PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The summer film hype may be around Green Lantern, but for DC Comics it's The Flash who will steal the spotlight.

The Scarlet Speedster is poised for greatness in an event that promises a soaring, if radical, tale that uses superheroes in ways that may surprise both first-time readers and long-time fans.

"Flashpoint," written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Andy Kubert, launches next week with the first of a five-issue mini-series that will also see another 15 separate mini-series and four one-shots through the summer.

Many of the superheroes will be unlike what most people know of them, including Batman, Aquaman and Wonder Woman, the latter now apparently the ruler of not Themiscyra, but Europe! Batman? He's running a casino. Aquaman has sunk an entire continent.

But the center of the story arc remains The Flash, who moves at super speed, and his alter ego Barry Allen, a police crime scene investigator who finds that things are not the way they should be and tries to solve the puzzle.

Johns, DC's chief creative officer and architect of the recent "Blackest Night" epic that gave new energy to Green Lantern, called "Flashpoint" unlike anything he's done.

"Sometimes I do small series, like 'Adventure Comics' with Superboy, and sometimes I do things like 'Blackest Night,'" he said in an interview. "And this, for me, is a perfect amalgamation of both in that it has a real heart to it and an emotional story at its core."

"Flashpoint," Johns said, "has a real heart to it and an emotional story at the core. It's really about Flash and Batman and that relationship, but with a backdrop that is really strong for a Flash story and encompasses the whole DC Universe."

Readers will get their first taste of the arc on Saturday as part of Free Comic Book Day, when comic book stores around the globe will give away copies.

DC is releasing a reprint of a Green Lantern story — also penned by Johns — but including a preview of "Flashpoint" as a back-up story, too.

Johns said it's not a surprise that Green Lantern is getting the top billing — the movie starring Ryan Reynolds debuts on June 17 amid much buzz. But now, said Johns, it's The Flash's turn for a little fame.

"I do think that everyone at DC believes that Flash is another character that, like Green Lantern, deserves a lot of the spotlight and can grow both inside and outside of the comics," he said.

"Why is The Flash more compelling than all these other heroes you're bombarded with and why does he deserve to be up there among the greats?" Johns said. "That's my goal with the book."

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