Saturday, December 27, 2008

DC Nation: The Return of Barry Allen


This week's DC Nation focuses on the Flashes:

" Okay, Time to set the story straight.

From the time I started working at DC, I had a plan --no, scratch that, a desire to bring back Hal Jordan and Barry Allen. To me, they were the definitive Green Lantern and Flash, and they helped bring forth a generation of heroes. More important, they were the base from which all the other ring-bearers and speedsters would come. Nothing against Kyle or Wally, but you can't know who they are without knowing who Hal and Barry are first.

In bringing Hal back, I found a "partner in crime" in Geoff Johns (remember that name; it is important later). Geoff was an even bigger Hal fan than I was and had the same desire to bring him back. Following that desire, we formulated a plan, and following the plan came GREEN LANTERN:REBIRTH. The success of Rebirth exceeded even our wildest expectations, so with Hal and better than ever, we turned our attention to Barry.

Okay, Now, with Barry, things were a little more...complicated. his death was one of the most important events of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, not something to be changed on a whim or as easily undone. But slowly, over the years, the walls of Crisis came tumbling down, first with the return of the true Supergirl and then with the return of the Multiverse. Yet Barry's death held firm.

Confession time. i originally hoped to bring Barry back at the end of INFINITE CRISIS, but things didn't work out as planned. Still, we did plan on a change in Flashes, as to echo the original Crisis, so...enter Bart. Now, Bart was there to show the generational aspect of The Flash, but he was never going to be The Flash for long. Plans for his arrival and departure were worked out in conjunction with COUNTDOWN and the JLA/ JSA crossover. And again, it looked like we'd paved the way for Barry, but again the timing wasn't quite right. It wasn't until we hit FINAL CRISIS that the stars would align themselves properly. Enter Geoff Johns (there, I told you he would be important later).

Just as he did with Hal, he wanted to with Barry. A plan was made and a story was set--a story that would encompass everything and everyone in the Flash's history. Not just Barry, but Jay, Wally, Bart, Iris, Max...well you get the idea. BARRY ALLEN, THE FLASH:REBIRTH is a celebration of everything that was, is and will be great about the character. We are building on the brilliant foundation and history of the Flashes while adding to the future.

Don't you love it when a plan (sort of) comes together?

To be continued.

DD"

Once again, I fail to see the logic of pulling Barry Allen back from the grave. It's obvious the late 1970s was "Dan Didio's era of comics," but that doesn't mean the modern-day DCU needs to revert back to those constructs.

This column also serves to support the notion that these things aren't planned very well in advance. And, in the process, they've really messed up Bart and Wally. And all to "restore" DC characters back to 1977. I really can't see one solid reason to bring back Barry (and, as a result, lessen a great death in CRISIS and marginalize Wally, who was EARNED the Flash mantle).

14 Comments:

  • At 1:49 PM, Blogger MetFanMac said…

    Amen. I don't understand why they brought back Hal either. I mean, YES it's been handled well and all--Geoff Johns is a genius--but I can't see WHY it was done.

     
  • At 9:06 PM, Anonymous USS_Titans said…

    So what happen to Wally Flash now? We Titans fan already lost Nightwing, Robin and now Flash too? Thats Suc&. Pardon my french.

     
  • At 9:20 PM, Anonymous USS_Titans said…

    So the same plan that kill Flash in the first place that ruin Wally's KidFlash and Impulse for the TT. Now resurface as the 'Battle for the Cowl' for Batman that ultimately take away Nightwing and Robin, two of the most popular characters in the Titans universe. Where the love for the Titans from DC? This will kill the rating for both of the Titans books for sure.

     
  • At 3:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i miss bart and wally did indeed earn the right to be flash....sigh

     
  • At 1:48 PM, Blogger Nightwing said…

    There is no "love of the Titans" as we know them, because Dan Didio only likes the 1977 era of DC Comics.

     
  • At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Cenzo said…

    Look, I started reading comics like ten years ago, have read all the back issues of Wally's run as Flash, and still want Barry back. I love Wally, but like Kyle, he's not the greatest character to hold the mantle. Hal's the best GL, and Barry is, like Van Schiver has said, the king of Flashes.

    Bart did get screwed though.

     
  • At 12:23 PM, Anonymous redbird03 said…

    Are you really surprised by these actions? Didio, is a selfish editor. We've always known that. He doesn't care about what already works now. Instead he wanted things to be how they used to be. He's been obsessed with regressing the DCU back to the silver-age since the day he got the top job. I mean, lets look at the regression so far. The Classic Legion. Hal Jordan. Barry Allen. Kal-El's Superboy origins. The JLA's golden age origins...

    This man has no idea how to tell a good story. He keeps creating over-blown massive crossover storylines that fans can neither afford to buy nor really desire to read 4 out 5 times due to being overly convoluted and badly approached. He keeps taking character that fans of today know and love, and kicking them to the side for old characters who modern fans barely care about anymore. The few times that he's created new characters, they've felt flimsy and weakly developed (i.e. Batwoman). He's made the idea of death completely laughable with the constant resurrection of assorted characters, and made death to where it has no meaning anymore by killing too many people too soon. He allows for constant team-changes to where fans do not feel any real connection to a character before they are killed or exchanged.

    And his treatment of anything Titans is terrible. The kids are constantly emo-ing. The adults are just badly approached all together, and frankly, I've stopped reading most books I used to love, and those that I still love are on the verge of cancellation (i.e. Robin, Nightwing, Blue Beetle). He's tried to kill off Nightwing, which thankfully got fought by the writers.

    It feels like there is no real planning. I almost thinking that DC meeting are of Dan Didio saying "I want Barry Allen back" and the writers asking "Okay, so how do we go about it?" and Didio replying "I don't care. Just throw something together. I want it ready by next week."

     
  • At 12:56 PM, Blogger Kelson said…

    I find it telling that he was bound and determined to replace Wally with Barry during the time that Geoff Johns was building up The Flash from a 28K/month book to a 50K book...with Wally.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The series is broken now, but only because Didio was determined to change it.

     
  • At 1:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Personally, I've been wanting Barry Back for a good long while now. Not due to some Silver age thing, but because I loved the character to death and missed him. I still think that a good writer can manage to have both Wally and Barry occupy the same universe and make it good

     
  • At 11:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wally west is the Flash. Period. He's been the Flash for over 20 years now. Kids who know Flash from cartoons know the Flash is Wally West. They might know the old flash was Jay Garrick but Barry Allen is just a faded relic of a really dull character.

     
  • At 3:43 PM, Blogger Dixon said…

    I couldn't agree with your assessment of the situation more. Hal Jordan is one thing, Barry Allen quite another. You said it: Wally West has outright earned the title of the Flash, and now he's being needlessly pushed aside. I'm interested to see what The Flash: Rebirth has in store for us but this plan of action just isn't ideal...

     
  • At 2:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The *idea* of Barry coming back isn't a problem, in and of itself. Wally getting shoved to the side as a result is.

    This is the story of Didio; on the rare occasion when he does something right, he fouls up the follow-through. Brought back the Multiverse, only to have Superboy Prime tear a swath of blood through about half of it; brought back Hal Jordan, only to break the Lantern corps into a million rainbow fragments; brought back Barry, only to screw over Wally; cleaned up the Terra mess, only to kill the incumbent and replace her with what should have been an original character; explained the idiocy of Doctor Light I these long years, only to destroy the credibility and moral authority of the Justice League in the process, rape and kill Sue Dibny, and turn Jean Loring into a murderer. And don't get me started on Batman.

    The best thing anybody can do is to walk away from DC. Not as a boycott; Didio will stay until either he's tired of the job or Time-Warner wants someone else in the spot just for the sake of it. Walk away because the product isn't worth reading. You can keep up on the Titans membership--and thus keep your database up to date--without buying any comics, thanks to the net.

     
  • At 1:28 PM, Blogger Avi Green said…

    If DiDio's trying to revert the DCU back to the 70s, that explains why he got rid of almost all the cast who were part of Infinity Inc. years ago. As for his bringing back Barry Allen, I'm not happy with his doing that either, as it's one of the few that was well done. But then, they already lost me after they killed off Impulse.

     
  • At 11:01 AM, Blogger Hellfyre D said…

    I'm on the fence on this. Personally, I dig Wally as the Flash, but only in an homage fashion. If they want to bring back Barry, and let's face it EVERYONE is coming back (no matter the company or universe), fine ... no problem. BUT, they better have a cool place for Wally.
    Could there be 3 Flashes? There's been 2 for quite sometime, what's one more? Should Wally get his own identity seperate from The Flashes name? It could work ... though I think DC has their work cut out for them if they attempt it.
    For now, I'll wait and see. I may get Flash: Rebirth, I may just snag the trade. We'll see. In the meantime, let's hope that DC smartens up and realize what's going on. In the meantime ... has anyone seen Bill Willingham's post at Big Hollywood (http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/bwillingham/2009/01/09/superheroes-still-plenty-of-super-but-losing-some-of-the-hero/)? I'm hoping DC listens to what he has to say ...

     

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