The first few issues of Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul’s Flash have come out, and I’m having a hard time coming up with a word to describe the series. While it sounds a bit weird, I have settled on “delightful.” I was looking at some synonyms of “delightful” and they included pleasant, enjoyable and charming – and all of those words describe the current Flash series, so I’m sticking with “delightful”!
First off, you can’t begin to describe the enjoyable nature of the Flash without mentioning Francis Manapul’s artwork. Manapul has always been an exceptionally dynamic artist – it was always just a question of whether he would combine that dynamic style with solid storytelling work, and boy, these last couple of years have shown that he has definitely achieved that right balance.
Check out this beautiful opening from the first issue of the Flash (click on the last spread to enlarge)…
There are about three examples of sequences like this in the first issue ALONE! Writer Geoff Johns really gives his artist scenes that perfectly match his sensibilities – the action sequences sparkle.
Meanwhile, Johns has set-up an interesting working dynamic for Barry Allen. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of his early work on the Wally West Flash where he spent some early time establishing the new supporting cast, then allowing the supporting cast to work more aggressively in relation to Wally in later issues (as we were already familiar with all of their personalities).
Johns’ best contributions to the series so far, though, has been the brilliant idea of introducing some clever Flash-related characters of the future. If the Reverse-Flash is the big bad guy of the future, then it only stands to reason that the good guys sent to combat the Reverse-Flash are…
Check out Manapul on the next page – very cool effect (perhaps colorist Brian Buccellato has something to do with that, too)…
I like that Johns makes this deeper than simply “guys from the future sent back to arrest Flash,” as he delves quickly into the morality of arresting someone for a crime that they have not yet committed. In addition, Johns sprinkles a little mystery into the air…
When you add in the fact that Captain Boomerang now has black energy boomerangs…
things just get even crazier!
Johns has created a nice interplay between action and character-work. There is a great bit where Barry is willing to put the whole “Flash accused of murder” mystery on the backburner because he is trying to solve an unrelated case where he thinks that the man arrested in innocent. That is how heroic Barry is – he’s more concerned about saving some guy who was wrongly convicted than he does in protecting himself. Of course, he thought he had more time to prepare for the Renegades – but he miscalculated the fact that cops from the future don’t follow on a standard schedule.
On top of everything ELSE, in last week’s #3, Johns even added two pages’ worth of Flash Facts, drawn by Scott Kolins, explaining 1. How Boomerangs work and 2. How Captain Boomergan’s new energy boomerangs work. Very cool!
This is a fun comic book series, and I think it is worthy of the term “delightful.”
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