The Flash #1
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Francis Manapul
Colorist: Brian Buccellato
Letterer: Nick J Napolitano
Released: April 14, 2010
One thing to get out of the way: Buy Flash #1. If only for the art, every comics fan should buy this issue. This is a feast for the eyes, and if you want to see some of the finest art being produced today, you have no excuse. I don’t care if you’ve never read The Flash before (I haven’t), and I don’t care if you’re a Marvel fan and not a DC kind of person. This is a comic for people who love superhero adventure, plain and simple. With that out of the way, we move onto the rest of the review.
Geoff Johns has a long history with The Flash. His run on the book was a big reason why he became a super-star writer and one of DC’s big creative executives these days, so it’s no surprise that he is leading the character back into the limelight. The last few years have been rough on the character, with one Flash being saddled with a couple of kids, one Flash being brutally killed, and yet a third Flash spending a year in creative limbo as we waited for the story of his resurrection to be told.
After the events of Flash: Rebirth, Barry Allen has returned to Central City to pick up the pieces of his life, including reuniting with his wife, getting back his job as a forensic scientist, and taking on his old rogues gallery. The Rogues are also looking forward to picking up the game they play with Barry, but Barry will have to deal with another problem before he can get to them. At this point, I don’t really have to compliment Geoff Johns on his writing. He understands these characters, and he writes a script that moves the story well, and introduces us to everything a reader would need to know. I never read many stories with Barry Allen, I’ve never really read that many Flash stories, but Johns does what is needed to get me to care about the characters.
There is no other reason to buy this beyond the art by Francis Manapul. The dialog could be absolute crap, the story could be full of plot holes, and the characters could be as annoying as two fanboys arguing over whether Barry Allen or Wally West is the superior Flash, and I would still recommend this (fortunately, none of those things are true about this issue). I first saw Manapul during his run on Legion of Superheroes, and followed him onto his brief run on Adventure Comics, and each new title shows his work improving. Manapul gives the Flash the kind of kinetic energy that is needed. As with Adventure Comics, colorist Brian Buccellato is just as important to the art as Manupul is. The colors add another element to the art and make it bright and makes the images jump off the page.
If I had to give this book a negative mark, I would have to say that there are an awfully large amount of 1 and 2 page spreads. They’re in there for a reason; to control the pacing of the story, which is never more important than in a Flash book where pacing is everything, but they became a bit redundant after a certain point. That’s just a nitpick, as this is an amazing first issue, and is an issue that needs to be read. I’m giving this one a 5 out of 5, and if I haven’t convinced you to pick it up yet, nothing will.