Cover by: Brett Booth & Norm Rapmund
Writer: Robert Venditti & Van Jensen
Artist: Brett Booth
Inker: Norm Rapmund
Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse
Reviewed by: Brett Israel
The Flash has always been one of those characters I’ve loved in design and concept, but never really read much of their stories. By the time I jumped into monthlies, Johns’ run was over, Wally’s title was also over, and Barry just came back in Final Crisis (my favorite event ever). While I enjoyed the little Johns did after final crisis and Blackest Night, there wasn’t much, and a lot of it seemed like a Flashpoint build, looking back now. I wasn’t wild about the story in the New 52 flash when it initially launched, so I’ve stayed away, until, like Superman Wonder Woman, Darwyn Cooke’s cover drew me in last month. I thought the story was intriguing enough, so I picked up this months issue.
There seems to be a lot going on in this issue, and I didn’t really follow much of it. With two stories going on, the Flash in the speed force and Barry working in the real world, it’s not hard to have more of a draw to one. However, the issue came in for me in that the story with Barry in the real world just seemed to drag on. I don’t really have any draw to Barry’s supporting cast. Iris is not there a huge amount, who I find to be the most compelling, and Barry’s love interest, Patty, seems interesting, but it’s a little rushed. The villain I first encountered in the last issue, the man riding a horse and buggy whose name isn’t mentioned here, is only seen in two pages in this issue. There is some interesting work with the Barry in the real world seeming a bit off, as if it’s not really him, but I didn’t pick up on that until he nearly killed a B-list villain, Napalm.
That aside, the story with The Flash in the speed force is a lot of fun, very 1970’s style. The background story on William Selkirk, a displaced researcher, and really interesting work with the history of the speed force, has me really excited for this story. This is what I wanted with my Flash comic. An almost happy go lucky adventure, which can only be helped when he gets the added drama of his supporting cast in the real, non speed force world. Maybe when the two worlds meet (which I assume will happen eventually), we will get that book.
Brett Booth is famously pretty polarizing as an artist. His work on Justice League of America and Teen Titans, I thought, was pretty solid, as well as his last issue I read. While I can see the similarities in character designs, as well as people looking a little streamlined, I can usually look beyond that with his really interesting page layouts. In this issue, however, there were panels that looked a little unfinished. Some people in background got lost. When it’s not that main character, it doesn’t matter as much; but in this case, it was fairly major action. All that said, I think the jagged layout style he has is perfect for this book. It give The Flash a fun, electrified-type feel.
All in all, the issue wasn’t my favorite, but by no means was it horrible. This is probably just a filler issue for the story, so it’s definitely worth another look next month.
3 masters out of 5 mirrors