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Reflections on 'Ringo
Wieringo signing at a convention.

I grew up reading The Flash. I had old issues, some of them from the Jay Garrick era, and I loved them. Flash was easily my favorite character, the coolest of the heroes.

When they killed the Flash in Crisis, I was stunned. He was my hero. I always preferred DC to Marvel, because comparing Flash to Quicksilver, there’s no chance for the non-Flash.

I returned to buying comics in the early 1990s after not reading much but those things friends or family bought me for years. I picked up a Flash issue and it was amazing. There was no question that it had to be the best comic ever. I read issue 82 first and it was brilliantly written, but more brilliantly drawn.

The reason for that was Mike Wieringo.

Wieringo and Waid were the team. Waid had a take on the Flash that no one else could ever duplicate. Wieringo had a look for the Flash that was totally in-line with what I thought the Flash would look like when I was a kid playing superheroes on the playground.

Self-described as an "action artist," not a "violence artist."
Somehow, Wieringo’s Flash was nearly the perfect vision. His pencils were amazing. I totally understood what he was going for and they played so well off of the writing that The Flash run from the early 1990s is still my all-time favorite superhero run.

Mike Wieringo died on Sunday. He was 44.

I had actually seen his stuff before Flash. I didn’t realize that until years later. I had been given a copy of Doc Savage: Doom Dynasty for my birthday one year. It was good stuff, but I didn’t pay much attention to it.

Yeah, I still liked comics, but it wasn’t nearly as much my thing by that point. I reread it a few years back and I loved the art. I got it. I got what Wieringo was doing there, partly because I got what he was doing in Flash and could tie them together.

I bought the Justice League Unlimited Annual that he did the cover for and some pencils. It was another great one.

And, to show just how much I enjoyed his stuff, I even bought several of his issues of Fantastic Four. I hated to admit it, but Waid and Wieringo could even make the boring Marvel characters enjoyable.

A great retrospective from TwoMorrows Press.
His late 90s time with Marvel was actually very good. His recent work with Peter David on Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man was good stuff, too. Even his work at Image on Tellos (Wieringo's personal favorite) is worth looking at for Wieringo’s art alone.

His work in The Flash was actually pretty limited. He did 10 issues with Waid in 1993-4 and the covers for a couple of dozen more issues. When I think of The Flash in the 1990s, I think of Waid and Wieringo.

The two of them created Bart Allen, aka Impulse, the character that would eventually spin-off and give Humberto Ramos, my second favorite artist, a chance to shine.

The two of them created a universe in which the Flash still lives in my mind. When I heard that Waid was taking back over Flash and relaunching the series, I was hoping that we’d get a Wieringo and Waid reunion.

Sadly, it’s not going to happen.

Editor's note: Mike Wieringo's family has asked that if fans are so inclined, they donate to The Hero Intitiative, the organization that helps out creators in financial binds, especially those too old or infirm to work, and/or the ASPCA in honor of the guy who signed himself "'Ringo."

I'm including an Amazon Box below, even though it seems a little crass, because if you don't know Wieringo's work, you owe it to yourself to try it. Or you might just find a book you didn't know he'd done, and want to get it.

Chris Garcia


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