Sunday, 4 July 2010

The Flash #3 review

I'm not at all keen on Francis Manapul's cover image, which is irrelevant to the issue, murkily executed and saddled with rubbish copy.

Inside, things are somewhat happier, as the Reverse-Rogues from the future return to arrest Barry Allen for a crime he hasn't yet committed and Captain Boomerang finds that his bounce back from death has given him the ability to manifest killer 'rangs. When not being attacked, Barry is mulling over a murder conviction and being yelled at by his boss. And the future cops hint that Iris will be breaking a few laws before long.

She's already breaking the laws of credulity by looking about 20 years younger than she should. This issue Iris even jokingly brags about her loveliness; I wish writer Geoff Johns would give us a sentence or two at least acknowledging that Iris has seriously de-aged since the Wally and Bart Flash books. As this comic seems determined to tell convoluted time travel tales, he may as well acknowledge Iris's crazy past/future rather than leave longer-term readers wondering if she's been nicking the bodies of younger gels again..

Points, though, for giving the Barry/Iris relationship a few pages this issue, showing that they love and rely on one another. And I appreciated that without being overly cocky, Barry wasn't perturbed by the 5-1 odds against him. The issue ends on a fun note before an entertaining, two-page surprise look at Captain Boomerang's MO via Flash Facts, by Johns and Scott Kolins.

Oh, and there's a wee gag for those of us who endured the Flash's seemingly never-ending trial (actually, ten issues, which would count as a short these days) for killing Professor Zoom back in the Eighties.

Manapul's art on the main story continues to give the book a speed-charged atmosphere, as Flash roars around a buzzing Central City, the crime lab throbs with activity and Jitters coffee shop judders nervously. Brian Buccellato's colours remain, for the most part, attractive - the green-dominated opening scene at Iron Heights jail looks particularly good - but I'd be happy to see the hot colours that dominate the fight scenes toned down a tad; my eyes are a-hurtin'.

Still, this is my favourite issue of the returned book yet, as Barry settles back into the world and tries to make it better. He could do with being a little less passive at work, but it's early days.

7 comments:

  1. Cary Bates was the writer of the original "Trial of the Flash" storyline during the 80's. One of his few regrets was that he had wished he had written that trial story more realistic to how an actual trial would unfold.

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  2. My memory of the lettercol responses (or maybe it was fanzine articles such as the Amazing Heroes preview issues) says that was the point of the length of the tale, so it's surprising Cary should say that now. Mind, I'm shocked at claims that the Flash editorial office was told to go into a pre-Crisis holding pattern for the final year of the book.

    Thanks for the feedback!

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  3. I agree what you have to say about Iris. She shouldn't look like she is in her early 20s.

    Otherwise, so far so good. Nothing spectacular ... but good enough to keep buying.

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  4. I had a feeling that panel was a potshot at something! I just couldn't be sure if it was a generalization or an attack on something specific...

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  5. I may, of course, be reading too much into it!

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  6. Er ... Iris nicked the bodies of young girls? Not that it doesn't sound like a fascinating plot development, but is this something that's come up recently, or we back in Cary Bates-land, where I think I can recall such a thing happening.

    Iris West, an Elizabeth Bathory for the 21st century? That'd be in keeping with the new grim and vexing DC.

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  7. Well, it was more her parents - after Professor Zoom killed her they put her consciousness in the body of a recently dead young lady.

    When she wasn't being a gender-confused lawyer ...

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