Overview

The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #9

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The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #9

Credits

  • Words: Marc Guggenheim
  • Art: Andy Kuhn & Ron Adrian
  • Inks: Art Thibert
  • Colors: Richard & Tamara Horie
  • Story Title: Full Throttle
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Feb 28, 2007

A stunning chapter begins for the life of the Flash, as Bart moves to Los Angeles and joins the LAPD Police Academy as a student.

For months now fans have been chomping at the bit for changes to be made to DC’s favorite speedster. Well, it looks like the brass at DC have heard the pleas from fans and responded by bringing in new series writer Marc Guggenheim to helm the series for the foreseeable future. Marc of course has gone on to say that he is delighted with the appointment and he promised fans to treat this issue like it was a first issue.

The story then opens with Bart mulling an offer over to rejoin the Teen Titans, while juggling school at the LAPD Police Academy and continuing to date Valerie. With all this on his plate you would think Bart would have his hands full, but he even manages to find the time to stop a leftover villain from Lex Luthor’s everyman fiasco. It sure looks like this young hero can handle himself as good as Wally did, but when an angry Steppenwolf (from the New Gods) shows up, Bart’s about to be put to the test.

Now as far as first issues go, Marc’s debut here worked perfectly well from start to finish. I liked the fact that time was taken out to ground the character more and place him into surroundings that will allow for a plethora of stories to tell around him. It makes sense that Bart would want to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps, and even starting fresh in a new city seems to be appropriate as well. Most of the dialogue here was crisp and effective and it was a smart choice to narrate the story in first person. If I had one minor complaint though, I thought Bart’s tussle with Steppenwolf ended a little too conveniently thanks to a timely assist from the Justice League. Much of this was probably due to plotting, but their appearance here felt a little contrived to me.

The trio of artists: Andy Kuhn on layouts, Ron Adrian on Finishes and Art Thibert on inking worked in tandem to bring about a cohesive looking book from start to finish. You can tell though that this is a book being done as work by committee much like the way a troubled screenplay will have several writers attached to it when the script is struggling to find definition. Well, I think the same can be said here, and don’t expect this book to settle down artistically until Tony Daniel joins this series with issue eleven. Until then you just have to grin and bear the final product.

Ultimately though, this book is now in a transitional phase as writer Guggenheim must find his footing quickly here. It’s safe to say that he is off to a good enough start and his solid reputation as a quality storyteller is truly needed to bring this book back to the credibility it once had when Wally West starred in this series. Eventually the fans clamoring for Wally’s return will die down once Guggenheim proves his appointment here to the title was the proper choice. In the meantime, enjoy a good read with this one.

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