Overview

The Flash #2

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The Flash #2

Credits

  • Words: Geoff Johns
  • Art: Francis Manapul
  • Inks: Joel Gomez
  • Colors: Brian Buccellato
  • Story Title: Case One: The Dastardly Death of the Rogues
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: May 12, 2010

Coming in the wake of Flash: Rebirth and Blackest Night Flash, the rumors of a new Flash series by Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul received mixed responses as fans debated the merits of the previous two series and argued vehemently about the character's legacy. 

Issue #1 put all those fears to rest and established a momentum that issue #2 picks up and pushes even further, leaving all doubt and questions aside.  The first installment not only reunited Johns with the Flash, but also with his artistic partner Manapul from their short time on Adventure Comics.  While Johns provides yet another well-written and engaging story, not enough good things can be said of the stellar artwork of Manapul delivers here.

Picking up with the arrival of the 25th century Reverse Flash Task Force, aka the Renegades, issue #2 pits these futuristic police officers against a puzzled Barry Allen, who they accuse of murdering the Mirror Monarch.  For future law enforcement, however, who base their appearance and weaponry upon the 20th century Rogues, these officers obviously have not done their research in assuming advanced Rogue weaponry could subdue the fastest man alive. 

Although their intention and relationship with the Reverse Flash remains a mystery, their effects on Allen's Central City is dire as their temporal displacement sends shockwaves throughout the area and forces the Flash to deal with the ensuing disaster.  Perhaps one of the most humorous and most elegantly drawn single sequences of late is Allen saving the citizens from a collapsing apartment complex.  Taking a page from a grandson (Impulse/Kid Flash) he seems yet to have met let alone spend any real time with, Allen utilizes his speed to educate himself in a rebuilding effort that humanizes the character in ways not seen in prior incarnations crafted by Johns. 

In these seven pages, Manapul establishes himself as one of the definitive Flash artists alongside Infantino, LaRocque, Wieringo, Van Sciver, and a few others as no dialogue is needed to convey the power and the emotion of Barry Allen.  Incorporating a look and style from the work of contemporary comic artist Agnes Garbowska for the child in this sequence, Manapul, along with colorist Brian Buccellato, recapture the beauty and innocence of their time on Adventure Comics while blending it with the sophistication and magnificence of their two-issue stint on Superman/Batman The Flash is a better comic because of these two artists.

Johns seems at home when writing this new Flash series in ways some fans may not have seen since his time on Teen Titans or Adventure Comics.  There's a certain atmosphere and mood in these two issues that truly illustrates his depth as a writer who can spin big-budget blockbuster events in Green Lantern or Infinite Crisis, yet pull it back drastically and showcase the humanity of his actors.  Coupled with mysterious 25th century enforcers, 20th century Rogues plotting revenge, and a caffeine-addicted spouse keeping him on his toes, Barry Allen still finds time to slow down in his civilian life and help those in need.  

This first story arc is proving to be one of the most entertaining comics currently available and should not be overlooked.

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