First Look At CW’s Solovar, And More

https://speedforce.org/2017/02/first-look-cws-solovar/

We’ll be getting our first good look at Gorilla City next week with Tuesday’s episode “Attack on Gorilla City”, and the CW has released the first images of Solovar. He obviously looks quite different than his comics incarnation, probably to more easily distinguish him from Grodd and other gorillas. But he looks pretty good in these stills.

He’s obviously going to clash with Barry in some way, although it’s not yet clear how. The synopsis for the episode says that he’s planning to invade Earth-1, but Team Flash gets that information from Grodd, who may not be a truthful source. So we’ll probably see the current geo-political situation in Gorilla City during these episodes and find out if it’s as we might expect, which may be one of the stranger sentences I’ve ever written.

Also, here’s the official synopsis for the March 7th episode of The Flash, titled “The Wrath of Savitar”.

The Flash 3×15 “The Wrath of Savitar”
SAVITAR VISITS WALLY – While training with Barry (Grant Gustin), Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) starts to have visions of Savitar, which he hides from the team. A dangerous secret threatens Barry and Iris’ (Candice Patton) happiness. Alexandra LaRoche directed the episode written by Andrew Kreisberg & Andrew Wilder (FLA315). Original airdate 3/7/2017.

Looking forward to Solovar and the return of Savitar? What do you hope to see in these episodes? Share your thoughts!

-- Lia.

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Batman #22 Cover Revealed

https://speedforce.org/2017/02/batman-22-cover-revealed/

As we already know, there’s a FlashBatman crossover coming in April/May, and Professor Zoom will be involved. Now DC’s released the cover from the penultimate issue of the story, Batman #22, which features an interesting lenticular image with Professor Zoom, Flashpoint Batman, and hints at the Watchmen.

 

I’m a little bit puzzled why Matha Wayne seems to be dead here, as Flashpoint Martha became that world’s Joker, but perhaps history’s been changed by the intervention of Doctor Manhattan. Thawne obviously hints at his involvement with the well-known bloodstain on his yellow costume.

Anyway, looks interesting, and the audience will clearly have to figure out what’s going on alongside the Flash and Batman. It’ll be great to see Professor Zoom up to his old shenanigans.

-- Lia.

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‘The Lazarus Contract’ Crossover To Come In May

https://speedforce.org/2017/02/lazarus-contract-crossover-come-may/

We’ve already seen that the main Flash title will be crossing over with Batman in April/May, and have seen the other May solicitation for The Flash. Now Comics Alliance is reporting a May crossover between the Titans, Teen Titans, and Deathstroke books, called “The Lazarus Contract”. The name’s an obvious reference to the classic Deathstroke/Teen Titans story “The Judas Contract”, but this one will at least partly pivot around the original Wally West: apparently Deathstroke has learned that Wally’s return will help bring back his son Grant from the dead. And through this, the Titans and Teen Titans both get involved.

TITANS #11
Written by DAN ABNETT, BENJAMIN PERCY and CHRISTOPHER PRIEST—Art by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND—Cover by MIKE McKONE—Variant cover by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND
“THE LAZARUS CONTRACT” part one! When Deathstroke discovers that Wally West’s return holds the key to bringing his son back from the dead, he’ll stop at nothing to do just that! Don’t miss the debut chapter of the epic crossover event that you’ve been waiting for!
On sale MAY 10 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

TEEN TITANS #8
Written by DAN ABNETT, BENJAMIN PERCY and CHRISTOPHER PRIEST—Art by KHOI PHAM and WADE VON GRAWBADGER—Cover by MIKE McKONE—Variant cover by PHIL JIMENEZ
“THE LAZARUS CONTRACT” part two! The Teen Titans collide with the Titans after both groups are targeted by the World’s Deadliest Assassin—Deathstroke! But when Robin interrogates Nightwing about his history with Deathstroke, dark secrets are revealed and alliances are broken!
On sale MAY 17 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

DEATHSTROKE #19
Written by DAN ABNETT, BENJAMIN PERCY and CHRISTOPHER PRIEST—Art by CARLO PAGULAYAN and JASON PAZ—Cover by MIKE McKONE—Variant cover by TONY S. DANIEL
“THE LAZARUS CONTRACT” part three! Will Slade succeed in reuniting with his son even at the risk of cataclysmic disaster? Or will the Titans and the Teen Titans be fast enough to stop him from changing the world as we know it? Find out what happens when the World’s Deadliest Assassin becomes the Fastest Man Alive!
On sale MAY 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+

TEEN TITANS ANNUAL: THE LAZARUS CONTRACT #1
Written by DAN ABNETT, BENJAMIN PERCY and CHRISTOPHER PRIEST—Art by PAUL PELLETIER—Cover by MIKE McKONE
“THE LAZARUS CONTRACT” finale! The conclusion to our epic crossover is here, the consequences of which will be felt for years to come! What does the future hold for the Titans teams after this game-changing run-in with their greatest enemy? Find out here as we set the stage for the next era of Titans, Teen Titans and Deathstroke!
On sale MAY 31 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T

One wonders how Deathstroke will acquire speed, and what he’ll do with it. It’s no surprise to see him pursuing the Titans and Teen Titans to get what he wants, as he’s traditionally been one of their greatest enemies. So he’s a natural villain for the first meeting of the two Titans teams in the Rebirth era, and hopefully the crossover between the three books will feel properly organic.

-- Lia.

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“Attack on Central City” Synopsis

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The CW has released the official synopsis for the second half of the two-part Grodd story, titled “Attack on Central City”. It will air on February 28th. You may recall the news reference to a gorilla attack on the city during Barry’s and Cisco’s future time jump, so obviously that part of history is also coming true, which will no doubt make Team Flash very nervous.

“Attack on Central City”
THE EPIC CONCLUSION TO THE TWO-PART BATTLE WITH GRODD –
When Grodd (voiced by David Sobolov) and his army of gorillas bring the battle to Earth-1, The Flash (Grant Gustin) and team must find a way to stop them before they destroy Central City. Gypsy (guest star Jessica Camacho) returns to join the fight. Meanwhile, Jesse Quick (guest star Violett Beane) decides she wants to stay with Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) on Earth-1. Dermott Downs directed the episode with story by Todd Helbing and teleplay by Benjamin Raab & Deric A. Hughes (#314). Original airdate 2/28/2017.

Looking forward to the episode? What do you hope to see? Share your thoughts!

-- Lia.

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Sneak Peek At Flash #23 Solicitation

https://speedforce.org/2017/02/sneak-peek-flash-23-solicitation/

DC’s full solicitations for May won’t be out for a while, but Newsarama has a preview of several issues, and one of them is Flash #23. You may recall that we’ve already seen solicits for Flash #22, which is the issue due out in the first half of May.

THE FLASH #23
Written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON • Art and covers by CARMINE DI GIANDOMENICO • Variant cover by HOWARD PORTER
“RUNNING SCARED” prelude! Barry Allen is at a crossroads. He’s lied to the woman he loves about his life as The Flash, and a rift is growing between him and his heroic young partner. Now, his greatest enemy has threatened to strike down everyone close to him! It’s time to make a tough choice that will launch The Flash into his most incredible mission yet: a siege on the 25th century stronghold of Eobard Thawne!
On sale MAY 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

This seems to suggest that we will indeed be seeing Professor Zoom during the Flash-Batman crossover, so it’s interesting to get a bit more information about that.

-- Lia.

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Flash #21 Cover Revealed

https://speedforce.org/2017/02/flash-21-cover-released/

As we’ve seen, there will be a four-issue Flash-Batman crossover in late April and early May, taking place over Flash and Batman #21-22. Now DC has released the cover for Flash #21, which features the apparent return of Professor Zoom, who may be the “unwelcome third party” from the issue solicitation. The time aspect of the mystery does suggest he’d get involved at some point, but it’s interesting to see what appears to be a pre-Flashpoint version of him. At the very least, he’s not wearing his New 52-era costume.

“The Button”: Two greatest detectives in the DC Universe unite to unravel the mystery behind a certain blood stained smiley face button stuck in the Batcave wall. However, what begins as a simple investigation soon turns deadly when the secrets of the button prove irresistible to an unwelcome third party — and it’s not who anyone suspects! This is a mystery woven throughout time, and the countdown starts here!

There’s another similar image of Professor Zoom as well, which I presume is part of a lenticular cover. Either way, it suggests that something sinister is going on, and that Thawne may regret getting into it. Hopefully there will be more details about the crossover soon, including confirmation or denial that the Reverse Flash will be part of the story.

-- Lia.

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“I’ll Take Manhattan” Review of TITANS #8

https://speedforce.org/2017/02/ill-take-manhattan-review-titans-8/

After a terrific first arc that we called “Wally and the Titans”, we begin to explore more of this classic Titans team from the new perspective of the REBIRTH era. Herald and Bumblebee are looking for help with their powers…but have they chosen wisely, or are they in the very last place they should be? Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD

Mal is having flashbacks to a heroic past that he had completely forgotten…and those flashbacks aren’t good. He keeps remembering a battle with Mammoth that almost killed him, and he wants nothing more to do with being a hero. In fact, he went to “Meta Solutions” in secret and had his powers as Herald taken away! Karen (Bumblebee) has her own choice to make, but as she goes back to make that decision, Mal sees…Mammoth, right there in the office! Yes, Mal realizes far too late that he has made a very, very bad choice!

Meanwhile, the rest of the team is settling into their new HQ. Wally is living at Titans Tower, worried about the pace of his budding relationship with Linda Park. Yep, he’s impatient, but it’s for completely understandable reasons. She is the love of his life. He remembers them being married. She barely knows him. It’s got to be infinitely frustrating. Dick tries to console him, but there is only so much help anyone can give right now.

The rest of the team is training…until Lilith receives a psionic flash that lets them know Mal is in trouble. The team rushes to Meta Solutions just in time to see…Bumblebee! The real question here is…will she be ally or adversary?

NOTES:

  • My favorite comics have a tendency to weave multiple story threads well, moving each side story forward without ruining the main thrust of the book. This issue of TITANS is a great example, giving us potential relationships (Roy and Donna, Garth and Lilith, Wally and Linda) without taking away from the main story that appears to be giving us the REBIRTH-era Fearsome Five.
  • Speaking of relationships, the voices of the characters appears genuine throughout the book, giving those relationships a more believable tone.
  • All that is thanks to stellar writing by Dan Abnett
  • The artwork continues to be fantastic…as you should be able to tell by now, I’m a BIG fan of Brett Booth (pencils), Norm Rapmund (inks), and Andrew Dalhouse (colors). From action to expression, this team has it all nailed down.

RATING: I’m giving this another 10/10. TITANS is no longer “Wally and the Titans”, and that had to stop at some point to allow the other characters to shine. What doesn’t change is the quality of this series. TITANS is one of the very best reads on the comic store shelves right now, don’t miss it! That’s my opinion – what do YOU think? Please leave your comments below!

-- Ed Garrett.

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“Attack On Gorilla City” Teaser

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Here’s the extended teaser for the next episode of The Flash, titled “Attack On Gorilla City”. The first episode of the two-parter will air on February 21st.

And you can see the official stills from the episode at Beautiful Ballad.

Looking forward to seeing more Grodd and Jesse Quick? How about the return of the inimitable Harry Wells? Share your thoughts here!

-- Lia.

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“Rogues Reloaded” Review of THE FLASH #16

https://speedforce.org/2017/02/rogues-reloaded-review-flash-16/

The Flash has faced his Rogues Gallery countless times over the years, since the early Silver Age to today, and there have always been two things you could count on. First, the Rogues have a code…and second, the Flash always wins even if they team up against him. It’s always worked…for the Flash. But, now the Rogues appear to have wised up, and this group of blue-collar bad guys may finally have the upper hand. Last issue, the Flash was tricked into going miles away while the Rogues struck in Central City. Now, what can our Scarlet Speedster do in the aftermath? That’s where we pick up with issue #16 of THE FLASH! Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD

A quick summary of the plot of issue #16, written by Joshua Williamson and illustrated by Carmine Di Giandomenico (colors by Ivan Plascencia).

  • Barry knows he’s been outfoxed…and he arrives back in Central City just a bit too late. The Rogues have split up, making their biggest heists yet…possibly their last? That’s how it looks, as each Rogue has made the kind of robbery that could set one up for life.
  • As the Flash talks to Iris, he is willing to take the heat…but Iris gives him an idea that allows him to catch up to Heat Wave!
  • Heat Wave gets the upper hand, and it looks like Barry has been roasted. But, as Mick gets back to the rest of the Rogues, Len Snart knows better…Flash has allowed Heat Wave to appear to get the upper hand so that he can track him back to the whole group of Rogues!
  • Barry now appears to have the upper hand, taking care of most of the Rogues…until Captain Cold reveals his target during that raid on Central City.
  • Snart robbed S.T.A.R. Labs of some parts related to the Black Hole group, and he’s created a new weapon that may finally stop the Flash…cold!

NOTES:

  • Joshua Williamson’s arc gives us the Rogues at their best. We have a team of blue-collar bad guys who have been able to show enough strategy and discipline to actually throw the Flash off his game.
  • Yes, Mick made a critical error that led Barry straight to the group…but in this case Len Snart was planning even further ahead…and as we hit the cliffhanger things look very bad for the Fastest Man Alive.
  • My only concern relates to something beyond he creators’ control…the shortening of DC comics to 19 pages. It’s a result of the REBIRTH era decisions on publication…keep prices low, publish some titles twice per month, and keep individual issues down from 22 pages to 19. It causes some issues of several titles to appear a bit rushed as creative teams deal with those three fewer pages.  It may seem a bit of an odd use of terms to complain about a FLASH title seeming “rushed”, but the story seemed to move at a slightly rushed pace to keep everything down to 19 pages.
  • It is great to see Mick Rory with a look that leans a little closer to his classic depiction. This appears to be a combination of the classic look and the New 52 version, in a way that really worked for me.
  • The main cover was a bit confusing, as it refers more to last issue’s Mirror Master-centric story. (NOTE: I downloaded my copy of THE FLASH on comiXology, so your version may vary).
  • That being said, I really liked the alternate cover, with the Flash running past some hummingbirds. It seemed like a bit of a nod to the Jim’s Big Ego song, “The Ballad of Barry Allen”. Bonus fact: the lead singer of Jim’s Big Ego is Jim Infantino, the nephew of famed Flash artist Carmine Infantino.
  • Other than that, I’m a big fan of the Rogues and have been for five decades…and seeing them able to fight the Fastest Man Alive to at least a draw makes this a very exciting arc.

RATING: I’ll give this one an 8/10. A good story, a great portrayal of the Rogues (although I’m still missing one particular member of the group), and only a minor complaint related to the 19 page format of DC books right now. That’s my take – what do YOU think? Please leave your comments below!

-- Ed Garrett.

The post “Rogues Reloaded” Review of THE FLASH #16 appeared first on Speed Force.

“Untouchable” – Review of THE FLASH S3 Ep12

https://speedforce.org/2017/02/untouchable-review-flash-s3-ep12/

Okay folks – you want Wally at his best? You want to see Kid Flash becoming the hero he was meant to be? You wanna see a race between Barry and Wally? You get ALL of that…and more…in an excellent episode of THE FLASH!  BTW – Jesse L Martin absolutely nails a critical scene – and if you want to learn more, just follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

NOTE: This review is being published prior to THE FLASH airing in the Pacific Time Zone USA. If you haven’t seen the show yet, STOP NOW and come back later, okay?

We start with that race…and what a race it is! The course has been plotted through Central City, with sensors along the way so that Cisco and the full Flash team can track this super-speed contest. Just a couple of notes…Cisco is taking bets, giving HR a chance to give us two more Earth-19 “facts”.  Al Capone was the Vice President of the United States on Earth-19, and Abe Lincoln is on their $100 bill.  Barry wins the race – but only because he can phase through that last building while Wally has to run up the side of the building first. That becomes an important point in this episode…can Wally learn how to phase through solid matter?

First, though, we get an introduction to this week’s bad guy – Clive Yorkin, who can decompose people or objects with just a touch.  We will eventually learn that he was activated by Alchemy (while Julian was under Savitar’s influence).  Yorkin is out for revenge on the cops who brought him in…in the Flashpoint world.  It takes time to piece that together, but it does put Yorkin on Joe West’s trail…

…and that comes to a first battle when Joe, Iris and Wally are at Jitters with Cecile and her daughter!

Fun fact about Cecile’s daughter – she’s a HUGE fan of Kid Flash! Wally is loving it. Iris mentions that Joe “knows Kid Flash”, and that brings up the question of “who is the greater hero?”  But, the very awkward attempt to avoid answering the question is interrupted as Yorkin shows up, looking to kill Joe! Wally changes to Kid Flash and wins the battle with a little gestural cuing from Barry.

Iris tries to get Joe to stay at S.T.A.R. to be safe…but it finally brings up the subject of Savitar’s future attack. Jesse L. Martin absolutely nails the emotional response to hearing what could happen to his daughter, showing a level of emotion that was absolutely outstanding. It took me back to his performance in the movie RENT and his reaction after the death of Angel.  Wow!

Later, Yorkin goes after Iris – and Wally is not able to keep him from touching her, starting a process that could kill her! Caitlin is able to stop the spread of the decomposition by using her Killer Frost powers, but has to get a lot of encouragement from Julian to keep from losing herself to that evil persona.

While the fight is on to save Iris, Joe goes to the last cop who is being targeted…oh yes, HOW did they know who that person would be? Cisco actually vibed to the Flashpoint universe and saw Yorkin’s arrest there!  One of the early victims was Capt. Julio Mendez in the Flashpoint world (NOTE: Julio Mendez was also character in the 1990’s Flash TV series, and was played by the same actor here).  Joe goes to the last potential victim and boards a train with her…and Yorkin sets up a trestle to fall and cause the train to crash! How to stop it?

Barry phases the entire train through the pile of rubble.  You read that right.

I’ll rely on all of you fans as to whether Barry accomplished something on that scale during the Silver Age, but it was very cool here.  Problem is, Barry is now out of it and unable to help Wally take Yorkin down.

Let’s take a step back here.

After Wally was unable to stop Yorkin from harming Iris, he was feeling all the guilt that comes with the situation. But, Barry and Wally had a talk that has needed to happen for a long time. Barry finally realizes that he needs to do more than just tell Wally what to do – he needs to encourage Wally, to empower him to be all that he can be. That plays into this final fight with Yorkin.

Back to that fight – the way to stop Yorkin is to phase some speedster blood into him…it would counteract Yorkin’s powers (yay for comic book science).  This time, Wally is finally able to phase through him, stopping Yorkin cold.  It’s a major accomplishment for Wally, who is finally coming into his own here.

NOTES: The upshot of this episode leaves us with some interesting developments. Kid Flash is finally being treated as more of an equal by Barry (about time).  I love Wally’s (slight) overconfidence as Kid Flash – he’s having a GREAT time with superspeed and the fun is infectious.  Caitlin and Julian look as if we are seeing the start of a relationship by episode’s end, and that’s something that should be most interesting, if very different from Caitlin’s prior relationships. And, we see the…

EPILOGUE – with Jesse Quick coming to Earth 1 to get help for her dad, who has been captured by Gorilla Grodd!

SUMMARY – A great episode overall, with particular kudos to Keiynan Lonsdale (Wally West/Kid Flash) and Jesse L Martin (Joe West) for their performances.  We may not be any closer to a solution for that future battle with Savitar, but if Wally is going to be the key we at least see some real progress in his mastery of the Speed Force. And, if we’re going to Earth 2 again next episode, looks like we will get to see TWO versions of HR in one show – can’t wait for that!  I’ll give this one a 10/10 – what do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

-- Ed Garrett.

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