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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
I know. I know. I’m behind on my Flash reviews. I try to post one every Wednesday or Thursday as I attempt to play catch up with to the latest issue. Life has been extremely hectic this past week, but you are in luck. I plan to post two reviews this week to make up for my lateness! Hey, if anything, being late makes me just like Barry Allen. Now, without further ado…
This is probably the first issue of The Flash where I actively noticed that I had to read the art in order to get everything that is going on in the story. It is part of the genius which Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato bring to this book. Modern comics are often criticized for being too quick to read through while having a high price tag. M&B’s style causes the reader to go back through their book multiple times to pick up everything that is going on. For example, in previous issues, we’ve been teased with quick glimpses of Flash’s enemy Captain Cold and his breakout of Iron Heights prison. While this issue doesn’t deal with Cold at all, the art shows us just how he escaped:
Did you see it? Look at the ice forming the titles. His footprints are there! Cold froze the water in order to walk to land. Brilliant!
As for the rest of this issue…it’s okay. Nothing much too really write home about. The Mob Rule story arc concludes in probably the best way possible. In some ways, it is a bit too much paint by numbers. And, of course, we have our villain defeated, but ready to regroup.
This part, I didn’t quite understand. Manuel was very much against what his clones were doing, and he was more-or-less forced into helping them. By the end of this issue, Manuel directly opposes the Flash and begins to rebuild his clones (in a wonderfully creepy sequence). Why does he do any of this? It seems opposite what has been established about this character.
We also learn that through the use of wacky science and time travel, the EMP blast (from issue 3) looks as if Flash and Dr. Elias caused it. Personally, that just seems a bit too convenient. I’m sure it’ll pay off down the road, but it just seems a bit forced.
So, this wraps up The Flash’s first story arc. I don’t think it needed five issues to tell, and, while I enjoyed it, I don’t think it does a fair enough job as an introductory tale. Considering M&B claim they have two years planned out, perhaps this will look better in retrospect causing a re-reading to be a much more solid experience. If the art is any indication, I know M&B are good at second looks!
Next: “Captain Cold Strikes!”