Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Flash #3

The ideal comic is, of course, one that features a great story illustrated by great art.

Some books have neither, and some have either strong story or art - but not both.

The Flash is a case in point.

Artist Francis Manapul is doing some great artwork on this title, with creative depictions of the Flash's super-speed, clever and artfully executed panel layouts, some nice artistic small touches (with little icons and emblems scattered through the art), Eisneresque uses of background features to build story titles, and lots of other clever bits of business.

But as much as I like the art, I just can't work up much enthusiasm about the story by Manapul and Brian Buccellato. We're getting some glimpses into Barry Allen's personal and work life - but not much more than glimpses so far, though he's apparently not married to Iris West anymore (the "New 52" played hob with weddings).

The story, as best as I can tell, focuses on an old friend of Barry's who has somehow been cloned - and his army of duplicates are tracking him down for mysterious reasons.

It's not a bad challenge for the Flash to face - but it's not exactly a memorable opponent, either.

There are sparks of clever ideas scatttered among the excellent artwork, but so far, this title has been a disappointment.

If all you care about is the art, this is the comic for you. But the story's not holding up its end of the deal.

Grade: B


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