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Friday, July 5, 2013

Brian Buccellato Talks About Flash Annual #2

Art By Sami Basri
From Den Of Geek

Flash Annual #2 is released on July 31, and gives fans the details of the first (before Justice League #1) meeting between Barry Allen and Hal Jordan. Written by Brian Buccellato (who helps guide the scarlet speedster's monthly adventures) with art by Sam Basri, Flash Annual #2 looks like a crucial snapshot of the early days of the New DC Universe. Mr. Buccellato was kind enough to take the time to sit down and answer some of our questions about the book and the relationship between these two iconic characters.

Den of Geek: How did this book come about? Who suggested it was time to finally tell a legendary story for the first time?

Brian Buccellato: I think the suggestion came from editorial, during one of our weekly phone conversations. And as soon as Will (our editor on Flash) mentioned Hal, I was sold! I mean, who doesn't want to tell a Barry/Hal story. No-brainer, right?

DoG: What is your take on the Hal/Barry friendship? Is there anything we haven’t seen before?

BB: Well, these guys have VERY different personalities. Hal is the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of guy, and Barry is about as methodical a dude as you can be. All you have to do is look at their professions... Hal is a JET PILOT and Barry is a POLICE SCIENTIST. Polar opposites. So, my take is very much in line with who they are as people. I didn't try to reinvent the wheel with this story, I just wanted to explore the nature of their differences and WHY those differences bond them as friends.

Art By Sami Basri
DoG: What makes the characters work so well together? Why do creators keep coming back to their relationship?

BB: I think their differences as individuals is at the heart of their relationship. Nobody wants to read about two guys that agree on everything and would make the same choices. That's not interesting. I think creators enjoy writing Barry/Hal for the same reasons they enjoy watching Kirk/Spock, Riggs/Murtaugh, C3PO/R2D2, Gilligan/Skipper and countless other pairings throughout fiction. It's fun to watch their personal conflicts play out while they are working towards common goals.

DoG: Tell us about Sami Basri.

BB: While I've never worked with him before, I'm a huge fan of his work. He's one of the biggest talents out there right now and I couldn't be happier that he's on board for this project. I can't wait to start seeing pages!

DoG: Any hints about the villain of the story?

BB: The antagonist of the story is NEW. Her name is VERUS and she ain't from around here.

DoG: The solicitations say that this issue “will affect The Flash for years to come.” Is there anything you can tell us about that?

BB: Only that I didn't write the solicitation and I would never be so bold as to make that kind of claim. :) That said, there is a definite possibility for this annual to propel us into another story involving the same characters.

Art By Sami Basri
Also... as the cover suggests, FLASH does get to use Green Lantern's ring, and that offers Barry a unique insight into what it takes to be a Lantern and what kind of effort/challenges Hal faces as a ring bearer. Wow, that sounded SO Lord of the Rings, didn't it? At least I didn't say that Barry gets to hold Hal's "precious."

DoG: What are some of your favorite Hal/Barry stories from years past?

BB: The one where Hal was a crazy Vietnam veteran turned detective, who teamed up with Detective Barry on his 50th birthday...and they have to solve the death of girl who jumped off a 30 story balcony. And in the end, Hal fights Gary Busey in the rain...

Oh, wait...that was Lethal Weapon.

DoG: Upon meeting, how do these dynamic opposites see each other?

BB: They are quickly united by a common goal in this story, so I wouldn't say they are dynamically opposed. However, since their first meeting is BEFORE Justice League neither is used to TEAMING UP, so they react as you would expect they would...as individuals. Their differences are drawn out through their personalities and how they perceive/react the events.

DoG: What other New 52 firsts would you love to tackle?

BB: Honestly, I don't have a list or anything. In fact, I wrestled with the idea of writing Barry and Hal's FIRST meeting. It was an exciting opportunity and honor to be the guy to tell that story, but I was conflicted and had to be sure that the story I was telling was worthy of being that first. I didn't take this story lightly, and while I will always leap at the creative challenge to do more "firsts," I won't do it just to do it. I love these characters too much to put my own personal wants ahead of them.

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