The Flash #1 review – almost on the fast track

The Flash first post Rebirth issue gets off to slow, but promising start

Writer Joshua Williamson kicks off his first big Flash arc with a mysterious force that may soon give The World’s Fastest Man Alive some competition. While there’s a few problems, there’s enough to suggest The Flash is going to be a Rebirth title worth sticking with over the long haul.

Barry Allen spent most of the issue moping about his inability to help everyone. Williamson interestingly raises the question of what The Flash does when he can’t be in two places at the same time. Often Flash’s powers are used somewhat as a cheat, but even moving at superspeed there should be some obstacles and limitations.

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That’s a great premise, but Barry being so down on himself felt out of character. Given the reverent reflections Wally West had of his Uncle Barry, who was never too busy to help out or do the little nice things like buying pizza for rescue victims, Williamson missed the mark somewhat. Williamson’s take on Barry was more of an obsessive character with an almost-Batman level obsession in preventing others from undergoing his childhood tragedy.

That’s not to suggest Barry has to run around smiling every panel like an idiot, but as one of the more hopeful and optimistic characters in the DC Universe, the mopey, self-deprecating shtick could quickly get old.

Williamson does work in some strong lines particularly in explaining why he’s not actively working on the case of the individuals responsible for stealing a decade of the DC heroes’ lives.

Barry having two nephews named Wally West seems like it’s going to be a logistical nightmare sooner than later. While the effort to keep the new 52 version around is appreciated, I doubt there’d be a massive outcry from the fanbase if he got a nickname to distinguish him better.

Out of all the Rebirth titles, Carmine Di Giandomenico’s art continues to be the biggest revelation. The colorist tends to be the forgotten member of the art team, but Ivan Plascencia’s work is mesmerizing and can’t be ignored. Considering the lightning effects and demands of conveying the speed and motion Plascencia’s contributions are a vital part of the equation.

Once Williamson gets a better handle on Barry this title is really going to get up to speed. This is a title that’s not quite there, but has a lot of promise. Until then, check it out for the gorgeous art.

Rating:7.5 out of 10

Images Credit: DC Comics

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