While the new creative team for “The Flash” has yet to be announced (Brian Buccellato still has a few scripts to go, but he and Francis Manapul’s collaboration is headed over to “Detective Comics” later this year), the comic itself is still plugging away. This month has Christos Gage and Neil Googe step on board for one issue, and that’s a shame — not because they’re here, but rather because they’re not staying.
Gage’s script is to the point and fun. It addresses both the strengths and limitations of the Flash’s power; how just because he’s super-fast doesn’t mean that he can do everything with ease, but also how he can end up being inventive to try and get around those issues. Some ideas are a little more comic-book-science than others (like how the Flash is able to use ice crystals in a type of cloud to briefly run across the sky), but it’s still clever and fun, and honestly that’s the most important part.
In many ways, that’s why I wish that Gage and Googe were sticking around. “The Flash” had a lot of dark moments under Buccellato and Manapul, and I like this lighter, full-of-wonder approach. The Flash has a really cool and interesting power, and if explored properly it can be full of all sorts of moments where you should be thinking, “How the heck did he get away with that?” That’s what we get here. There are still some grim moments when you think about it — like the death that kicks off the Flash’s investigation — but I like that his attempt to go after Spitfire is more about plummeting to the ground to catch plague vials before impact, or trying to steer a crashing plane from down on the ground.
It doesn’t hurt of course that Googe’s art looks sharp. While he’s got that clean style that has (thankfully) become popular these days, there’s still a sharp edge to his inks. It creates a different look, one that has great hard edges on moments like the Flash’s costume swirling on, or the ice crystals dancing around the Flash’s feet. It’s a neat overall approach, and most importantly it handles the Flash’s super-speed in a way that feels fast. Googe is a good artist that we don’t see nearly enough of, and the idea of him and Gage sticking around is a great one.
Ultimately, we’ll have to wait a little longer to see who the new team on “The Flash” will be. But in the meantime, if Gage and Googe decide to work together on another comic, based on “The Flash” #26, I’ll definitely seek it out. This was a lot of fun.