There is no arguing that The Flash is one of DC Comics best looking books, but is it all Flash and no substance?
From the first page, you can tell just how amazing Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato’s work is. I could look at this book all day. The use of form and color is breathtaking – Manapul’s pencils, they way he juxtaposes simple pastoral images with dynamic scenes… I even don’t mind the extra superfluous lines on Barry’s costume when he draws them. Manapul’s work has found a perfect partner in Buccelato’s coloring. Together they create a natural looking world, punctuated by the bright colors of super-speed and heroics.
Now if only the storytelling moved with the same grace and fluidity. This issue appears to attempt to resolve one of the many plot threads that have been going on, some from the very beginning. You’ve got Barry, still presumed dead, with Iris and her group trapped in the Speed Force. Barry is still trying to exonerate his father of the murder of his mother. Then there is Daniel West. Who is he? Why was he in jail? What is going to happen to him? Possible spoiler – A lot of folks are presuming he’s the New 52 Wally West. I see him more as the new 52 Rudy West for a few reasons. First, he identifies himself as Iris’ brother. Pre-Flashpoint, Wally was Iris’ nephew and his father was Rudy West who was a bit of a scumbag. He tried to blow up his wife, sided with the Manhunters during the Millennium crossover… You get the idea. Then there is all of the drama going on between Captain Cold and the Golden Glider, who happens to be Cold’s sister. Who will be leading the Rogues?
I like a dense story with lots going on, but there are more story elements going on here than a sweeps week episode of Desperate Housewives. With a character that moves near the speed of light, no problem should go on too long.
I am not saying this is not a good comic. It’s a fun read. If I didn’t care about what was going on, well then it probably wouldn’t be that great of a book. Manapul and Buccellato have me interested, but I just want some answers. Come on, Flash, hurry up!
The Flash #14
– on sale November 27
a $2.99 comic, 32 pgs
From DC Comics
Written by Francis Manapul, Brian Buccellato
Art by Francis Manapul
Cover by Francis Manapul, Brian Buccellato