The Flash #1
Writer: Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
Artist: Francis Manapul
Colorist: Brian Buccellato
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
The more comics I read I just can’t seem to get enough! The more I read, the more I want. It breaks my heart a little that I didn’t discover them sooner. I did keep up with LICD up until a couple years ago, but I regret not finding this medium until now. It is my goal to reach as many people as I can with my new passion. This does seem to complicate my reviews slightly since I’m loving them all. I noticed this when I was reading some other reviews on the New 52 The Flash #1. I felt this comic seemed to be getting lowballed a little. It is one of my favorites in the New 52 so far, but I will retain my critiques based on the comic alone since my history of previous comics is still blurry.
The strip starts with our Hero, Barry Allen, on a date with Patty Spivot at a Tech Symposium. They’ve known each other for at least two years from working together for Central City as CSI or Police Scientists, but this is their first date. The action comes quick as some masked evil-doers repel in through the glass ceiling. In a Flash, yes sometimes even I amuse myself, Barry Allen suits up, smashes a masked durdle’s face, and disarms some baddies in a flashy Title sequence. Okay, I promise, that’s the last pun, but this title page is pretty sicko. As the few remaining board a hovering helicopter on the roof with their loot, The Flash leaps onto the back of one of them who is holding onto the cargo net and nabs their treasure. The baddie let’s go sending him and The Flash to the ground. We find that The Flash is still getting used to his powers, but is able to create a frequency that shoots the masked man through a window into a neighboring building as he falls through the road to the sewer. I am unable to tell if he used some powers to lessen the impact of crushing through the road or if the impact art was just lackluster, but I’ll touch on this later. After returning The Portable Genome Re-Coder to the scientist and changing, he and Patty are called to a scene with a body. The body just so happens to be the man he had just put through the window. Unmasking the body, Barry sees the face of an old college buddy, Manuel. Leaving the scene, Patty seems a little perturbed when Barry sets up an interview date with reporter Iris West as they head back to the station to confirm that the cause of death was not from The Flash. Jumping into the think tank, Barry discovers that Manuel’s DNA had been altered. With a Thud, and the reader expecting Iris, none other than Manuel shows up at Barry’s apartment. Danger is imminent as Manuel is still being pursued so he and Barry take off. A few blocks later Barry forks from Manuel by jumping into the river only to emerge as The Flash. As he reaches Manuel The Flash discovers him surrounded by a mob of angry Manuels!
Once again I have found art that I am in love with! When I first opened the issue the color hues seemed faded giving the comic sort of a noir feeling, although Central City never seems dirty or sleazy. The artists combined this fading with detail to put appropriate characters in focus at appropriate times. I mentioned before that I was unsure if The Flash used his powers to lessen the impact, but if that wasn’t the case I feel that sort of impact would raise more than a little dust. Also, in the title panel you see him crack a helmet, but The Flash is fast. I mean, imagine for a moment, the damage a punch at that speed would cause. I’m guessing that chipped helmet should have been closer to a hole in the guy’s head. (Or imagine if someone close-lined The Flash in motion.) Moving on to the coloring, the faded colors help bring out the Red of the flash and other bright colors without them being cheesy, blinding, or too brilliant. Nostalgic styled panels created positive story flow. Another amazing aspect is that creative paneling is used as well, but not so much that it causes distraction. These panels help entrance the reader with the action, emotions, and urgency. The story itself was also well told and kept me enthralled until the last panel. There was never too much filler space and the writer kept me wanting to turn the page. There wasn’t too much to confuse the reader, but definitely enough to satisfy me with my purchase. More or less the length and information provided in each segment was as close to perfect as I could ask for.
Despite all of it’s greatness there were, well, two speed-bumps along the way. The first one was found in the first two panels. Granted, the team was giving us the setting and the fact that there was a date I became lost when I started reading left-to-right instead of top-to-bottom due to the random placement of speech bubbles. Although, it was minor, it was also in the first two panels. First impressions can be everything, and it did take me a little longer to get into the comic than anticipated. Also, while the story captured me I still find it slightly linear and predictable, and it is probably something that has been done before. Other than that I give it a 4 out of 5 stars.
I have a few more reviews I would like to get up this week, but I have made some additions to the crew so hopefully we will have some more reviews and possibly a little different content. Until next time, hope you enjoyed.