‘The Flash’ #1 Hits The Ground Running [Review]
By Chris Sims
Of all the titles in the DC Reboot, the one that I’ve been the most curious about is Flash. It almost goes without saying that Francis Manapul is an incredible visual storyteller and I’ve definitely enjoyed his art from the past, but the transition to writing and drawing a book can be a tricky one. Since his new role on the book was announced, I’ve been wondering whether he could pull it off.
With this week’s release of Flash #1, we finally have the answer. Manapul doesn’t just make the transition, he does it by putting out one of the best titles in DC’s relaunch.
Despite my recent difficulties with the franchise, I love the Flash. For me, it’s the DC Universe book, and as I’ve said before, Mark Waid’s legendary run on the title was what drew me back in and made me love that entire universe of characters. Even beyond just the affection that I have, it’s one of those concepts that lends itself better to comic book storytelling than virtually any other medium. The way that comics work, with panels representing these moments that are simultaneously frozen in time and filled with action and movement gives them the ability to represent super-speed in a way that doesn’t work anywhere else. The best issues of Flash are the ones that show you things you can only see because you’re reading a comic, and a lot of the reason I love the medium so much comes from getting that experience from this title.
In short, it’s a book that I want to like, but also one that I hold to a pretty high standard. And if this issue’s any indication — and with all the hype surrounding the “New 52” and DC’s attempt to showcase the best they’ve got with these #1 issues, they’re definitely hoping it is — it’s a standard that Manapul meets.
It’s not much of a surprise that he does a good job here — it is, after all, his second shot at doing a comic called Flash#1 — and it’s even less surprising that the biggest strength of the comic comes from the visuals.
Right from the start, Manapul and colorist/co-writer Brian Buccellato pull off some amazing pages that introduce readers to the Flash and his powers. The double-page splash alone isn’t just gorgeous, it’s an incredible bit of storytelling. The panels that are converging on the flash of the bad guys doing their thing, the letters of his name forming smaller panels that show him using his powers to take out the bad guys, even the old-school Marvel style summary of who he is and what he does — it’s a beautiful introduction, and best of all, it’s fast. They hit you with the necessary information as quick as possible to get you on board with this adventure, which is exactly what this book ought to be doing.
Read more at ComicsAlliance.