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

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!


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.



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

  1. Diego Calazans

    I loved it. Reminds me of Waid’s The Brave and The Bold that I just adore. I’d love a Hal+Barry series. And I loved both stories. The second made me think on how short stories like that with a vibe à la Batman Black and White should be constant in The Flash series. I believe Barry Allen needs to get a lot of atention from many talented artists so we can get more stories like those. Specially like the second one, that showed us a little more on the perception common people have of the Flash.

  2. Kyer

    Kudos to Mr. Buccellato for being truthful. There was no violence in it that I objected to…but…Oh, Barry, Barry, Barry. *snicker* (Once you read the ending you’ll understand.) Nice, lite fun. Two thumbs up!

  3. Diego Calazans

    I miss comic books like this one. I really wanted they made a Flash+GL series and gave it to Buccellato and Basri. they’re great here. and this kind of story is exactly what made most of us love super-hero comics. I’m tired of “dark” heroes. I want more light and smart fun, like this annual.

  4. Kelson

    The lead story is getting all the attention, but I actually quite liked the backup story. Sure, it’s not an earth-shattering event or big crossover or part of an ongoing arc, but it’s an interesting take on how small actions can snowball into big changes, and how even when you can’t choose what happens to you (something that self-help gurus often tend to ignore), you can at least choose how you react to it.


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