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Credit: DC Comics

It's The Flash vs. Barry Allen(?!) in first look at The Flash's 80th anniversary spectacular

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Mar 2, 2020, 4:12 PM EST (Updated)

This one's so big you probably won't be able to read it in, ahem, a flash. Bolting through the DC Comics Universe using the uncanny locomotion of the Speed Force, The Flash has been a crimson blur since he first flew into the pages of Flash Comics #1 in January of 1940 as created by Harry Lampert and Gardner Fox. Since then he's been a revolutionary charge of optimism and light burning through the darker corners of the publisher's vast pantheon of popular superhero characters.

To honor the 80th anniversary of The Flash, DC Comics is taking the tether off a special anthology issue, The Flash #750 Extra-Size Spectacular, an 80-page giant edition arriving Mar. 4 and featuring an all-star roster of writers and artists contributing to the Scarlet Speedster's big birthday — and SYFY WIRE has an exclusive peek into the deluxe release alongside comments by its main cover artist, Howard Porter.

Credit: DC Comics

The Flash #750 contains a momentous assortment of quick Flash tales from writers Geoff Johns, Francis Manapul, Brian Buccellato, Marv Wolfman, Scott Lobdell, and Joshua Williamson. Artistic duties come courtesy of Evan "Doc" Shaner, Mitch Gerads, Michael McKone, Dale Eaglesham, Howard Porter, Stephen Segovia, Rafa Sandoval, David Marquez, Scott Kolins, Francis Manapul, and Riley Rossmo.

This deluxe edition kicks off “The Flash Age,” a saga DC Comics has been aiming toward since issue #50, as a supercharged Speed Force takes its toll on Barry Allen’s life and a diabolical new threat looms on the horizon in the guise of the dreaded Paradox. Obsessed with ruining the Flash’s legacy, Paradox delivers his herald, Godspeed, to entrap the entire Flash family. Also contains a treasure of special anniversary tales told from across the various generations of super-speedsters. 

Credit: DC Comics

Veteran artist Howard Porter crafted the explosive main cover for The Flash #750, as well as the generational pin-up page with colors by Hi-Fi.  Porter also drew the cover and interiors for last month's The Flash #88 and upcoming issues of The Flash #751-753.  Here he shares his design thoughts on Barry Allen and his historical pin-up artwork. 

"One of the many things that makes Barry Allen, The Flash, such an endearing character to myself and many others is his devotion and connection to his family, friends and community," Porter tells SYFY WIRE. "So we thought what better way to convey that than having him out on Flash Day? The very day his city honors him. Having a race through the parade with the different generations of his family. Of course you have to include a sunny sky, balloons and lighting bolts in that scenario too."

Credit: DC Comics

For his vivid The Flash #750 cover, Porter shares the accolades with his creative partners, the amazing color studio Hi-Fi.

"The beautifully vibrant colors are the handiwork of Hi-Fi Colors, they are masters at conveying dynamic big screen effects," he explains. "We wanted to have the figure of The Flash colliding with his alter ego Barry Allen on the cover of this anniversary issue, and I felt that if we had them fairly small, it would allow room for us to showcase the power and impact of this monumental moment. A firework celebration of the character and his rich history.

"While Batman embodies the dark in the DC Universe, The Flash is the light. Barry is the embodiment of hope and optimism in the face of the darkest moments. This is what I love about the character. It's something I strive to maintain in my life in the most challenging times. There is no other hero that looks more at home with a smile than The Flash."

Credit: DC Comics

Regarding his upcoming work on future Flash comics, Porters offers a tease of what's to come.

"I am currently working on a story that deals with the fallout from the introduction of a new villain called Paradox," Porter reveals. "The Flash is forced to confront and relive his painful past in order to return to the present, and there is a familiar red-eyed evil-grinning masked man making things very difficult for him. Josh Williamson has crafted yet another brilliantly emotional story packed with big screen action and I am grateful to be part of it. It really is special that Josh is working his way to a 100-issue run. His love and respect for the character is unparalleled."

Credit: DC Comics

Dash into our special expanded preview of DC's The Flash #750 Extra-Size Spectacular in the full gallery below, with nostalgic decade variant covers by Nicola Scott, Gary Frank, Nick Derington, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Gabriele Dell'otto, Francesco Mattina, Jim Lee & Scott Williams, and Francis Manapul.

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