Zack & Nick's Culture Cast

Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!

Speed Reading! – The Flash #5

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!”


4 responses to “Speed Reading! – The Flash #5

  1. CultureCast-Z May 29, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    I am jealous of your Jay Garrick action figure and wish to procure one as well as an Alan Scott figure. Please inform me of how to do this.

    • Nick! May 29, 2012 at 9:23 pm

      My Jay figure is from Mattel. They previously created a line titled “DC Universe Classics”. The line had awesome articulation and very nice body sculpts. If you remember, the last time we were at Wizard World together (which, I believe, was the last time we saw each other), I picked up a Superman action figure. It came from the same line (well, more of a predecessor line, but the build and articulation was exactly the same).

      These figures were designed for general retail. In other words, you could find them at Wal-Marts, Toys R Us, Target, etc. Last year, Mattel announced they were completely revamping the line. Now called the “Signature Series”, the only way to get the figures would be to sign up for a year-long subscription. If you didn’t want to do that, you could still get the figures on their website (, but they cost a little more and are in limited quantities. They are still doing a retail line (called “All Stars”), but focus more on mainstream/popular characters (i.e. anyone that has a bat or a S on their chest).

      Okay, that was a very long story. Jay Garrick came from the online subscription. I don’t own a subscription, but I happened to be on the site the day the figure went on sale. Impulse buy, Unfortunately, it appears the Jay is sold out. I don’t know if they will get another shipment in, but you probably can find it on ebay (or future cons) at jacked up prices.

      Alan Scott, on the other hand, was released a year or so ago when the line was at retail. You might be able to find him still in stores (your mileage may vary). You will probably also be able to find him on ebay or at cons at fairly “reasonable” prices (again, your mileage may vary).

    • Nick! May 29, 2012 at 9:28 pm

      Also, from Action Figure Insider, this:

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