DC Comics Cover Sketch (Unused), The Flash. Pencil, prismacolor pencils, and markers.
Way back in my early comic book illustrator days at DC, I became somewhat adept at montage-style cover design. In a pinch, I rendered some art classified as "inventory" work, stuff that an editor keeps on file in case of a deadline emergency. This was around the time when DC had killed off the very popular Silver Age Flash, alias Barry Allen, in the epic event maxi-series called CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS (Hi, Marv, and George!). Taking up the Flash mantle was the former Kid-Flash, Wally West. It was an awkward transition, growing pains and such, a lot of self-doubt, and plenty of mourning. Wally made some rash decisions during this period. In this montage, I chose to represent his small farm background, his frivolous life after winning the lottery, his rift with the Teen Titans, and through this new struggle, the exhilaration of adopting his newest superhero identity, literally stepping into the speeding shoes of his mentor. In microcosm, it is a coming of age story, with all the inherent difficulties, and ups and downs. Over it all, the specter of the Barry Allen Flash looms, an inspiration for Wally, as much as it may be an onerous legacy to fulfill.
Now, it wasn't my regular routine to render a cover sketch with so much fastidious fuss and detail, nor is it ever customary in the business at all. But I guess I was trying harder to impress Mark Waid, an editor with whom I had never worked before. Heheh. Anyway, I decided to digitally clean up bits of this old drawing, and share it again online. It's a kick to go back and see the style in which I used to illustrate, so indicative of the era in which it was created. Yeah, this looks like the late 1980s. Haha!
I hope you like it! Cheers!
*The Flash, Barry Allen, Wally West, and The Teen Titans are the copyrighted property of DC Comics.