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COMIC REVIEW: The Flash (Issue #1)

Posted on September 29, 2011

Writer: Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato

Art: Francis Manapul

Publisher: DC Comics

Release Date: September 28, 2011

Known as "the fastest man alive," The Flash is one of the most widely-known comic book characters out there. I know a lot of people who love the guy to death, but for some reason, I can't find myself to warm up to him. I never took the time to read the books only because "being fast" wasn't enough to tickle my fancy. I mean, unless he fights someone who's faster than him, then there isn't any conflict, cause he can just dodge anything and hit anyone without being seen. But in the case of the DC's New 52 reboot, he doesn't just run all day.

Just as all the other relaunches, this title doesn't really delve into our heroes backstory in depth, but subtly weaves it into the story (in this case, a really short paragraph in the comic's splash page). We are introduced to Barry Allen and Patty Spivot, who are attending this fundrasier thing (it's unclear what it is exactly). Then, out of no where, the place gets attacked, and Barry Allen turns into The Flash to save the day. He chases the bad guys down, and in the process accidentally kills one of the thugs.

As a hero and being responsible for someone's death, that would definitely take a toll on anyone (for example, look at Spider-Man). These turn of events could've been building blocks to a pretty interesting story, but instead, it went elsewhere. By the time I reached the last few pages, my interest in the narrative kind of diminished.

As much as I loved how this book looked (Manapul's artwork looks fantastic), the writing in this just wasn't up to par. I was kind of expecting some kind of cool action set-pieces to show-off some of Flash's power, but instead I got a lot of subplots trying to weave into one larger story. It just seemed like a lot of material to take in for one issue, and unfortunately, none of it seemed interesting to me. The book just had too much going on.

But as I said, while Manapul's writing wasn't too good, his artwork was great. There weren't too many dark lines throughout the book, making it seem like all the panels were just penciled and colored in. Overall, I thought the art direction was fantastic.

Still, that wasn't enough to make me enjoy this book. While I admire the art, the writing could have used a lot more "umph." Will I be reading the next issue? Sure, I'll give this another shot. The Flash is one of DC's most beloved characters, so I'm sure the publishers are doing their best to give us a good Flash series.

6.7 out of 10
Review by: Richard Fagel

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