Gone in a Flash: Waid Out, Peyer in for "The Flash"

On Christmas Eve, acclaimed writer Mark Waid told CBR News he was no longer the ongoing writer on DC Comics' The Flash.

All I can say for now is, yes, I'm off as of #236, confirmed Waid.

DC has announced that Tom Peyer (Hourman and Tek Jansen) is the new ongoing writer of The Flash, with the Seattle-based scribe penning a six-part story for the title beginning March 19, 2008, with issue #238.

When asked point blank by CBR News if The Flash was now his book, Peyer said coyly, Would you like it to be?

Peyer is a close friend of Waid, who was announced as Editor-in-Chief of BOOM! Studios in July at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

Since The Flash #233, Waid has been sharing writing duties with John Rogers (Blue Beetle) and will do so, according to DC solicitations, though #236, due in stores January 9, 2008.  Keith Champagne (Countdown: Arena) is filling-in for #237 in February.

Peyer said he and Waid have worked closely on his Fast Money storyline. Mark and I talk a lot, and we often tell each other what we're writing, explained Peyer. So I've known about the current 'Flash' status quo for some time.  To you 'Flash' is a comic book; to me it's been more like an audiobook.

Peyer's Fast Money storyline concerns The Flash's money worries. Wally has kids to support now and no time to support them unless he somehow uses his super-speed to make money, explained Peyer. But is it right for a trusted symbol of heroism to suddenly go all self-serving? Wally doesn't know, but he interacts with some other characters who think they do.

Peyer also revealed his supervillain for Fast Money. He has a miraculous telekinetic-ish power that allows him to feed on mass anxiety to create the disasters and mishaps that currently worry people the most, if you get my drift, explained Peyer. He's cable news based, 24/7 anxiety. His name is Spin, as in spinning disaster from anxiety, or putting his spin on the news to advance his interests.The menace he presents will interact with Wally's money worries pretty early on, and get us moving toward that big change I mentioned. But I can't describe the story in a more seamless way without spoiling too much.

Peyer said not to expect any backup from the world's greatest heroes, the Justice League of America, either.  Not as such, said Peyer. But one of my favorite things about this title is that you never know who's going to drop by and say hello. Or drop by and get blasted half-a-second out of sync with our universe's vibrational patterns and fuse with the Great Wall of China.

Another one of Peyer's favorite things is Flash's look and feel, specifically Wally West Flash. He looks great; one of the classic costumes, well updated, said Peyer. We all love his power. It's simple and would be anyone's wish fulfillment.

And Wally is one of the most thoroughly developed characters in all of super-hero comics. I think he's right up there with Peter Parker.  His life advances so dramatically; we knew him as a kid, and now as a dad. So he stays fresh.  There is nothing not to love.

Beginning in January with #236, the new artist on The Flash is Freddie Williams II (Robin) and Peyer loves what he's doing. He's really gifted and he works hard, said Peyer. You can throw difficult problems at him. This story involves a lot of crowds, which makes me feel guilty when I think of how much work it'll take to draw, but Freddie can really pull it off. I should add, sorry, Freddie. Anyway, he's just so ambitious.  He doesn't use easy stock angles; he reminds me of the great J.L. Garcia-Lopez in that regard. And Freddie's characters really look human, which makes it easier to write them that way. That's my favorite thing.

Though not exactly sure how he landed the gig, Peyer thinks his pal had something to do with it.  I wasn't there, but I imagine Mark Waid recommended me to editor Joan Hilty, explained Peyer, who co-wrote a six-issue The Brave and The Bold miniseries with Waid in 1999-2000. Joan and I had never worked together before, so I further imagine she decided it was time to get it over with once and for all. Take one for the team, as it were. But you'd never know it from Joan; she's been nothing but encouraging.  I know. I'm just paranoid.

In spite of Bart's Allen's death in The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #13 and Wally West's  return in the hugely popular Justice League/Justice Society crossover Lightning Saga, Tom Peyer told CBR News not to expect a third re-launch of the Scarlet Speedster in 18 months. No re-launch, but by the end of 'Fast Money,' you'll see at least one dramatic change in at least one major aspect of the status quo, confirmed Peyer. But I think it fits in pretty seamlessly with what's been going on. And no, I won't even give you a little tiny baby hint.  Except that it's not one of your first five guesses.

There's only one guess on most Flash fans' minds: Is Barry Allen coming back? What are you talking about? said Peyer. We saw Barry Allen die.

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