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 ==
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 thinkat 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!