You know, when I was reading the flash run prior to the reboot, one question did pop into my head once that made me wonder about the realism within the world of the fastest man on Earth…Is Flash’s brain able to keep up with the physical speed, or will a story arc come along to show how Barry’s mind is deteriorating from taping into the speed force? Now, at long last, Manapul brings us a plot to dive into this very concept…but I wonder how well it’s going to work in the long run?
It’s a little confusing to think that Barry’s mind wasn’t thinking fast enough to do the kinds of things he did here in issue #2. If he wasn’t able to think faster than he runs, how is his mind and body able to work together? It could be that Barry’s speed became more of an instinct, as we all have acted on instinct and/or without thinking at the snap of a finger at some point in our lives. Could it be that Barry’s speed became such a conditioned part of himself that his mind didn’t NEED to keep up with his body? It’s a farfetched concept, but that’s why comics are great! Who needs reality right?
The explanation by Dr. Elias was interesting and clever; and while I stand by my above statement about mind and body needing to be at one with each other in order to work, this whole notion that his brain has to think faster in order for him to BE faster is interesting. However, with such a great piece of plot setting, I felt a little jipped…how is it that all of the sudden, Barry figured out how to “think faster.” Just like that, without any prior personal training. Is there something about being on top of a building with a gorgeous city-view and the comfort of a gorgeous hot blonde with glasses standing next to you enough to get your brain going to hit the gas pedal? What exactly is your muse Barry? Couldn’t Manapul have stretched out the “learning process” for Barry in taping into the speed force, learning how to speed up his thinking process? I feel like something that could have been REALLY cool was ripped away from me.
Of course, where the story fails slightly, the artwork makes up for it, period! I have a feeling I’m going to be following this series more for Manapul’s art rather than his writing. The way Barry saw the world differently; the slower parts of what he saw in a gorgeous purple and white montage, and the faster parts of what he was seeing in the regular, full color awesomeness we’re used to. It was such a creative way to display the differences in Barry’s new found sight…even if it’s basis for existing doesn’t really make sense to me.
The bulk of the issue is the Flash running around town, saving every woman and child he can with his new found ability. We do learn a little more about his friend Manuel, but not a whole lot. But so far, I’m not too terribly impressed with the story. It’s all about the art for me at this point, and that’s definitely Manapul’s strong point.
6 out of 10