In 2008, Geoff Johns told Newsarama that he planned to "do to the world of Flash what we've done to the world of Green Lantern."
"We want to turn The Flash into a pillar of the DC Universe, just like Green Lantern has become a pillar," Johns said. "Our goal is to elevate the Flash Universe."
That goal got a slow start, as delays plagued the launch of Johns' mini-series, Flash: Rebirth. But now that his run on The Flash has kicked into high gear, the writer is working to create excitement for the Flash Universe.
The concentration on Green Lantern and the Flash make sense for the chief creative officer of DC Entertainment, since the company is also focusing on developing those two same franchises for film. While Johns works with Warner Bros. to push forward plans for a Green Lantern movie sequel and a script for The Flash film, he's also energizing those two franchises in comics.
For Green Lantern, that energy will come from a crossover event that Johns clarified for us yesterday in Part 1 of our discussion.
For the Flash, Johns will write Flashpoint, a story being drawn by Andy Kubert that was teased at the end of The Flash #1. And according to an announcement Johns made at Comic Con International in San Diego, that event will spawn a second Flash title called Flash: Speed Force.
That second title mirrors how DC handled the Green Lantern Universe when Johns took over Green Lantern and a second title, Green Lantern Corps was launched. And the focus of Flash: Speed Force appears to be similar, since it will focus on the other speedsters of the DC Universe, such as Bart Allen, Wally West, Jesse Quick and XS.
In Part 2 of our discussion with Johns, he discussed what's coming in Flashpoint and what he wants to do for the Flash Universe.Newsarama: Geoff, you talked about how, in 2004, you got Green Lantern back to its core, and in the years since that, Green Lantern become one of DC's leading franchises, even spawning a major event for the DCU last year. When Flash: Rebirth was first announced, you specifically said you wanted to do the same thing for Flash that you've done for Green Lantern. How far do you feel you are in that process and how would you compare what you're doing with Flash now to what's been done in Green Lantern?
Geoff Johns: Flash is a very different universe, and a very different character, and I'm using a different approach. With Green Lantern, I've been really lucky to work with some of the best creators in the business, and we've seen it grow and expand. And there are a lot of new characters and new levels of mythology that have allowed Green Lantern to grow to whole new levels. On that base level, that's where I want to take The Flash.
But beyond that, it’s very different. I like doing big, giant stories that are anchored by single characters, like Sinestro Corps War being built around Green Lantern, and Flashpoint around The Flash. So in that respect, that part of the approach is similar. But it's not structured exactly like Green Lantern. Flashpoint is nothing like any of the Green Lantern events. It’s not a Flash army vs. a Reverse-Flash army.
This is just an evolution of comic writing for me. I love epic, long form, monthly storytelling. What Grant has done with Batman and Brian has done with Avengers and I’ve done with Green Lantern.
Nrama: But I noticed you are introducing new characters to the Flash universe, including a new speedster next year called Hot Pursuit. Is the hope to build out that universe like you have for Green Lantern?
Johns: I don't know if "build out" is the right term, it sounds too structured. The goal isn't to launch a bunch of different books, it’s to let the Flash and the world around him grow organically.
So with Flash, you're going to see Barry and Wally West and Captain Cold and all the core characters that are in the Flash universe, but yes, there will be a lot of new characters and new concepts coming in as well.
One of the things I wanted to do was introduce a speedster who didn't run.Nrama: Yeah, Hot Pursuit rides a motorcycle. So when you say "introduce," is that character going to be around for a while as part of The Flash?
Johns: Oh, he'll be around.
Nrama: You mentioned that your goal is not necessarily to launch a bunch of different titles, yet there was an announcement in San Diego about a new Flash title. I know you can't talk about that, but are you going to be adding more comics to your monthly duties?
Johns: Next year, I'm really concentrating on Green Lantern and The Flash, obviously, with "War of the Green Lanterns" and Flashpoint.
Nrama: Then before we move on to discussing Brightest Day, what's coming up next in The Flash?Johns: We have two rogue profiles coming up with Scott Kolins. Scott and I did Rogue profiles when we were on the book before. I love working with Scott, especially on the Rogues. First we have an issue with Captain Boomerang that ties into what he's been going through and actually leads over into Brightest Day. Then we have one on Reverse Flash.
And then Francis Manapul returns for Flash #9, which is the start of the "Hot Pursuit" story arc that leads into Flashpoint with Andy Kubert.