The Flash #1
By Joshua Williamson, Carmine Di Giandomenico, Ivan Plascencia, and Steve Wands.
Flash #1 feels like we are getting back to what has made DC Comics so great once upon a time. We get some great classic storytelling and we are also reminded that at the center of every great crossover event (Flashpoint, and Crisis on Infinite Earths) is a terrific Flash tale to tie it together. The story starts out definitely teasing some story connections to a few things we learned in DC Universe Rebirth, but it also feels independent and strong as a story without the event tie-in.
The book focuses mainly on Barry Allen, his origin story of what made him The Flash and the daily struggles he goes through as he balances saving lives through Forensic Science or with the Speed Force. Williamson does a beautiful job to deliver a story that feels new and fresh, while paying respect to the basic story of Barry Allen and the origins of The Flash. Even for someone who is super fast, they cannot always be where they need to be every time. Sometimes even The Flash isn’t fast enough. The best line in the entire book is “Every crime scene means I was already too late.” This perfectly captures the constant feeling Barry Allen faces in his daily life; he is always chasing something and can never get ahead.
Williamson also does a great job of helping the readers to acknowledge and understand how ‘back from the dead’ Wally West and ‘New 52’ Wally West are going to co-exist in the same universe. After the introduction we get to ‘New 52’ sassy, and smart Wally, we are left wanting more. The cover may show West dressed as Kid Flash, but don’t get your hopes up, we only get to see one speedster in this issue. It is just a hopeful taste of things to come.
The art in this book is so sleek and stylized that it is totally befitting of The Flash. Di Giandomenico is on art with Plascencia on colors, and Wands on letters in The Flash #1. The layout of the book is great, and lends itself to showing movement constantly. The entire art from the character design to the dialogue all give the illusion of movement throughout the entire book. Plascencia does a tremendous job here on colors, just absolutely killing the stylized look with the strong use of primary colors, and the gradient style on the shots of The Flash running.
There is a constant play between warm and cools during the end of the book, in a special culmination action sequence. The last page we get is a full splash page that really leaves the readers desperate for that next issue and the art completely nails it. The warm and cool color play is great with a great facial close up that gets everyone excited for what we know is next.
With the overwhelming amount of new releases in DC’s Rebirth, it is hard to have a title stand out amongst a sea of new title releases under this umbrella. The Flash #1 accomplishes setting itself apart from other Rebirth titles with its subtle hints at unlocking the secrets left over from DC Universe Rebirth while also telling a great story with fantastic stylized upbeat art. This book will certainly be an important read each month if you are invested in the DC relaunch and is a must-have on everyone’s pull list.