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The Flash #1


Written by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato, art by Francis Manapul, colors by Brian Buccellato, letters by Sal Cipriano

Oct 13, 2011 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The Flash #1 may just feature the best art of any of DC’s New 52 comics. Francis Manapul’s kinetic art truly captures “the fastest man alive” in movement, tapping into the speed force in a way few artists have. And Brian Buccellato’s gorgeous colors manage to somehow be both vibrant and muted at the same time. Even the lettering by Sal Cipriano is impressive.

This team pulls off several wow moments in the first issue of The Flash. There’s page three, for example, where The Flash first puts on his costume via five page-wide horizontal panels. It’s always been a little hokey (but still somewhat cool) the way The Flash’s costume expands out of his ring, but here it’s finally presented in a way that makes sense, with the costume forming around Barry Allen as he runs at the reader, getting closer by the panel. Then there’s the double-page title page, in which some of the action is deftly presented in letter-shaped panels that spell out “Flash.” Or there’s the scene in which The Flash falls from an airplane, through the street, and into the sewer. It’s a splash page image separated into 11 panels, but the five panels not containing the main action are muted (almost black and white), the vibrant colors of the other panels bringing your eyes to The Flash’s predicament.

The Flash and Flashpoint were the catalyst for the New 52 universe and things have definitely rebooted for the Scarlett Speedster. Just as Superman/Clark Kent and Lois Lane are no longer together, Barry Allen isn’t dating/married to Iris West in the New 52. Iris is definitely around (she’s practically stalking Barry in the first issue), but Barry starts the issue on a date with fellow crime lab scientist Patty Spivot. Not sure what this reboot means for the existences in the New 52 of Jay Garrick and Wally West (the first and third FlashBarry is the second one). Neither is mentioned in this issue.

The story, written by Manapul and Buccellato, concerns a science robbery that involves an old friend of Barry’s. The story arc is clearly just getting started here, with The Flash #1 the art’s the thing. Prior to Barry Allen’s return, there was a bit of a dry spell in terms of truly compelling Flash issues. Let’s hope that this team stays on the book until long after the initial excitement of The New 52 has worn off. (

Author rating: 8/10

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