Wednesday, 13 April 2011

The Flash #10 review


The Flash and Kid Flash meet Hot Pursuit, who claims to be the Barry Allen of one of the 52 worlds. Unable to access the Speed Force directly, he steals speed via his super-cycle to zoom around his world, protecting it from temporal attacks. He tells Barry that 'the single greatest time anomaly to threaten reality is coming'. And because Flash's Earth is the keystone of the 52 worlds in the Multiverse, if it falls, his own - and the other 50 - will follow.

What he wants of Barry - apart from a massive slug of speed - is surprising, paving the way for a conversation with Bart that's been a long time coming.  And on a similar note, this issue features the return of Barry's old lab partner, Patty Spivot. I've always liked that gal - hey, she was the first female Flash! The rest of the story could have been rubbish and I'd still have closed this issue, smiling ...

... but it was far from rubbish. The Road to Flashpoint Part 2 is my favourite issue of the current run. We have the Flashpoint story beginning, good character work and more on the mysterious killer who's stealing time. Writer Geoff Johns restores the impatient quality that saw Bart initially take the superhero name Impulse, and moves the subplot of Barry's distancing himself from family members forward. The only thing I don't like about this story is the name Hot Pursuit, which is seriously naff; I guess, after seven decades of super-speedsters, all the good names have been taken. Here come Hot Pursuit, on his Cosmic Motorcycle. Oh dearie me.

This issue also features the best art yet from the already impressive team of illustrator Francis Manapul and colourist Brian Buccellato. The figures are sharp, the pages crackle with heat and light energy, and there's a brilliant use of colour to convey emotion in a key beat.

Manapul and Buccellato's cover is eye-catching, if a little after the fact. We found out who Hot Pursuit (snicker) was last issue. Then again, this book takes so long to appear - I see that #9 came out in early February - that readers may have forgotten. Hopefully, once the Flashpoint event proper begins, this comic will synch up with the rest of the DC line and appear regularly. A boy can dream.

11 comments:

  1. Patty!

    Patty Patty Patty!

    Patty Patty Patty!

    PATTY!

    (So: You ain't the only one, my friend.)

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  2. Let's just hope I'm imagining a certain subtext ... meanwhile, where's Enrichetta Negrini?

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  3. Let's just hope I'm imagining a certain subtext ... meanwhile, where's Enrichetta Negrini?

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  4. While Hot Pursuit isn't the greatest name (though I don't think it's as bad as you do, and very much like the idea that it's coming from police jargon, rather than more lightning or wind imagery like we usually get, or something out-of-nowhere like Savitar), I want to add two points that I like about the Cosmic Motorcycle.

    First, its name recalls the Cosmic Treadmill, so there's that extra bit of parallelism. Second, the alt-Wally helped him build it. That's a nice nod to the mechanical skills Wally's exhibited since he started working for the Keystone PD motor pool in issue 201.

    And yeah, that was a lovely colorist moment, wasn't it?

    But mostly: PATTY!

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  5. Dang it Rob, they're both great points. You're too good at this!

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  6. I don't think you're imagining that subtext. I think at the very least, Forrest thinks there is/was something between them. (And there would have been time for feelings to develop without compromising Barry's fidelity to Iris (or Fiona), considering Iris was dead for quite a while. But we were never shown anything of the sort, it's true.

    As for Enrichetta, I know her more by reputation than anything else. I never followed the Atom like I followed the Flash, so while I know she's been in a few stories I've read, I don't have that same nostalgia for her.

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  7. I think readers might have accepted a slow-burn Barry/Patty romance more easily than the 'she turns up, they're engaged' Fiona Webb thing.

    In my imaginary DC future Barry and Zee's almost romance took off, and there's a speedster running across the universe, speaking very quickly and changing things for the better ...

    I liked Enrichetta as I liked Patty - smart regular person, not identity prying.

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  8. I think you're selling the Barry/Fiona romance short... but just a little. She hated him at first, and then when he got to know her better (and proved he wasn't the assassin that *looked just like him*), she still didn't go out with him exclusively, and when she saw a tabloid story about Barry hanging out with Daphne Dean, she got engaged to Creed Phillips (say it with me... the EEEE-Radicator!).

    It was the time from the breaking of that engagement to her engagement to Barry that was whirlwind -- that was a matter of issues. But she originally showed up in issue 285, and they weren't engaged until issue 320 or so (though they set the date for almost immediately afterward). So we had about 3 years to get to know her before she went nutso and was put into the world's sexiest straightjacket (with short-shorts!).

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  9. In other words: MAN, do I love the Flash.

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  10. Not to be a naysayer, but you have to wonder that Patty got more screen time in one issue than Iris has gotten the entire series.

    Apparently, Geoff Johns started reading Flash after Iris "died," so his obsession with restoring the Flash to his childhood status quo doesn't include paying any attention to Barry's actual wife...

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  11. That's a brilliant point. It is weird, the lack of Iris. A new reader could easily read this book most months and not realise Barry has a wife.

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