We’ve just completed on of the more successful runs on THE FLASH, and are getting a new start with writer Kevin Shinick and artist Clayton Henry. RIght out of the gate, this team gives us a new look at a classic Flash accessory – and it absolutely melts our hearts! Most creators want to add their stamp to a classic character, and that’s just what they have done here. Wanna know more? Follow us after the jump!
When I read the preview for this story, I was wondering where the creative team was going with their first issue. Trickster steals the Flash’s ring…and? But, there is a reason this story hits home so hard, and it is a most welcome addition to Flash lore.
The set up is that Axel has set up his own arcade…as a means of ripping people off, and also to cover up his real enterprise. That enterprise is taking bets on what the Flash will do next. He has set up all sorts of stunts (trying to avoid saying “tricks”) that compel Barry to act, and people bet on what…and how fast…he will act.
The other part of this arcade is that Trickster has been stealing items from his customers. He doesn’t recognize just who had that ring…but he did get the Flash’s iconic ring! It sets off the rest of the plot for the issue, with a well-expected success for our hero. But, it’s the story behind the ring that matters here.
This ring, this iconic lightning bolt-emblazoned ring, has a new origin story and new new connection to Flash lore. Let’s go back to the Silver Age for a moment. Back then, Barry had perfected a process to shrink his Flash suit down – so tiny that it could fit inside a ring. It was a comic-book-physics way of having Barry always at the ready to change into costume. This carried over briefly to Wally’s early days as the Flash, though he ran out of the chemical that made the process happen and later was able to create his own costume directly out of the Speed Force itself.
All that is gone – for a much, much better explanation. The ring now has a connection to everything about Barry as the Flash. The suit does go into the ring…and into the Speed Force itself, hiding and waiting to be brought out. The gold in the ring…
Well, the gold in the ring is what pulls at the heartstrings.
This ring is made from the wedding bands of Barry’s parents. Every time he wears that ring, it connects him to them. No wonder it means so very much to Barry. The fact that he gets it back…and that the ring itself plays into how he captures Axel, is just icing on the cake.
- Just a note on the art. I have been a HUGE fan of Clayton Henry’s work, having been introduced to him through his Valiant Comics artwork. Many of you may be fans from his Marvel work. Any time I see his name on a comic, I know I’m in for a treat. That’s true here as well. Kudos also to Marcelo Maiolo for colors and Steve Wands for the lettering.
- Kevin Shinick has given us a solid debut, giving us a look into Barry’s psyche and adding his own stamp to the legacy. This is a great first outing, and I’m looking forward to whatever comes next.
This is a good start to what we hope will be another highly successful run with THE FLASH. I’ll give this issue a 9/10. Of course, that’s just my opinion – what do YOU think? Leave your comments below!