Artist/Inker: Brett Booth / Norm Rapmund
Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse
Post Forever Evil, Barry Allen aka The Flash has survived to find his city in need of him. Being gone, Central City was defenseless and left in ruins. But Barry does not have time to waste as rebuilding and securing the city is a priority! Before he can put his life and the city together he must face the police department psychologist! A new direction and the debut of Robert Venditti, Van Jensen, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, and Andrew Dalhouse. Can this power team carry the momentum forward or will Barry be lost in time? Plus! the moment Flash fans have been waiting for: The first New 52 appearance of Wally West!
The Ups: The first step for the new creative team and it is a big one. First I want to mentioned that this issue is a perfect jump on point to those who haven’t read the Flash or want to come back. Venditti and Jensen quickly let their presence be known and show that they have an understanding of the character this issue. Barry struggles with wanting to do and save everything and that speaks volumes of the character. He, to me, has always been the character who has always wanted to do everything to protect Central City but he might have reached his burn out point. Venditti and Jensen do a great job driving this point to the readers through subtle hints and the character’s conversation with the psychologist. The psychologist was a clever plot device for new and old readers. She dives into the thought process and motivation of the character. This was one of my favorite aspect of the issue. Knowing more about why The Flash tries to do everything created a connection and empathy for the character. The psychologist also gets Barry to fill us in on some Forever Evil information that helps set this story up.This writing team is shaping up the beginning of an interesting story arc involving Flash, Future Flash, and Wally West. Speaking of Wally, we do get our first look at the character and he looks awesome and I definitely can’t wait for whats in store. Booth, Rapmund, and Dalhouse are a dynamic team. Booth’s and Rapmund’s pencils and layout are powerful. The Flash seems to be the focus of each panel even if he is just in the background and we also get Booth’s complementary butt shot. For me Dalhouse was the main attraction. He has brought bright and explosive colors to the Flash which is something I believe defines the character. The colors are a very important aspect to a Flash title and Dalhouse nailed it. The Downs: The issue suffers from what many first issues or jump on points can suffer from and that is the big set up. This issue sets up the rest of the arc and stories that Venditti and Jensen will tell. This makes the issue feel a bit heavy. There is also the fact that this story takes place after Forever Evil which has been delayed. If this issue came out around the end of Forever Evil then it would make a little more sense. It is not the writers’ fault but something the company should have considered. It is not major but it sure would help since fans have issue with the DC timeline. A small concern is how long will Booth and the art team stay on the book. Booth hasn’t been on a title for too long and I am sure fans would be disappointed if he goes any time soon.
Overall: The writing team hit the floor running and have me excited about the new direction. Venditti and Jensen might just be the right guys to take over the Flash after Manapul and Buccellato. The art is fantastic and explosive. Booth and Rapmund delivered a very kinetic issue but Dalhouse’s coloring really was superb. If you were wondering about The Flash, then don’t because this issue went above and beyond. A can’t miss issue!
Grade 4 of 5