How The Flash Was Renamed 'Flush Man' In Argentina
We're getting the impression that Warner Bros.' execs aren't feeling particularly confident in the upcoming Flash movie right now, considering it was just pushed eight months (or like six Marvel movies) into the future and lead actor Ezra Miller has been arrested twice within the past month. Well, allow us to offer a solution: use those eight months to recast Miller with whoever their Argentinian equivalent happens to be (Ezra Quilmes?) and rename the movie Flush Man -- just like the company publishing DC Comics in Argentina did in the '90s.
After all, the latest issue of Flash's comic just made that name canon, so if DC didn't own it before, they probably do now.
But how exactly did Argentina end up with Flush Man? The short answer is "someone was afraid of a lawsuit," but it's more complicated than that. See, in Argentina, "flashear" ("to flash") is a slang term with various meanings, from "tripping out" to "falling in love" to "being blown away." That probably explains why, from the early 1980s until sometime in the 2000s, there was an extremely popular and extremely trashy gossip magazine called Flash featuring news stories of dubious veracity, gratuitous photos of scantly clad women, and exactly zero pages devoted to super-fast people fighting crime.
In 1990, a small company called Perfil Editorial managed to score the rights to publish DC characters in Argentina, but they ran into a problem when it came to Flash. According to a translator who worked for Perfil at the time, the people behind Flash magazine threatened to sue their butts off if they put out a comic by the same name, presumably fearing that old ladies would buy it expecting celebrity gossip and end up becoming comic book nerds. The translator was asked to come up with alternate titles for the series, so he prepared a list including suggestions like DC Universe Presents: Flash, The New Adventures of Flash, or, worst case scenario, something like The Ray or The Lightning. Then, one day, he showed up at the publisher and saw this:
Apparently, some higher up in the company got it into his head that Flush Man would be the perfect name for a guy who runs really fast (as opposed to a synonym for "plumber"), so that's what they went with. Everyone working at Perfil who was familiar with the sound of a flushing toilet was horrified and embarrassed. None of them ever suspected that DC would one day acknowledge Flush Man, especially because even they knew that Perfil's work wasn't exactly the best representation of DC's characters. The production values were so low that some panels were literally unreadable -- one of the letterers was nicknamed "Stumps" by his co-workers because his word balloons were "only attributable to someone who had their fingers cut in half."
Perfil dropped out of the comic book business within a few years and, ironically, ended up buying Flash magazine, only to shut it down. Anyway, now that DC made Flush Man canon, here's hoping Marvel follows suit and incorporates the further adventures of Mexican Spider-Man and the bootylicious Gwen Stacy into their universe.
Follow Maxwell Yezpitelok's heroic effort to read and comment on every '90s Superman comic at Superman86to99.tumblr.com.
Top image: Warner Bros. Pictures, DC Comics/Perfil