Catching Up with
Fastest Man Alive (Part 2)
Part 1 | Part 2
| Part 3 | Part 4 |
Part 5 | Part 6 |
took it back to
"Here's a guy who runs fast, and he's really
[T]hat really is all there is to say
about the Flash
when you're a little kid.
Letís see here. I have
a few questions for you. I came a little bit early this morning and read
Flash. So Iíve kind of got a jump on you there, I hope.
[Laughs.] I didnít
realize that it was just out, Ďcause I got a copy of it about a week
and a half ago. Is it just out in the stores today?
Just came out today,
It came from Diamond
yesterday, and weíre getting ready to start selling Ďem like crazy
Great! We actually got a
really nice boost up in sales. Like, sales went up by 15,000 for the
Which is really good, you
know, Ďcause we were terrified we were going to fuck up Markís book
You know, Mark said,
"Look after this for a year," and we were terrified of giving
him it back with 10,000 sales or something. [Laughs.]
O.K., let me ask you a
couple of questions about Flash.
First of all, Grant
Morrisonís your writing partner on Flash, and he has a well-documented
fascination with the character.
Do you have any kind of
attachments to the Flash like that, that go back a long way?
Well, I love the Flash
... I think for the same reason Grant had, that comics were very poorly
distributed in Britain in the Ď70s, when we were growing up. Iím
about ten years younger than Grant, you know, but we— Comics in Britain
tend to be in stores for a very long time; you would maybe get an issue
of a comic, and then youíd have to wait four years for the next part
of it or something. The distribution was really bad before
we had comics stores here.
And one of the few
comics that you sort of got every month was Superman and The
we grew up with these guys being our favorite characters. I think for
me, Superman actually is my favorite, and the Flash is, you know, a
close second or third. I know Grant, thatís his number-one character,
[the Flash], but Iíve always loved the Flash too. You know, just the
fact heís a Justice Leaguer and he and Superman shared Cary Bates as a
writer through the whole time I was reading all of it. [Iíve] a real
affinity for the Flash; I really enjoyed it.
And Iíd lost that,
really, post-Crisis. But what I did was I started picking up Mark
about three years ago—well, actually, when I started
getting them sent by DC—and I rediscovered my love for the Flash again.
Itís like Markís job on it was so fantastic that I actually went to
my local comics store and I bought every one heíd ever done—went back
and got them all Ďcause they were so good. Mark did such a
great job on it.
Flash has been
very popular. Whatís your favorite thing about Markís Flash?
I think whatís really
happening now is—
You know, I kind of split
comics ages up, and itís like thereís four categories. I think
weíre now entering the Fourth Age of Comics. The Golden Age ran from
Ď35 to Ď55 approximately. The Silver Age was Ď35 to Ď75, and I
think Ď75 to Ď95 was really what could be called the Dark Age.
And, you know, it had its
good and bad points. The peak of it was probably in the middle of it,
where you had Watchmen and Dark Knight and everything. And then the crap
really came out as the comics recession happened. You know, the comics
recession was caused really by the amount of terrible comics, where
people [were] dwindling with ideas, exactly the same as what happened at
the end of the Silver Age and the Golden Age—just people run[ning] out
of ideas before the next big wave came along.
And I think Kingdom
Come precipitated the entire new wave of this one—you donít know what an
age is called until itís finished, you know?—but this new one was
entered about Ď95. For me, I think Kingdom Come and The
Flash were the
kind of harbingers of it, and what really has happened in this age is
the heroes have been stripped ... back to what makes you like them in
the first place. So where you had all sorts of ridiculous storylines
with top characters for so long, Mark took it back to "Hereís a
guy who runs fast, and heís really cool." You know? And
[laughs]—that really is all there is to say about the Flash when
youíre a little kid.
Mark just really gave you
that wide-eyed wonder, that optimism that you had when you read these
books. And I think Grantís applied the same strategy to JLA. And
Iíve tried to apply the same strategy to Superman. Heís the
worldís greatest super-hero; JLA are the worldís greatest
super-team, you know?
And I think, more than
anything, Mark taught everyone that these guys are great. Donít
be embarrassed about it; just strip it back to what it is, and that is
so cool in itself. You donít have to give him a black costume; you
donít have to give him a grim expression: He runs fast. Heís cool.