Flash (2011) #1

Flash (2011) #1 
  by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato

OK, Are We Flashing to Today, Yesterday, or Tomorrow?

I must say, I used to be a big Flash fan.  I loved the 90s TV show.  Loved him on the Justice League Unlimited cartoons, as well as the Justice League and Superfriends.  However, the Flash being the catalyst for this whole "new 52" thing kind of turned me off.  Also, Barry Allen being dead for about 20 years, didn't like that.  Loved Geoff Johns' Flash:  Rebirth.  And how could you not love Carmine Infantino and Co.'s work in the silver age.  So, I went into this with some trepidation.

Overall, the artwork was excellent.  The shading and colors were excellent.  The one thing I didn't like, and don't like across the board, is the "armoring" of every DC superhero.  Green Lantern is in armor.  Batman is in armor.  Even Superman, the Man of Steel, is in armor.  Now, we have the Flash in a suit of pseudo-armor that somehow shrinks into his ring.  It wouldn't be so bad if the seams were not lightning bolts.  Just a little too much cheese.  However, the shading of the costume along with the tones of the overall art are excellent.  However, could we have the Flash's outfit be a little brighter.  I mean, of all the DCU characters, the Flash and the Green Lantern need to be really vibrant in colors.  But, I must say, the muted red kind of reminded me, along with the 3D crest on his chest, of the 90s TV show.  So, I have mixed feelings on that.

The writing is pretty good, as well, also.  Finally, we get back to the characterizations of Barry Allen as a cop.  Granted, he is a forensic specialist, but he is still a police officer, with a detective mentality.  Good to see that in Barry Allen again.  We see the oft neglected role of trying to keep up appearances of a secret identity here, which is excellent, also.  Barry tries to slow down his real life so no one suspects he is the fastest man alive.  The cop mentality of taking every crime personally is also nice, as well.  Flash has become a bit too light in tone, at times.  Barry is a good guy's good guy, but the drive needs to be shown.  On one page, someone, talking of crimes and murders says to Flash, "These's as if they're personal to you..."  Flash's reply:  "They all are."  Classic.

There are some points of detraction.  We are not sure where in the Flash time we are. We are not at the beginning of the Flash's career, nor are we at the end.  Where are we vis a vis Flashpoint?  Also, I don't like the fact Barry is not with Iris.  Instead, he is flittering around with an assistant named Patty.  Please don't Pete and Mary Jane us with this....don't take, again, one of the classic comic romances and turn it into "just friends and colleagues."  That would be lame.  However, I must say overall that this title is among the ones to be read and kept up with.  Unlike the Super titles, who the character is and the supporting cast are not either totally recycled, carbon copied, or killed off to gain attention.  We see the hero, the guy having fun, and the scientist all in one. 

New Hope Patriot Missile Rating:
  3.5 out of 5 Shields
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