(The cover for THE FLASH #1 by Francis Manapul)

Francis Manapaul, the 2011 Joe Shuster Award recipient for Outstanding Comic Book Artist, takes on double duty this fall as he co-writes and illustrates THE FLASH. Francis spoke with us about the upcoming series and spilled the beans about the identity of the book’s first villain(s). THE SOURCE: What about DC's new 52 titles excites you the most? FRANCIS MANAPUL: What’s exciting about this initiative is the opportunity to introduce these characters to a new audience. It also allows us as creators the freedom to explore new storylines. How and why are you shaking up the series' status quo? Relationships are a fickle thing, and things can change in a flash. What new characters will debut in the series? We'll be introducing a villainous group called Mob Rule in the first issue. Will we see new character designs? Absolutely! What's the first line of dialogue in the first issue? "I should’ve worn a tie." What's the biggest surprise you've had working on this character/book? The potential with experimentation of visual storytelling. What secret has been the hardest to keep? That would be telling it, wouldn't it? What’s the unofficial tagline for this series, in your own words? Forge ahead. Keep moving. Always run towards something. What were your thoughts about the day-and-date digital announcement? The future begins this September. Also here's a fun little picture with myself, Eddie Berganza, and Marcus To. Flashing it up in the mountains of Banff: