The Flash #2

Think Fast

Written by Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul

Art by Francis Manapul

Review by Bobby Shortle

The Flash #1 disappointed me on many levels. The storytelling was old fashioned, the execution was clunky and the character of Barry Allen (sans red tights) was a bore. The issue’s lack of an origin story resulted in a rough opening and an absence of any sense of discovery. The final pages of the issue found some footing but as I flipped open #2 I was still very worried that my favorite DC character would again end up on my junk pile. So, it gives me great joy to report that Flash #2 has done a complete 180 degree turn and now sits as my book of the week,

Every complaint I had with the Scarlet Speedster’s first engagement have been addressed here. Writers Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul have taken Mr. Allen from uninteresting choir boy to agile minded justice seeker simply by integrating Barry’s detective skills into the Flash’s exploits. Integrating the hero and the man into one character portrait seems like a no brainer to me yet it is something few books I’ve read in the new 52 do (Scott Snyder’s Batman seems the only other example). It’s a story device that not only allows the main character to grow but it also saves valuable page real-estate. Which is good because this book is stuffed to its eyeballs with content. The creators seem to have taken The Flash’s ability to be in many places at once and implemented it as a design ethos for their book. I have read plenty of comics where I feel like I’m really watching The Flash in motion but never before have I read one that makes me feel like I am him.

This is due cheifly to Francis Manapul’s art. The panels in the book can barely contain the superb work being done. I mentioned before about feeling like I was The Flash while reading and this is due in small part to the arrangement and sheer amount of panels that appear on many of the pages. The word “wow” audibly escaped my lips on several occasions and there were times that I felt like I was looking at a painting hanging in a museum and not a monthly comic on my iPad. But being that this a book about the fastest man alive I would expect there to be a good sense of speed. I’m much more impressed by the ability for me to see a subtle flirtatious smile on Iris West’s face or a a muffled look of shock in Barry’s eyes. Subtly is an underused part of comic art but Mr. Manapul has it in spades here.

VERDICT

Buy It – The art here is worth the price of admission alone but the story is also well crafted and interesting. I love that there is emphasis on the fact that The Flash is not only fast but a great detective.


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