Monday, October 3, 2011

The Flash #1

As a big fan of The Flash (especially the Barry Allen version), I've been enjoying the focus DC has placed on the character - but I approach the "New 52" version tentatively - what changes might be in store?

It's apparently a "clean" reboot, starting near the beginning of his super-career - the story picks up with Barry already powered up - and while some changes seem cosmetic (some tweaks to his costume, for example), some are more significant. Barry is no longer married to Iris West, and is apparently dating a co-worker named Patty.

Iris does appear as a reporter who has some connection to "police scientist" Barry - he's a source of information to her about police investigations, which seems somewhat shady for both as professionals.

The comic is written and drawn by Francis Manapul, with co-writing credits going to colorist Brian Buccellato, and so far, it's a fair start.

The art is tremendous - I really like Manapul's breezy, fresh style, and he uses some creative page layouts to emphasize the Flash's speed and power. The coloring, however, seems a bit washed out and muted for a high-speed adventure.

The story... well, it's still a bit early to sort out. It sets up the characters well enough, and we get a good action sequence to kick it off (though I'll never understand how even an army of bad guys can successfully run away from The Flash), and we get a snippet of a personal backstory for Barry and a long-time friend, plus a good mystery on the final page - but it'll be a few more issues before we can tell if the story works or falls flat.

I think they were smart to avoid the usual Rogue's Gallery - they've been a bit overused of late.

So, this series is off to a fair start - one of the better of the "New 52" - but the creative team still has a ways to go to prove itself.

Grade: B+


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