Barry Allen has been back for about two years now, resurrected from the dead after he sacrificed his life to save the multiverse in 1985. His second life has been pretty rough; he lost his mother, went back in time to rescue her only to reboot the entire DC Universe (see Flashpoint). Now, in this universe, he NEVER married Iris West, his sidekick and protege Wally is missing, and superheroes are public enemy number one.

Good going Barry.

THE FLASH #12
Writer: Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
Artist: Francis Manapul
Letterer: Wes Abbott
Colorist: Brian Buccellato
Editor: Matt Idelson
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously in the Flash: Central City has turned against the Flash thanks to his former friend, Darwin Elias. Rather than resume his secret identity, Flash decided to leave Barry Allen dead to concentrate on being a superhero. For the past couple of issues, he has fought members of his classic Rogues gallery: Captain Cold, Weather Wizard, Gorilla Grodd. Most recently, he quelled a fight between Heatwave and Captain Cold at the “Rogues” bar. However, as the two Rogues were taken to jail, they were met by a mysterious women, transparently rising from the floor.

ROGUES AT WAR

With the (re) introduction of several Rogues in the new 52, this issue is what readers have been waiting for. The Rogues have reunited (most of them anyway) under a new leader, Glider aka Golden Glider, Captain Cold’s sister. When it comes to a rogues gallery, Flash’s is one of my favorites. His may not be as famous as Batman’s or Spiderman’s, but it is just as expansive and diverse. Even though the theme of the new 52 is new villains for new readers, it’s nice to see some classics come back in this issue.

 

With this array of characters there is a lot of action happening all at once. Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato do a good job of controlling it all, allowing the reader time to follow everything. Every character gets attention without drawing the focus away from our hero. However, with this many villains comes a lack of characterization. The writers bank on the reader being familiar with the rogues, so they take liberties with convenient plot devices and rely too much on dialogue puns.

FLASHY ART

Like with previous Flash issues, Francis Manapul incorporates art into his title design. In this issue, the buildings in the reflection of a limousine form the letters F-L-A-S-H with the Flash racing beside it. The exhaust from the vehicle form the letters T-H-E. I like this because it reminds me of the title sequences of Will Eisner’s Spirit comics. Francis Manapul’s fantastic character redesigns give the Rogues a classic look with a 21st century twist. No more goofy, out-of-date costumes like heavy winter coats, ice skates and full body fire suits. Manapul’s Rogues are younger and edgier for a more modern audience. Colors play a key role in progressing the narrative. For example, gray tones and blurred figures portray elements of speed: the slowing and quickening of events. Overall, the art continues to be done well.

BOTTOM LINE: PICKING UP SPEED

Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato have been building this Rogue arc for a while and it now seems to be coming to a head. It is a great jumping point if you have not been following the Flash recently. With Barry Allen facing another horrible situation, I look forward to where the comic will go from here. 3 and a half Stars.

Rating: ★★★½☆

The Author

Kevin Mak

Kevin Mak

Kevin has been reading comics since he was twelve years old. Since then, he has survived three DC Comics Crisis (Identity, Infinite and Final), several horrible comic book movies, and many, many brand-wide crossover events. His favorite pastimes include writing, sketching and shattering other people's perceptions. Kevin is currently a recovering Star Wars fan and Japanime addict.

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6 Comments

  1. Mac
    August 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm — Reply

    Yeah, I have been a Barry Allen fan since the short lived Flash TV series. Never cared for his side kicks or Wally West. I’m hoping this series does something better villain wise. I like most of the rogues gallery, but I am so sick of Gorilla Grodd that I wanna vomit when I see him in a story line wih the scarlet speedster.

  2. August 26, 2012 at 7:49 pm — Reply

    I would complain that the book doesn’t characterize most of the Rogues very well or help new readers understand them. But then I realized that something CAN get new readers up to speed on who these people are: The Internet. It’d be nice if every comic explained all bits of backstory, but sometimes you just have to say “Look it up yourself, it’s not that hard”. Especially now, with many, many websites with devoted comic fans giving exhaustively detailed recaps of publication history.

    • August 27, 2012 at 2:31 am — Reply

      Oh we will get LOT’s of Rogues in the Annual that i can’t wait for this week!

  3. Dick
    August 26, 2012 at 10:43 pm — Reply

    Lol good going barry

  4. September 10, 2012 at 12:38 pm — Reply

    I’m a stickler for time-based storyline reboots (à la J.J. Abrams’s Star Trek) as it allows a story to go in a fresh new direction and explore new territory without invalidating the previous mythos. I’m really interested in how they’re going to handle all the Rogues. The artwork for Glider already looks visually stunning on the cover art. All in all sounds like a good issue.

  5. K. Wong
    September 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm — Reply

    Now I can get back into the Flash

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