Flash Annual #2
Written by Brian Buccellato (“The Quick and The Green”) and Nicole Duboc (“Details”)
Art by Sami Basri and Cully Hamner
Colors by Stellar Labs and Matthew Wilson
Review by Mike Duke
Everyone deserves a second chance, right? Even if they are, by all accounts, not real? I’d like to think so, and to that end, I’ve spent the last week giving The Flash a second chance. I’d only read a little Flash before the New 52 relaunch, but with Flashpoint and the new #1 on the horizon, I took a gamble and bought The Flash in those salad days of 2011 when everything was new and full of hope. I lasted about 12 issues.
No red-blooded, comic-loving citizen of the world is going to tell you that they don’t love what Francis Manupaul and Brian Buccellato were doing with the art on the book. Every dynamic splash page was a joy to behold. But, the stories left something in the dust. It was Gorilla Grodd that broke the camel’s back, in my mind. It was just too far for me to stretch.
Now that the Grodd arc is well and truly behind them, however, I’ve decided to give the book and these creators another chance. Fortunately, this second issue of The Flash Annual was there when I was ready to take the leap. The oversized issue contains two stories, “The Quick and The Green” and “Details.” The first features Hal Jordan, The Green Lantern himself, and the friendship between he and our hero, Barry Allen. We get to see their first meeting as they both try to solve a mystery that brings their respective worlds crashing together, and while it’s not the best Flash story I’ve ever read, I’ve certainly read worse. Buccellato has a good handle on Hal’s voice, and the situation this odd couple finds themselves in full of color, fun, and cool comicbook moments.
The second story is a pretty cut and dried “consequences of being a superhero” type story that we’ve seen before, specifically in annuals and anthology books the industry over. I appreciated the switch in art here, which features a heavier line and a different color palette, but the story fell a little flat. While it wasn’t terrible, it lacked the kind of introspection that I expected from this kind of tale.
Wait and See. If you are a Flash fan or are looking to give him a second chance, as I was, you could certainly do worse than this one-shot, oversized issue. The Green Lantern buddy-cop story was a good idea to provide an in for some readers who may not have given Barry Allen a chance since the relaunch. The Flash Annual certainly didn’t blow my socks off, but it didn’t fail to put a smile on my face.