservation of its heroes legacies must be maintained.
  5. What about that particle explosion? With The Flash no longer in the picture, Reverse-Flash doesn’t have a reason to threaten the past and murder Harrison Wells. The particle experiment can go as is and not bring Barry together with his eventual colleagues at S.T.A.R. Labs leaving Cisco, Caitlin and even Ronnie Raymond (Firestorm) unaffected.

Just a few things to think about, as we all contemplate over the summer and wait for the announcements that are sure to come with San Diego Comic-Con 2016 starts to roll around. In the meantime start counting down to Tuesday, Oct. 4 with The Flash returns to The CW for its premiere of Season 3 “FlashPoint” emminent!

DC Comic’s “Rebirth” Titan(ic) Turn

The DC Universe continues to reshape itself and at the center of it all the former sidekicks are proving centrifugal to the legacy.

Titans-Rebirth-1-review-DC-Planet-img-02
Wally West returns to make things right and rejoins his friends as the Titans begin to take shape in the current issue of Titans: Rebirth #1.

(Now) DC Comics promised that when it would enter into the Rebirth the latest companywide “reboot” would be anything but that, and the proof is fair enough in the pudding. The Rebirth was intended to (re)introduce into the line an element that had been missing since the imprint’s last major shift several years ago when it promoted itself as The New 52 — a more contemporary and condensed version of its previous self that after the events in the FlashPoint reset the entire universe.

The DC Comics multiverse was reignited as a younger, sleeker version of itself. With only some minor exceptions, most of the major heroes including SupermanBatman, and Wonder Woman were still a bit green and hadn’t established themselves as similarly as any of their previous incarnations. It was a very bold strategy on the part of the publishing house that was responsible for more than 75 years of continuity and mythology, but DC Comics was in a position to compete with a changing market.

For a short time the strategy worked, but there were some elements missing from the mythology that had endeared these characters with its audience for decades. Although brought up to speed to attract new readership, The New 52 reboot had all but done away with most of the heroes’ longstanding legacies, their profound connection to one another that ultimately had made them standouts in the competitive publishing market. Looking to balance things out DC reestablished interest in its multiverse.

This opened the door for creatives to further push the envelope and think outside the limitations of comic book cannon. Writers were given the freedom to delve into any part of the DC Comics continuity that interested them and tell stories that fit those parameters without fear of damaging the current “timeline”. The Convergence came and went and soon the readership began to lose touch with the direction the stories were going in, until it was decided that a “rebirth” was inevitable.

DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns had been responsible for relaunching two of the bigger titles in the line when he brought back two of its major headliners back from the dead. The Silver Age characters Hal Jordan the Green Lantern and Barry Allen The Flash had both been lost to major crisis, but were returned into mainstream continuity and given all new relevance and a purpose by Johns that returned them to their rightful places among the pantheon of heroes.

That single initiative has made both heroes top sellers for the publisher. Hoping to capture lightning in a bottle (so to speak) a second time, but this time on a much broader scale, Johns along with DC Comics Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee decided the time was ripe for the entire DC Universe to “rebirth” beginning with the most obvious omission post The New 52 history and answer the question: Whatever happened to the original Teen Titans more specifically Where did Wally West go after FlashPoint?

TR1-3

Taking that as the springboard for Rebirth the “original” members of the Teen Titans, former sidekicks RobinSpeedyAqualad and Wonder Girl found their way back to one another in the recent Titans Hunt mini-series. Within its pages the story establishes that the original sidekicks, now all grown-up, had their memories wiped and have forgotten their time as one of the DC Universe’s premiere team of allies. For many of them, especially Donna Troy the former “Wonder Girl” their histories were rewritten.

At the conclusion of that series, when the group found themselves reunited (and it feels so good) Nightwing (the former “Robin”) is very conscious of the fact that “something is still missing”. It isn’t until the one-shot special release of DC Universe: Rebirth #1 that we learn the truth — Wally West, the original Kid Flash who inherited the mantle of The Flash has been aimlessly floating between here and every other part of the multiverse. The FlashPoint event simply pushed Wally into nonexistence and he’s trying to get home!

It’s been an uphill battle and just as Wally is preparing to give up he pays one last visit to the one person that has made the greatest impact in his life, and is ultimately rescued from oblivion by Barry Allen The Flash. Now he’s back and slowly but surely everyone is beginning to remember who Wally is — or more accurately: who he was! Memories all realign when Wally decides to visit his former teammates in Titans: Rebirth #1 and literally uses the Speed Force to shock everyone into remembering him.

Thus reestablishing the Titans into the current continuity! There are plenty of gaps to fill in, that’s for certain. Chief among them is why Wally West returned from the ether younger than when the timeline became compromised after FlashPoint and whether he’ll resume using the name “Flash” even though there is still Barry Allen running around. West can’t go back to using “Kid Flash” — that name has already been taken (twice in fact in The New 52 timeline).

More importantly, it appears that it will be the role of these “new” Titans to determine why there is still a 10-year gap of missing memories, and exactly who took them! From the perspective of fans, who stuck it out through every incarnation, it is a very gratifying feeling indeed to see that legacies are once again taking shape and especially that an entire generation will soon properly reconnect with DC Comics second generation of heroes as the Titans come back together again!