Wally West can’t stop running

Tom Bondurant recounts the history of Wally West, from reluctant superhero to generational avatar.

For many superhero-comic readers of the 1980s and ’90s (not to mention viewers of the Justice League animated series in the 2000s), Wally West was the Flash – the fastest man alive. Created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino for January 1960’s The Flash issue #110, Wally gained super-speed just as his idol did, by being doused in Barry Allen’s laboratory chemicals and struck by lightning. Today Wally has become a symbol of DC Comics’ superhero legacies, so much so that his role in 2016’s DC Universe Rebirth special signaled a wholesale return to a previous timeline. However, when editorial fiat dispatched him in 2011, Wally had arguably done everything he’d set out to do. Indeed, Wally’s history includes a couple of prominent retirement periods already. Now he’s inherited Metron’s Mobius Chair and Doctor Manhattan’s powers, but the question still remains: What’s left for Wally West?

Wally started out as Kid Flash, sidekick and sometimes backup-feature star. At first he wore a kid-sized Flash costume, so his more familiar duds (acquired in March 1963’s Flash #135) represented a significant step in his development. He was a charter member of the Teen Titans from its primeval beginning (June-July 1964’s Brave and the Bold #54) to its February 1978 dissolution (Teen Titans #53). Shortly thereafter, in 1978’s DC Special Series issue #11, writer Cary Bates and artist Irv Novick had Wally tell his family that he would only be Kid Flash through the end of his college career; and upon graduation, he’d retire from superheroics.

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Mail Call | ‘Lumberjanes’ reach the end of summer, new D&D and more

Catch up on news from Marvel, DC, BOOM!, IDW and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from publishers in our mailboxes recently. Hit the links for more information.

Former WWE superstar turned author AJ Mendez and Lucifer actress Aimee Garcia will write a new Dungeons & Dragons series for IDW. Dungeons & Dragons: At the Spine of the World will be set in the property’s Icewind Dale world with new characters and artwork by Martín Cóccolo.

Here are some of the character designs, by Max Davenport and Katrina Mae Hao:

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What Are You Reading? Justice League, X-Men and more!

See what the Smash Pages crew has checked off their “to read” list lately.

Welcome once again to What Are You Reading?, our weekly journey into the center of our reading lists. This time around, hear about Tom’s endless trek through old Justice League issues, Shane’s adventures with 1990s X-Men comics and my own scattershot batch of comics.

And as always, tell us what comics you’ve been exploring in the comments.

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DC to release ‘100-Page Giant’ stories digitally

Starting today, look for daily almost-new comics through the DC Digital First program.

DC Comics today announced that they will make stories from their 100-Page Giant anthologies available digitally, starting today with a Superman story by Robert Venditti, Paul Pelletier, Drew Hennessy and Adriano Lucas. Additional stories will be added daily for at least the next week.

“Comic book fans want more access to content than ever before,” said Jim Lee, DC Chief Creative Officer and Publisher, in a press release. “This strategy is intended to get daily content to fans immediately, and also to ensure that when comic shops open back up for business, they will have new content and product that their customers will want. In the meantime, we will have properly stoked and protected the demand for comics, keeping fans interested in our characters and stories.”

Here’s the line-up for the next seven days:

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DC reveals details for ‘Flash’ #750

The 80-page issue will kick off a new storyline, ‘The Flash Age,’ in addition to featuring stories by Marv Wolfman, Geoff Johns and more.

As revealed in their solicitations for February 2020, DC Comics has announced the line-up for next year’s Flash #750, a prestige format issue with contributions by Marv Wolfman, Geoff Johns, Bryan Hitch, Francis Manapul, David Marquez, Riley Rossmo and more, in addition to series writer Joshua Williamson.

“The Flash is one of my favorite DC characters,” said Williamson in the press release, “so it’s an honor to work on The Flash #750 with so many returning Flash legends! It’s a showcase of awesome talent, each telling a story that celebrates what we love about the Flash and the Flash family. And what a perfect place to kick off our next epic storyline ‘The Flash Age!’ 2020 is going to be a big year for The Flash. It all starts in this massive issue.”

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DC adds two new Walmart titles, renames others

‘Flash” and ‘Swamp Thing’ join the line-up, with new material by Tim Seeley, Gail Simone and more.

DC Comics is adding two more titles to its slate of Walmart-exclusive comics, bringing the number from four to six. And they are renaming two existing ones.

The two new titles are Swamp Thing 100-Page Giant and Flash 100-Page Giant, and like the other titles in the line they will feature new stories packaged with reprints of previous stories. Justice League and Teen Titans, meanwhile, will get new names — the former becomes Wonder Woman, while the latter will shorten its name to Titans — no doubt to match the name of the show that can be found on DC’s streaming service.

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DC Comics reveals new artwork from ‘Aquaman,’ ‘Flash: Year One,’ ‘Three Jokers’ and more

At New York Comic Con, DC Comics has revealed new art for many upcoming projects, including a first look at Robson Rocha’s artwork for ‘Aquaman,’ Gary Frank’s upcoming ‘Doomsday Clock’ covers and more ‘Shazam!’ art from Dale Eaglesham.

With New York Comic Con in full swing, DC Comics has been dropping new artwork from upcoming comics at various panels.

Yesterday the Geoff Johns spotlight panel brought new images from Three Jokers, the writer’s project with Jason Fabok; Shazam! with Dale Eaglesham; and the next couple issues of Doomsday Clock, with Gary Frank.

Today, meanwhile, the DC World’s Finest panel brings new art for the upcoming Kelly Sue DeConnick/Robson Rocha run on Aquaman and the just-announced The Flash: Year One by Josh Williamson and Howard Porter. Check it all out below.

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DC Comics goes nuclear this Christmas

‘DC Nuclear Winter Special’ features 10 holiday stories set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

DC Comics will continue their holiday on-shot tradition, albeit with a somewhat radioactive theme this year — DC Nuclear Winter Special will arrive in comic shops and bomb shelters in November.

Like in previous years, the holiday special will feature various characters from the DC Universe, all in stories featuring a “nuclear winter” theme. The release says it’ll include stories starring Batman, Superman and Flash, while the cover also shows Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn and Kamandi (the latter of which makes perfect sense).

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DC Collectibles adds Flash, Nightwing, Batgirl to their ‘Artist Alley’ statue line

New designer vinyl figures include Chris Uminga’s Flash, HaiNaNu ‘Nooligan’ Saulque’s Nightwing and Sho Murase’s Batgirl.

DC Collectibles has revealed some new additions to their “DC Artist Alley” line, which debuts in about a month.

“The DC Artists Alley line marks our entry into the designer toy market, and we couldn’t be happier with the fan and retailer reception we’ve received thus far,” stated Jim Fletcher, executive creative director of DC Collectibles. “The first wave has nearly sold out at the retailer level, and the figures haven’t even hit stores yet. We’re doubling down on this excitement by adding three new characters to the 2018 lineup.”

DC Collectibles will offer black and white variant editions of The Flash and Nightwing figures, and a vibrant green holiday variant for Murase’s Batgirl design. These new additions will be released in December. Take a look at them below:

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