July 31, 2013

Barry and Hal’s First Meeting in the New 52 – On the Road to…Arena World? (Review of Flash Annual #2)

Category: Reviews — By @ 8:58 pm

Flash Annual #2 (via Comic Vine)This is a book Flash and Green Lantern (at least Hal) fans have been waiting for since the start of the New 52 – just how did these two meet?  What kind of adventure would bring these two together?  How in the world would a very by-the-book Barry and a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants Hal get along?  We find all that and more in The Flash Annual #2!

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!

We begin our story in the present day, as Barry and Hal have one last get-together before Hal heads back to Oa to run the GL Corp.  But, as fate would have it, they are pulled back into the very adventure that brought them together in the first place!  We learn that they had originally been drawn together inadvertently through their separate investigations into child disappearances.  Their first meeting is handled with as much humor as action – their first lines to each other are great!  There is a bit of a Silver Age feel to this story, which works for me – two superhero buddies are pulled through an amazing teleportation device into a battle against space monsters while they try to save a group of kids.  But, this is handled with a New 52 sensibility – and the payoff is most welcome here.  The reason they are back on Arena World after all this time?  Well, of course there is unfinished business…and that’s where we come back to today.  This story is an affirmation of the long-standing friendship of Barry and Hal – and testament to the power this duo brings to any fight.

Brian Buccellato goes solo on the writing duties for this issue, with Sami Basri on pencils and inks and Stellar Labs on colors.  Francis Manapul and Buccellato worked together on the cover for this issue.  The back-up story, “Details” was written by Nicole Dubuc with Crully Hamner on pencils and inks and Matthew Wilson on colors.  This story centered on the story of someone The Flash could not save…and how her family reacts.

SUMMARY: This Annual fills an important gap in the New 52 – finally (re)telling the story behind one of the most important friendships in the DC Universe.  It is fun, a little silly (in a good way) at times, and filled with plenty of action.  As a long time Barry/Hal fan, this is a most welcome story  – and for any Flash/GL fan it’s a must-read.