The Flash 17

Alternating Currents: The Flash 18, Drew and Pivitor

Today, Drew and guest writer Pivitor are discussing the Flash 17, originally released February 27th, 2013.

Drew: “Move forward” are the words the Flash lives by — both the man and the title. We’ve seen both accept rather profound changes, from the newfound abilities of the Rogues to his own death, rolling with the punches where most superheroes (and their series) might work to return things to their status quo. At the same time, writers Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul are ever committed to their own continuity, recalling and building upon details first mentioned months earlier. The fact that those elements don’t come into play until long after they are introduced gives the series a propulsive sense of forward motion, allowing it to build incrementally. Thus, issue 17 can resolve plot elements first established in issue 6, as the Rogues, Gorillas, and the victims lost in the Speed Force finally get their due. Continue reading

The Flash 16

flash 16

Today, Patrick and Scott are discussing the Flash 16, originally released January 30th, 2013.

Patrick: We expect our heroes to bravely sacrifice themselves for the greater good. If we’re blessed with complex characters, we can even expect this of our anti-heroes. But what about our ancillary characters? With the smoke-screen of a superheroic battle for the fate of city, real-world sacrifices tend to go unnoticed. Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato deliver plenty of that bombastic hero action, but bury under it the sad, frustrated story of Iris West.  Continue reading

The Flash 15

flash 15

Today, Patrick and Mikyzptlk are discussing the Flash 15, originally released January 2nd, 2013.

Patrick: Whenever a writer keeps up several narrative threads at one time, one of us will say that he or she is “spinning a lot of plates.” It’s an odd metaphor. I mean — “juggling” works just as well to express the same thing and it’s a much more common activity. My friend Pete Pfarr had a KLUTZ book that taught him how to juggle, but there sure as shit wasn’t any KLUTZ book to teach him plate spinning. So what makes that turn-of-phrase so useful in describing the storytelling in The Flash 15? Possibly because we get the sense that the stories continue (the plates continue to spin) even when we’re not watching them. But I think the real reason we use the metaphor — and the only reason we’d want to see someone spinning plates (because: boring, amirite?) — is because we can’t wait to see what happens when too many plates are spinning and they all come crashing down. Boldly, Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato give us just that. Continue reading

Interview with Francis Manapul: April 21st, Boston Comic Con

Francis was kind enough to stick around even after they turned out the lights.Francis Manapul was on fire at this weekend’s Boston Comic Con. After a full day of drawn-as-you-wait commissions, Francis was gracious enough to sit down for an interview — as he prepared a sketch for Saturday’s charity auction.

Check out Drew and Patrick’s review of the Flash 8 here!

Drew: With the new 52, the Flash seems to have hit the reset button a little harder than a lot of the other titles –

Francis: Oh, I don’t know about that. Anyway, sorry, go ahead.

Drew: Can you talk about where the decision to go to Barry’s “past” came from?

Francis: Well, essentially, we saw it as an opportunity for us to tell stories from — I guess — kind of the beginning. We’re five years later so it’s not really the start of things, but when you’re introducing an old character to new readers there tends to be a lot of history. We had to tread really carefully about giving nods to the past but also making sure that it’s new and fresh and understandable for new readers. That’s basically the main goal. Some books are radically different than their past incarnations but I think, at the end of the day, the Flash is still the same tone as it was before. It’s still the same character, but kind of just reinvisioned. It’s almost like if we were making a Flash movie. Continue reading