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Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato Talk 'New 52' Flash + Exclusive Art

What can we expect from the Flash in the 'New 52'?

September is getting closer. We've now seen the solicitations for the first three issues of DC's "The New 52." We're starting to get an idea of what changes or tweaks we can expect. We recently saw the return of Barry Allen after twenty-three years of being dead. After making his return, what happens to everything that was established?

We asked Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato, the creative team behind The Flash relaunch, a few questions to see what further information we could pry from them and also got an exclusive preview at a page from The Flash #2.

Comic Vine: Is it safe to assume this is the same Flash we've been recently seeing?

Francis Manapul: Yup. We will continue to tell stories with Barry Allen along with the supporting cast that Geoff had set up in our prior run.

Brian Buccellato: Yeah, but from a slightly different (and personal) perspective.

CV: Now that you and Brian are writing the book, do you feel more pressure or will you be like kids in a candy store, able to do whatever you want?

FM: A bit of both. Brian and I are extremely elated to be handling the writing and the art duties on the book. But at the same time, absolutely we feel the pressure. On top of getting the keys to the candy story, there's an added pressure of 51 other candy stores opening up on the same block. Ours has to be extra sweet to bring all the kids to our yard. That said, we're having a blast building and expanding on the world around Barry. We have some big plans for both Central, Keystone, and the badlands of these mid west cities. Not to mention this great opportunity we have to push ourselves with regards to our visual storytelling. I really feel like my last decade in the industry has been leading up to this.

BB: I agree. Timing is everything, and I feel like Francis and I are at the top of our "creative games" and (with the support of awesome editorial persons, Eddie Berganza, Brian Cunningham, and Darren Shan) in the perfect position to succeed here.

== TEASER ==
Exclusive First Look at The Flash #2

CV: Issue one (according to the solicit) features a new villain. Will we be seeing more new villains or will the Rogues be popping up.

FM: Our first arc will focus mainly on a mysterious group called Mob Rule, and what they want with Barry's dear old friend. Brian and I do have plans for the Rogues, but we want to introduce them slowly. Especially since they've disbanded.

BB: Yeah, like Francis put it to me when we were brainstorming... the Rogues are going to have a "Get The Band Back Together" moment as they take one final (and momentous) shot at The Flash—this time it’s personal. And Mob Rule is not just some throw away villain, either. Even after the first arc is over, it won't be the last time you see Mob Rule.

CV: Wally West and his kids were hardly in the last series. What's Wally been up to?

FM: Our main focus on this new book is Barry Allen. I LOVE Wally. He's the Flash I grew up with and know. However our directive is to solidify Barry Allen as the fastest man alive.

BB: We know this isn't what die-hard Wally fans want to hear right now, but we hope that people dig THE FLASH enough to give us a shot at winning them over with Barry. We are trying our hardest to tell compelling stories with whomever we have the honor of writing about.

CV: Does Barry always think at super-speed or does he have to activate the Speed Force?

FM: This is something we'll be dealing with in our first arc. We know he physically taps into the Speed Force, but we haven't quite seen the extent of what he could do if his mind tapped into it as well. This is a pretty major theme we plan to tackle, which has lent it self extremely well to visual experimentation.

CV: Is it difficult to write a character that could essentially be unstoppable? (He could just run up behind the villains and smack them on the back of the head).

FM: It's absolutely difficult to find ways to stop the Flash. His speed and skill set are just really hard to beat and near impossible. However, forcing ourselves to think of how he could lose is so much fun!

BB: When you think about all that The Flash can do... coming up with ways to challenge him can be a little bit daunting. But I'm REALLY proud of the stuff that we have cooked up. Hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised at some of the things we have in store for the Scarlet Speedster. We can't go into detail -- but I will say that issue #3 opens with a pretty crazy action sequence that people haven't seen before.

CV: What are the plans for the Cosmic Treadmill?

BB: Sadly, no spoilers are allowed, so we can't go into detail.

Be sure to check out our video interview from San Diego Comic-Con with Francis and Brian. The Flash #1 is on sale September 28. Be sure to look for a special surprise cameo!

40 Comments
Posted by Mercy_

Francis Manapul has such gorgeous art. 

Moderator
Posted by UltimateSMfan

Cant wait!!

Posted by VanAce

I am really looking forward to this. The art is great.

Posted by TheGoldenOne
@VanAce said:
I am really looking forward to this. The art is great.
Same here.
Posted by Mbecks14

i love the flash! VERY excited about this title

Posted by redwingx

Why replace a good character with a character who has been dead for an decade? Wally is getting replaced. And why is their not any more Flash titles? Look at all the Batman titles for godsake. 

Posted by longbowhunter

I'm anxious to read this book. Manapul's previous Flash stuff with Geoff John's was incredible. Hope him and this Brian Buccellato fellow can capture the same magic.
Edited by fodigg
@G-Man  said: 

CV:  Wally West and his kids were hardly in the last series. What's Wally been up to?

FM:  Our main focus on this new book is Barry Allen. I LOVE Wally. He's the Flash I grew up with and know. However our directive is to solidify Barry  Allen as the fastest man alive.

BB:  We know this isn't what die-hard Wally fans want to hear right now, but we hope that people dig THE FLASH enough to give us a shot at winning them over with Barry. We are trying our hardest to tell compelling stories with whomever we have the honor of writing about.  

Not what we want to hear? Damn right. 

They can cry "editorial mandate" all they want but that doesn't change what the book is doing. I don't care whose fault it is that DC is forcing Wally out of the limelight for Barry, I just care that they are, for no good reason. Why exactly can't we have Wally Flash again, because he's not the first Flash? Well neither is Barry. 
  
Normally I wouldn't have a problem with juggling the mantle between characters--Grayson Batman was good, Bucky Cap was good--but this just feels like a major character regression. 

Wally West is the Flash and Barry Allen is just a part of his backstory. Enough Silver Age continuity porn. I wish FM and BB luck in their book, but I'd rather invest in books about characters I care about. 
Posted by Bestostero

I was so thrilled that Barry came back long ago, but I didn't want them to phase out Wally in the process...

Posted by Or35ti

Their confidence gives me so much optimism for this book. When the creators are that proud and enthusiastic you just know it's gonna be good. Francis Manapul's art makes it worth it alone.

Posted by elayem98

I dont see why geoff brought barry back... 
it was unnessesary. 
wally was doing fine and barry was dead for a long time

Posted by Abriel

I have nothing against Barry and in fact comic book deaths mean nothing.  They brought back Bucky, who was dead a lot longer than Barry, so why not? 
 
But getting rid of Wally, the guy an entire generation knew as the Flash, to put Barry in the spotlight?  Not cool DC.  Not cool.  There is no reason we can't have both.
Posted by fodigg
@Abriel said:
I have nothing against Barry and in fact comic book deaths mean nothing.  They brought back Bucky, who was dead a lot longer than Barry, so why not?  But getting rid of Wally, the guy an entire generation knew as the Flash, to put Barry in the spotlight?  Not cool DC.  Not cool.  There is no reason we can't have both.
When Bucky came back he came back as a new character, won over fans, and then became Captain America. I understand the comparison because of the lengths of time involved, but I think they're pretty different. 
 
Anyway, I agree with your conclusion. Not cool DC.
Posted by BlackRoseTessa

i think thefact barry did some thing wally never did ie sacrafice his life makes him deserve a shot at being the  star once again . look what happened to green lanten , so wally wont just disaper i have a feelling something big will happen with him
Posted by 00 Raiser

Im so very excited over this. I LOVE THE FLASH and him and the GLs are on the top of my favorite DC characters list. Manapul is the THE MAN! His Brightest Day run with the Flash was AMAZING!

Posted by Outside_85

I can only hope for their sake that thier run isnt going to be the bore-fest that Johns/FM made it.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Excellent art and so far the ideas seem strong. Lets see this do well people.  I'm stoked for it myself.

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

You know, from what they said it does sound like Wally still EXISTS, they're just not FOCUSING on him in this series. All of this is speculation until the book gets rolling, but from their answer alone specifically it doesn't give me the impression that he's totally gone.

Posted by Billy Batson

Sweet. 

BB

Posted by Sky_Jokiel

SO EXCITED!!!

Posted by pikahyper
@The Dark Huntress said:
Francis Manapul has such gorgeous art. 
Agreed, that second image looks incredible.
Moderator
Posted by JonesDeini
@fodigg said:
@G-Man  said: 

CV:  Wally West and his kids were hardly in the last series. What's Wally been up to?

FM:  Our main focus on this new book is Barry Allen. I LOVE Wally. He's the Flash I grew up with and know. However our directive is to solidify Barry  Allen as the fastest man alive.

BB:  We know this isn't what die-hard Wally fans want to hear right now, but we hope that people dig THE FLASH enough to give us a shot at winning them over with Barry. We are trying our hardest to tell compelling stories with whomever we have the honor of writing about.  

Not what we want to hear? Damn right. 

They can cry "editorial mandate" all they want but that doesn't change what the book is doing. I don't care whose fault it is that DC is forcing Wally out of the limelight for Barry, I just care that they are, for no good reason. Why exactly can't we have Wally Flash again, because he's not the first Flash? Well neither is Barry.   Normally I wouldn't have a problem with juggling the mantle between characters--Grayson Batman was good, Bucky Cap was good--but this just feels like a major character regression. Wally West is the Flash and Barry Allen is just a part of his backstory. Enough Silver Age continuity porn. I wish FM and BB luck in their book, but I'd rather invest in books about characters I care about. 
Word'em up, folk. 
Edited by The_Tree

I was iffy on this, since artists usually can't write(I'm lookin' at you Tony Daniel), but it's sounding really great, I'm gonna have to check this out.
Barry 4ever.

Posted by ArtisticNeedham

I would be bummed it Wally suddenly didn't exist.  But since its a comic you know it wouldn't last forever, he would return with an epic story about where he was and why he was wiped from existence.

Posted by The Impersonator
Posted by shawn87

That interior artwork is awesome 

Posted by Trodorne

The Flash is one of the 2 series im really excited for.

Posted by The Sadhu

I just hope that Wally will come back to the pages of DC comics soon!
Posted by UltimateSMfan
@The_Tree: dude have u read batman:battle for the cowl?daniel did pretty awesome in that plus i think with this new 52,writers n artists alike are pullin out all the stops cuz they know how badly comics have been doing(cept for geoff john work that guy is the best!!),so im guessin their gonna try n make every story arc epic,n if not they should!! i mean if every batman story was as good as HUSH and every superman story was as good as.....well there havnt been to many good superman arcs lately(still waitin to see how reign of doomsdays plays out)u get wat i mean, well the the comic industry would be booming,so hope fully thats the thought in the writers minds too :)
Posted by Aiden Cross

Art looks awesome

Posted by Loki9876

i tried to like the flash but i was too new to it maybe i will like it more in this new 52 because it is also for new readers of the flash.

Edited by The_Tree
@UltimateSMfan: Yeah, ironically Battle for the Cowl is the only story of his that I actually like. xP
Posted by LordRequiem

They say "tap into the Speed Force", but I'm sure I've read somewhere that Barry Allen was discovered to be the very source of the speed force? Surely that means he doesn't need to tap into it, ... if he is it. Or am I mistaken?

Posted by FadeToBlackBolt

I love Manapul's art, but I cannot stomach Barry Allen. Such a shame.

Posted by daredevil21134

That's what i'm talking about.Take That Barry HATERS!!!

Posted by Omega Ray Jay
@The Dark Huntress said:
Francis Manapul has such gorgeous art. 
So so true.
Posted by RazRaptre

Neat.

Posted by Mercy_
@fodigg said:
@G-Man  said: 

CV:  Wally West and his kids were hardly in the last series. What's Wally been up to?

FM:  Our main focus on this new book is Barry Allen. I LOVE Wally. He's the Flash I grew up with and know. However our directive is to solidify Barry  Allen as the fastest man alive.

BB:  We know this isn't what die-hard Wally fans want to hear right now, but we hope that people dig THE FLASH enough to give us a shot at winning them over with Barry. We are trying our hardest to tell compelling stories with whomever we have the honor of writing about.  

Not what we want to hear? Damn right. 

They can cry "editorial mandate" all they want but that doesn't change what the book is doing. I don't care whose fault it is that DC is forcing Wally out of the limelight for Barry, I just care that they are, for no good reason. Why exactly can't we have Wally Flash again, because he's not the first Flash? Well neither is Barry.   Normally I wouldn't have a problem with juggling the mantle between characters--Grayson Batman was good, Bucky Cap was good--but this just feels like a major character regression. Wally West is the Flash and Barry Allen is just a part of his backstory. Enough Silver Age continuity porn. I wish FM and BB luck in their book, but I'd rather invest in books about characters I care about. 
QFUT
Moderator
Posted by labarith

OMG, Flash is running fast!  Must buy this comic. :/

Posted by Nuff_Said_Comics
@redwingx: I could not agree more!