The New 52: Review – The Flash #1

DC finishes the “New 52” relaunch of their titles this week and we have had some amazing books come out. Aquaman addresses his criticism first hand and Superman says goodbye to the old world in a touching soliloquy. But what of the hero who is sort of to blame for the whole changed timeline in DC? How does the Flash fair with his new title? Written by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato, with art by Manapul, The Flash #1 kicks off like most of the other titles, rebooted from the beginning.

Cover of Flash #1

We start with Barry Allen, a forensic scientist, at a science museum with Patty Spivot. They’re colleagues and happen to be on their first date. Barry meets Dr. Darwin Elias, and the two converse about traffic. A gang of criminals suddenly break in and rob the museum. Allen channels the power of the speed force, becoming The Flash, and quickly(zing) dispatches the thugs. Chasing them up a helicopter, he grabs one but they both fall. Of course, if you can vibrate to the point of nonexistence, gravity isn’t a worry, but the criminal doesn’t fair quite as well. Flash tosses him into a building and recovers the portable genome re-coder, but later learns the fall killed the criminal. He learns the identity of the victim who happened to be one of his old friends from school. Wrecked with grief, he investigates the accident to ensure he wasn’t the cause for the untimely death. Meanwhile a reporter, Iris West, hounds Allen for an exclusive on the story. West is under heavy pressure from his boss to solve the case, because it would be a PR nightmare if Flash turned out to be a murderer.

He blows everyone off while investigating the incident. Trying to figure out why his friend was there and what may have happened to him. He gets a late night visitor, a familiar face that haunts him, and without warning the two are being chased down by unknown assailants. Allen again channels the speed force but is soon caught in an ambush that defies explanation.

This issue was a lot of fun and really showed the human side of the Flash. I admit I have not read a lot of Flash comics, Flash #1 Panelusually only in the Justice League stories, but I’ve always liked the character. This book really touches on his compassionate side, and it shows how much he puts himself into his heroics. The writing is top notch. The story flows nicely and never slows down. The artwork is equally as impressive. I have been happy for the most part with the artwork in the New 52 titles and this one is definitely high on the list. The colors leap off the page and the speed force looks great. They way the sense of speed is portrayed is pretty cool.

So far the New 52 relaunch has delivered some solid titles,but there are a few questions that rise as well. Wally West is absent from the new universe, which could be upsetting to some fans, as Wally was quite popular. Maybe future issues will introduce him. Also I would think that they would have Allen mention something regarding Flashpoint, considering he still had knowledge of everything that transpired after the timeline was changed. Of all the heroes, I figured Flash would have more of an intricate plot dealing with the timeline and time travel but i was still pleased with the title. A definite buy for fans of Flash, and a great starting point for new readers as well.

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