Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Flash #16

Of all the "New 52" books I've read, this one has to be the most frustrating.

That's because The Flash keeps coming so close to being a good comic book - but it's still not there.

The art is terrific. Francis Manapul (who also co-writes) has given the book an original, fresh look that's visually one of the most interesting comics in DC's lineup.

His layouts are clever and original, his character designs are excellent, and his incorporation of graphics and design elements have given us some stunning visuals.

But the story just plods along endlessly, and The Flash never seems to actually accomplish anything.

Last issue, he used the mysterious Speed Force (which is what gives him super-speed) to "accelerate" his mind, allowing him to look at the possible outcomes of his forthcoming battle with Gorilla Grodd, who has attacked the city with an army of powerful and intelligent apes.

Unfortunately, his look into the future shows no way to succeed, so he takes a different tact. And just when this issue seemed to be getting somewhere - we hit that final page and its not-so-surprising outcome.

Look, we're 16 issues into this title and I've read every one of them - but I barely remember anything that happened.

This is a title that begs to get back to basics: Barry Allen as a Police Scientist, Flash as a hero who uses his intelligence and his powers to save the day. Clear up the (non-existent) love triangle - or at least bring it into focus. Flesh out the supporting characters, and give them a reason for hanging around.

That would at least be a good start. What we're getting now is great art - and a bad start.

Grade: B-


No comments: