Story By: Francis Manupal and Brian Buccelato
Art By: Francis Manupal
Review Score: 8.5/10
Francis Manupal and Brian Buccelato’s Flash series has been a really enjoyable and inventive retelling of the character thus far and this issue keeps this trend racing in the right direction. Barry’s friend Manuel has been taken away by Mob Rule , Central City is in complete Chaos after an EMP pulse created a blackout and Iris is all alone in Iron Heights prison with the inmates on the loose.
That is a lot of story to try and wrap up in a single issue but Manupal and Buccelato manage to do it and in in genius fashion. The first thing I have to mention is how beautiful Francis Manupal’s art is in this issue. He has been experimenting here and there with ink washes and this issue is no different. He uses Dark blues and whites to convey Central City during the Blackout scenes and goes back to his bold and bright colorful style when we follow Barry as he tries to help all of his friends.
Francis Manupal’s version of The Flash may be my favorite Ive seen . The opening title page is beautiful showing Barry running across the ocean with two barges following closely behind in his Slip Stream as the Ice in the ocean breaks around them and forms the title sequence . He constantly is drawing Barry in motion using his new costume and the electricity it creates as a character of its own. Flash finally has his version of Batman’s cape for artists to interpret . Art is clean and he still manages to give each character there own unique look . I cant wait to see his redesign of Captain Cold next issue.
I’ll come right out and say that this is a big concept book . Things that happened in the first two issues finally pay off here and we learn the consequences of Barry using the Speed Force on the fly ( I wont spoil it for you but it creates a great amount of potential for the future ).
I also enjoy the theme of friendship and family in this issue and how every one of the main characters view one another. Barry is willing to sacrifice himself for his friend Manuel even though he already has shown he is more interested in saving himself. Then we get to see Patty valuing Barry in a way he has yet to show her. It creates a nice narrative towards the end of the issue and makes these characters seem real .
The end of the issue Manupal and Buccelato drop a bombshell explaining how The Flash’s Speed Force powers are effecting the world around him which again creates an amazing amount of story possibilities down the road. The Flash has become a very solid and fun Sci Fi superhero book giving Barry Allen a fresh and new take on his life and powers as the Flash. Kudos to Francis Manupal and Brian Buccelato for taking the character in a new and exciting direction.
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