Except For The Costume, Not Much Has Changed…
In the tradition of the Tony Daniel’s one man writer/artist team up, Francis Manapul pulls out all the stops and does double duty with the script (accompanied by Mr. Buccellato) and art. I think there’s something to comic book freelance employees taking up both jobs, don’t you? Everything Daniel did on Batman before and after the reboot was top notch, now Manapul is proving to be just as capable.
Barry Allen was minding his own business, with fellow forensic scientist Patty Spivot, at a party celebrating the new innovations in technology Coast City has achieved, when suddenly, a gang of armored thugs drops from above through the glass ceiling, gassing the place. The Flash, being too fast for the smoky clouds, gets the jump on the majority of the invaders, with one bearing a remarkable resemblance to his old friend, Manuel, who died in the attack. Later, after being chased down by another group of unknown people, he finds himself in the midst of hundreds of men, all resembling…Manuel???
Of course nothing has really changed much for the DC speedster, with exception of Patty Spivot who takes over in the potential girlfriend spot, along with Barry and Iris’ marriage being erased from the history books. Both women, however seem to be the same strong women they were before the reboot, with Patty moving up in the world as a successful forensic scientist. That’s right you harsh critiques of Catwoman and Red Hood and the Outlaws! All you can do is complain about the two instances in DC’s barrage of #1’s where two women are sexually exploited and you don’t even recognize the number of women who look normal and hold a respectable position in the DCU without showing a lot of skin.
Manapul is my favorite comic book artist. As I stated in my review of All-Star Western #1, his “sketched out” style proves to be very rough and fresh, but clean and crisp at the same time. The actions scenes explode with color, and the slower, calmer scenes glimmer from the lights of the city’s after hours. Of course the visual highlight of this issue is the two paged spread on pages four and five, bursting out at us as it wishes it were a three dimensional comic book. I’m not sure what I think of the new costume design, but it seems to represent the style that every superhero is adopting; much more detailed with seams that don’t really serve any real hemming purpose.
For right now, time travel seems to be a thing of the past, although I’m sure it’ll come back at some point. For now, however, I’m certainly glad to see Barry have a much more low key adventure to partake in and not another “out-of-this-world” event that’s too complicated to comprehend. Although I wonder how much Barry remembers from the events of Flashpoint. Based on Flashpoint #5, Barry remembered enough to deliver a message to Bruce Wayne after the current DC Universe was born. Does he remember the old universe at all, or was that a moment that we are to assume dwindled away from his, and everyone else’s memories?
The Flash is off to a good start! Barry Allen has everything he needs with a mystery to boot. Iris will undoubtedly make the moves on Barry eventually, causing some interesting relationship turmoil to stir up, as well as other personal strife. Looking forward to more excitement in the world of the Flash!
9 out of 10 Stars