Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL & BRIAN BUCCELLATO
Penciled & Inked by FRANCIS MANAPUL
Colored by BRIAN BUCCELLATO
Lettered by WES ABBOTT
Cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
Variant cover by MIKE CHOI
B&W Variant cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
Edited by DARREN SHAN & BRIAN CUNNINGHAM
If you were worried about how effective the de-aging process for the new 52′s villains was going to be, fear no more! Not only do they look even younger and more energetic, but they have also developed a keen sense of style! Captain Cold starts off this year this year’s line of villainous costuming with his sleeveless hoodie jacket with just the right amount of blue and white for that frigid feeling. (Sometimes I wonder if the artists actually design the costume changes, or if their hands are forced.)
While my poking fun of Captain Cold’s costume is a bit obvious, it doesn’t truly distract me from the overall story. Geoff Johns is certainly putting in some quality work on his titles, (with exception of Green Lantern) and it’s showing.
Barry still feels like the same old Barry prior to the reboot, but some new and interesting elements have been added in order to make this Flash revamping feel worth the cover price. There’s a lot going on with the technological side of things, as well as tweaking Barry’s speedster abilities – almost making it a burden to bear.
Barry can’t simply run around from crime scene to crime scene without paying attention to the powers levels his speed radiates. Luckily, his handy dandy energy output gauges, in the form of the lighting ear pieces, let him know when he needs to take a trip to the newly refurbished Cosmic Treadmill. Which, in turn, soaks out the dangerous speed levels from the Flash, to hopefully one day, I can only assume, be used as an alternative energy source for the local community.
There’s a brief, yet lovely romantic interlude involving Barry and newly inducted girlfriend, Patty Spivot. I had already assumed they were an item. However, based on Patty’s reaction to Barry’s declaration on the public bus, that relationship is obviously just getting started. There’s a clear pathway being paved here though; Patty doesn’t support the Flash’s vigilantism while Iris believes in what the speedster stands for. Me thinks this could change the future of Barry’s love life, wouldn’t you agree?
While I don’t love Cold’s costume change, the more naturalistic form of Cold’s power is much more appealing than simply wielding an arsenal of freeze guns. (Leave those kinds of villains for Bats to handle I say!) Making it where we sympathize with the Captain is much more appealing too. Before he seemed like some punk middle age man, now he feels more like a man, down on his luck, mad at the world. Even with the costume, this is a Captain Cold I can enjoy reading about.
Give it up for Manapul and Buccellato on the art as well. Just like Tony Daniel, the two are able to balance everything out creating the story and the art without any trouble! The best part of it all is how well both visualize the sheer power in the Flash’s speed; everything from just straight running, duck and diving, to his powerful tornado maneuver. Plus, the paneling on every page is creative and superb.
Off to a good start, this series progressively gets better with every issue. Manapul and Buccellato are not only telling a story of a classic DC hero, but reimagining the entire mythos as a comprehensive and intelligent – giving us a story EXPLAINING what being apart of the Flash family actually means.
10 out of 10 stars