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DC Comics Announces Aquaman & The Flash Earth One GNs At Comic-Con

DC Co-Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio announced two new “Earth One” original graphic noves at Comic-Con with J. Michael Strazynski following up his best-selling Superman: Earth One tale with a new look at the Scarlet Speedster in Flash: Earth One.

In addition, Francis Manapul (Detective Comics) will provide his take on the King of the Seas in Aquaman: Earth One.

Look for more details soon.

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Review: Detective Comics #33 (Buccellato and Manapul)

I have always loved the detective aspects of Batman stories, but they’ve taken on a new meaning and a greater importance under creators Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul.

In Detective Comics #33, the story is riveting and we are in on every clue Batman picks up along the way. I specially like the way the characters interact and I’m falling in love with Bullock.

It is the small things that add up to so much: the very active participation of Alfred behind the scenes, Batman hanging upside down Spidey-like in the midst of his detecting, the confidence of Bullock who isn’t afraid of even “the bat-man.” So much gained from little things.

I was a big fan of The Black Bat series Brian did for Dynamite Entertainment. It is wonderful to see him teamed with Francis on Detective Comics.

What can I say about the art? Experimental, wonderful and you never get confused like you do during the works of some other storytellers who try to take this tact. Simply wonderful work.

This creative team has made Detective Comics a better book that has been, and I didn’t think that was possible. Very involving and intriguing.

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Review: The Flash #24

Issue #24 of The Flash concludes the battle with the Reverse Flash, which offers up revelations, heavy emotions and a renewed sense of duty from Barry Allen as someone more than a hero.

Issue #25, next month, will mark the end of writer Brian Buccellato and artist Francis Manapul’s run on The Flash but they depart to take up the creative duties on Detective Comics. Unlike many of the heated and often public departures from creators this past year on several DC titles, Buccellato and Manapul felt that the time is right to move on from The Flash, and this issue comfortably settles in to begin the wrap up their run.

In a classic plot line of time travel, through the speed force Barry must stop Daniel West from killing his father in the past but not before he manages to kill three of Barry’s friends in the process. It will take more than physical force to stop the Reverse Flash, and Barry must use his criminal training in psychology to make Daniel realize the consequences of this abuse of the speed force. Rarely do I like to use the term “a great jumping on point” but in this case it holds fairly true. Buccellato uses this issue to reflect on what has come before and tries to make clear Barry’s understanding of how his power works. So for new readers it can serve as introduction as much as it can serve as a wrap-up for long time readers.

While Barry uses this chance to defeat Daniel, it also forces Isis to come face to face with the horror her brother has perpetrated, his lack of remorse and willingness to do it all over again. Ultimately, it’s Barry who has the harshest of revelations to come to terms with, and both Buccellato and Manapul are more than willing to have Barry understand that his dual lives needs balance. To become a better Flash Barry needs to slow down for life’s quieter moments least he becomes the villain.

Francis Manapul’s visual depictions of travel and battles through the time stream are always a thing to behold; the spreads during his final battle with Reverse Flash feels like some of his best work to date on this series. The details seem to go on forever and a reader could spend significant time reviewing every inch.

Finally, even as Flash grows in his understanding of the how’s and why’s of the speed force, Buccellato still leaves a bit of mystery. Part of Barry’s growth is his willingness to accept he may never be able to grasp the true magnitude of his power source because in the end it’s more about responsibility and constantly moving forward. This issue is both moving and inspiring. Buccellato and Manapul are one step closer to leaving The Flash much better off than when they found him.

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Manapul & Buccellato Off Flash With December’s #26

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With DC Comics revealing their December 2013 solicits earlier today it was learned that a new creative team has joined The Flash for an issue.

Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato released a statement confirming their departure from The Flash; however, that is not the end of their stint together at DC as they have a new yet-to-be announced title coming in 2014.

The December DC solicits reveal Christos Cage and Neil Cooge are coming on board with The Flash #26 for one issue.

Buccellato revealed the following on his blog which reads in part:

Francis and I will be moving on to a NEW regular DC series that will hit stores in MARCH 2014. We can’t tell you what the series is (yet), but we are super excited about this new sandbox we get to play in!

We want to thank everyone who was involved in helping us shape Barry’s world for the last three years.

A HUGE thanks to the powers that be at DC, for taking a chance on two “new” writers and giving us the room to grow.

We love Barry… We’ll miss Barry… and we look forward to seeing what the future has in store for him. But this isn’t goodbye. Not YET.  Because of the way solicitations work, we have to announce this now… but don’t forget to pick up issue our Villains Month Books, and #24 and #25! Francis and I still have some story to tell before we hand Barry off…

Manapul offered through Twitter:

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Review: The Flash #6

Everyone knows the saying “Everything old is new again,” but is it always better? Today we get to ponder that very question as The Flash #6 debuts The New 52’s version of — Captain Cold!

I want to take a moment to thank Francis Manapul for his awe-inspiring artistic chores on this series. His page layouts and ingenious construction of panels is some of the best work I have ever seen! He incorporates ever aspect of the page, even the headlines, into something completely unique, and as a fan I am blown away each and every week!

Now on with the show! Issue six debuts the “new”Captain Cold. “New” because he looks different, but he is essentially the same old Rogues leader we know and love. He is bigger, stronger, and no longer needs to use his “cold” guns to emit freezing temperatures where he may, but the new outfit — AWFUL! It reminds me of something you would see in a Vanilla Ice video, all pun intended! Organic ice, sleeveless hoodie? The nineties are officially back kids!

But when you look past the easily mockable costume change, the story is what really counts. Manapul has been creating a great new niche in the Flash mythos over the past five issues! Making Barry responsible for tearing the very fabric of time when he taps into the speed force for too long — brilliant! It opens up new doorways for potential stories and weakens the Flash in ways no rogue could ever have. Barry finally has to adhere to a series of checks and balances which could tear the world apart if he doesn’t. Manapul is putting his personal stamp on one of DC’s greatest characters, and I couldn’t be happier!

But that “new” Captain Cold? I will use a direct quote from Barry Allen himself, “I liked him better with the guns.”

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NYCC 2011: Frank Miller, Matt Fraction and more Signing at the Midtown Comics Booth

Midtown Comics released the info via their Facebook for their signing schedule for next week’s New York Comic Con.

Midtown will be at Booth #1638, with the guests including Frank Miller, Matt Fraction, Christos Gage, Francis Manapul, Scott Snyder, Tony Daniel and more.

Check it out:

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