And in Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost, Bart has to race against time to fix things.
Beginning in May, DC will launch a Flashpoint mini-series by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert, plus a slew of various tie-ins dealing with characters in the Flashpoint universe.
In the Flashpoint world, DC's superheroes are very different versions of themselves, because someone altered their past. And apparently, none of them realize things have changed.
But in Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost, Bart Allen does remember the regular DCU, and he searches desperately for what happened to speedsters like Wally West, Max Mercury and Jay Garrick as he races against time to save himself and the universe.
Written by former Supergirl writer Sterling Gates with art by Oliver Nome, the Kid Flash mini-series will deal with the whole Flash family while also addressing how Bart Allen feels about his grandfather Barry Allen's return to the DCU.
This isn't the first time Gates was slated to write a Kid Flash story. In 2009, DC announced then later withdrew plans for a never-published Kid Flash ongoing by Gates. Now, in Kid Flash Lost, readers will finally get to see Gates' take on Bart Allen, although in a greatly altered future.
In part 3 of our series on the Flashpoint tie-ins, Newsarama talked with Gates to find out more about Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost.
Newsarama: Sterling, most of the characters in Flashpoint are vastly different from the characters we know in the DCU. Is Bart different in his Flashpoint story?
Sterling Gates: No, this is the Bart Allen we all know and love. And as the title says, he's lost. The tagline is: It's not where is he, it's when?
In the main Flashpoint series, Barry Allen remembers the regular DC Universe. He knows things are different. In Kid Flash Lost, Bart also remembers the regular universe. The only difference is that Barry is in the present day of Flashpoint, while Bart is in the future.
Nrama: So Bart's mini-series takes place in the future of the world we'll see in the Flashpoint mini-series?
Gates: Yeah, he wakes up in the future of the Flashpoint universe. He was always kind of a time-lost character anyway, being born in the future and coming back to the present and living in the present DCU. So because of the nature of Bart's character, he's snapped back into the future, but it's the future of Flashpoint.
So he wakes up in a very, very different future from the one in which he grew up, the one he knew when he was a very small kid.
Nrama: What are some of the differences?
Gates: I don't want to spoil the story, but there are a lot of very serious things that have happened since the events of Flashpoint. So Bart realizes he needs to get back in time, or else the timestream will sort of correct itself, meaning he will pull a Marty McFly and fade out.The problem is that in the future, Bart doesn't have access to the Speed Force. So the race against time is, how does he get access to the Speed Force again? And can he use that access to correct what's happened?
Nrama: Does this tie into the main Flashpoint story? Or is it more of a stand-alone story?
Gates: It ties in because we're going to see a lot of things that aren't covered in the main Flashpoint book, as Bart explores the future and finds out what happened to the Flash family.
What happened to Jay Garrick? What happened to Wally West? And where's Max Mercury? Bart's going to dig in and dig through some historical stuff over the course of the three issues, and we're going to see where a lot of our speedsters are. It's a Flash story as well as a Kid Flash story.
I love the idea of the Flash family, the Speed Force, so I wanted to really touch on those characters we're not really seeing in the main Flashpoint book to find out what's happened to them. And I feel like Bart's the perfect vehicle for that, because Barry has a very defined mission in the main Flashpoint book. By having Bart be on the fringe of the Flashpoint universe and letting him look in on it from the future provides some really interesting story beats, while at the same time exploring that Bart-Barry relationship and how Bart feels about it.
Nrama: Geoff told us this mini-series is where Hot Pursuit shows up during Flashpoint. We've seen an explanation in The Flash of who Hot Pursuit is. How does he get involved?
Gates: Hot Pursuit becomes involved much like Bart becomes involved, because there are changes in the timeline. At the end of Flash #12 [next week], you'll see exactly what happens. And through that story, Hot Pursuit becomes time lost before the Flashpoint happens. So Hot Pursuit and Bart will team up in the future and they will join in the race against time to try to figure out what happened and how can they get out? And where is Barry?
Barry's relationship with Bart comes into play as well. You've seen in the pages of The Flash that Barry and Bart's relationship is strained right now. We're going to lead into that a little bit and show Bart's point of view.
Nrama: So this mini-series deals with how the return of Barry Allen is affecting Bart?
Gates: Yeah, we'll flesh out and illustrate what Bart is feeling about Barry's return. So I wanted to do a really cool story that, within the plot, examines Bart's relationship to Barry Allen and what he's going through. As most people know, I was lined up to do a Kid Flash series years ago, and for a number of reasons, that series didn't come to pass. So when asked to do this mini-series for Flashpoint, I jumped at the chance. I love Bart Allen. I love Kid Flash. Both Bart and Wally as Kid Flash are two of my favorite characters.
Nrama: In this series, is Bart going to sharpen his pencil into a Flashpoint?
Gates: [laughs] How great was that Tiny Titans interview? I'm pushing to get, "Everything Sterling Gates has done, we're ripping off" on the back of a Supergirl trade because that is hysterical. And who knows? Maybe I'll rip off the pencil idea, because that's too funny.
Nrama: Let's talk about the art on this story. What tone does Oliver Nome bring to the story?
Gates: Oliver is phenomenal. I've been throwing a lot of techie design work at him in this story, and he's been rising to the challenge. Just looking at his work, I think he's going to be a name at some point. But this is his first published comics work. He's been doing design work. He did design work on the DCU Online game, I think, and a couple other things.
He's really good at conveying speed and movement. He's really good at doing some of the more emotional beats. And he's really, really good at drawing big, scary monsters and robots.
And in terms of tone, it's a very dark future, and Bart is a shining light in it.
Nrama: Who is your Bart Allen? Is he the really humorous kid, or is this his more serious side?
Gates: I think there's some of both in Bart. I think that if your brain moved at super speed, you would tend to fluctuate back and forth. He's a teenager who has traveled and experienced everything, able to move at super speed, but who can still be funny and make the jokes as he goes along.
Part of what Geoff Johns did when he switched him from Impulse to Kid Flash is he made him a little more focused. So to me, that's where he is. He can still be fun and impulsive, but there's a little more focused than he was.
One example is that I'm doing my own take on "Flash Facts." You know how The Flash has Flash Facts? And they're always some science like, "Here's how a boomerang works!" or "Here's how lightning strikes! Flash Fact!"
Bart has an internal monologue through a lot of this story, and he does "Kid Flash Facts." But the Kid Flash Facts are about him. And so he'll see a shiny object and say, "Wow! Kid Flash Fact: I'm very easily distracted." And that's a bit of a running gag through the story. To me, that's a great example of Bart's personality. He's running along at super speed and is easily distracted, but he says, "Oh! Right! I'm on this mission." That may seem like a small thing, but to me, that clarifies Bart's growth from Impulse to Kid Flash.
And frankly, if you woke up in this future, you would be a little more focused. And throughout the whole thing, it's a nice mix of funny and serious. I think all fans of Kid Flash, and the whole Flash family, will love this book. It's a race against time that explores the future of Flashpoint and everything that makes the world of the Flash so great.
- FLASHPOINT Presentation: BRIAN AZZARELLO on BATMAN
- FLASHPOINT Presentation: TONY BEDARD on EMPEROR AQUAMAN
- FLASHPOINT-by-Point with GEOFF JOHNS