After standing trial for the murder of his greatest enemy, Barry “The Flash” Allen left for the 30th Century and a life of blissful retirement with his wife Iris. How in the heck did he end up in captivity in Gotham City? Your Major Spoilers review of Convergence: The Flash #1 awaits!
Previously in Convergence: The Flash: After a long career as a hero, Barry Allen’s life was torn asunder when his old enemy Reverse-Flash murdered his wife Iris. Given a chance at revenge, The Flash took Reverse-Flash’s life and was forced to stand trial for the murder of a man who would not be born for centuries. Though acquitted, two factors caused Barry to give up his life as The Flash: A world which now though of him as a murderer, and the revelation that his wife Iris was not dead after all. Leaving Central City with her, Barry retired to the future with Iris to start a family and leave the madness of The Flash behind him…
THE NEW NORMAL
Unfortunately, as this issue opens, we find that Barry still occasionally returned to his home century for a visit, this time for a charity appearance in Gotham City. During that fateful press junket, Brainiac struck, and Barry Allen was scooped up with the rest of the city and imprisoned under a dome, with even his mighty speed-force powers neutralized by the alien technology at work. In the ensuring year, Barry has taken a job with the Gotham City PD, helping out with his CSI-guy skills against the skyrocketing crime rate. (Which is weird, because earlier in the same issue, he says that things are basically the same with Gotham under the dome? The same remark was made in Convergence: Batman And The Outsiders earlier in the week, as well, which seems like a conflict of story principles.) Barry goes through an average day in this issue, taking a brief lunch with his old friend Bruce, and lamenting the loss of his speed powers…
…and then, the dome disappears. Barry is overjoyed to discover that his super-powers have returned, suiting up and racing away to discover the truth about their new world, when he is confronted by a man who has come to defeat him: The Tangent Superman.
MORE GRANT GUSTIN THAN CARMINE INFANTINO
Weirdly, unlike the other issues this week, this doesn’t feel like a callback to the comics of the 1980s with which I grew up, instead feeling like the much-younger Flash we’ve been seeing on TV, right down to returning to his job in the police lab. The art reinforces that impression, with certain panels seemingly modeled on Grant Gustin’s visage. After the super-cool Allred cover art, I had hoped for a second he would be handling the interiors, but Dallochio gives us a very cool look at Gotham throughout this issue (including a lot of late-70s/early-80s model cars, a nicely meta touch, given the material.) Though some of his facial expressions are a bit sketchy (Bruce Wayne suffers especially), the overall story-telling is quite good, and the super-speed effects when Barry’s powers return are well-blocked and choreographed in interesting ways.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A DIFFERENT TAKE
This issue was surprising on a number of levels, from the fact that it’s a post-trial Flash starring to the more modern approach, but it’s one that I enjoy anyway. Abnett’s script is solid, the art is well-handled throughout, meaning that Convergence: The Flash #1 is a pleasant enough experience, avoiding some of the nostalgia pitfalls we’ve been seeing in other books, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall. As Convergence week 3 crossover issues go, this may be one of the most readable by contemporary audiences..