Tag Archives: Hot Pursuit

Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost #2 Preview is Out

DC has released a preview of next week’s Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost #2:

Lost in the speed force, Kid Flash is trapped in a distorted future world. After a startling revelation, Bart Allen realizes he must surrender himself to the criminal mastermind, Braniac. Only then will he be able to manipulate his way back to a point in time that he (at least somewhat) recognizes and seek out his grandfather. But what happens if Braniac catches on to Bart’s plan?

Set one thousand years after the Flashpoint, FLASHPOINT: KID FLASH LOST #2 is by Sterling Gates, Oliver Nome, Trevor Scott, and Brian Buccellato. Look for it when it hits stores on Wednesday.

And check out this amazing splash page representing the heroes of the normal and Flashpoint timelines:

Review – Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost #1

Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost is one of the more pleasant surprises to spin out of Flashpoint and the first time we’ve seen Bart Allen in a solo book since the end of Impulse way back in 2002. Yes, I am aware of the short-lived Flash: The Fastest Man Alive but that was not Bart Allen, at least not the Bart that I know and love. Sterling has managed to do what Geoff Johns, Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo , and Marc Guggenheim were never able to do; he has successfully captured Bart’s voice. That makes all the difference when it comes to my enjoyment of this story. Sterling has clearly done his research and given that he has reportedly pitched three different ideas for a Kid Flash series to DC since 2007 he obviously has a passion for the character. I have to say that they chose the right man for the job.

NOTE: This review contains spoilers regarding the events of Kid Flash Lost #1 of 3

The story opens with Hot Pursuit (a character introduced during the final issues of the last Flash series and obviously an integral part of the story) evading the police and from the get go it is made pretty clear that this is not the same Hot Pursuit that met his demise in The Flash #12. This new super speedster has stolen Hot Pursuit’s suit, Baton and Speed Force-powered motorcycle and escapes by riding up a wall (an old speedster trick) and soon disappears into the time stream.

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Review: The Flash #12 – “The Road to Flashpoint” Concludes

Well, here it is, the supposedly final issue of The Flash. So how does it read? And how does Geoff Johns & Francis Manapul’s brief 12-issue run hold together?

This one’s better than the previous issue, with a super-speed battle, revelations about Professor Zoom, the Speed Force, Flashpoint and Kid Flash, and even the background between Barry Allen and Patty Spivot. Scott Kolins’ art looks better as well — whether he had more time, or whether the super-heroics is just better suited for his current style, I couldn’t say — and Francis Manapul’s cover (revealed just yesterday) is great.

Still, the whole “Road to Flashpoint” arc feels like something’s missing. The biggest problem, I think, is that everything from Flash: Rebirth to this point was supposed to be a steady build toward Flashpoint, but the combination of slowly-paced long storylines and publishing delays meant that instead of progressing from A to B to C to D to E to Flashpoint, we instead spent a lot of time on A and then a lot of time on E without actually following the steps to get there.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think maybe making a clean break at this point and starting fresh after Flashpoint is exactly what the book needs.

A bit about the art:

I mentioned that I liked Kolins’ art better in this issue than last. One sequence that stood out was the way he portrayed Zoom and the negative speed force. It looked more like flowing energy streams within Zoom’s body than the usual lightning leaking around it, which was a nice change, and a good way of showing that Thawne was using the powers differently. Still, I miss the background details that Francis Manapul works into his art, like the fire extinguisher behind someone who’s still carrying a flame.

Further discussion will require SPOILERS! Continue reading

Review: Flash #11 — “The Road to Flashpoint”

On one hand, I found Flash #11 — chapter 3 of “The Road to Flashpoint” — to be a lot more engaging than the previous issue. On the other, it highlights some problems with the series.

I was disappointed to see that Francis Manapul didn’t draw this issue, though seeing Scott Kolins’ name was a relief. That said, while I normally like Kolins’ art on The Flash, it actually looks rushed, especially on the early pages. I have to wonder how much time DC gave him to draw the issue.

The pacing, however, is much better than the previous two issues. After an issue-long teaser and another issue that was 50% exposition, we actually get into the meat of the story here — a story very much about Barry Allen, the man who works as a police scientist, not the Flash who happens to be Barry Allen (which may be part of why I liked it better than #10).

It was nice to see the story actually address some of the problems with Barry’s post-Rebirth isolation, though I get the impression that this was intended to develop over more story arcs. As with the artist change, I can’t help but wonder what we might have seen if they’d been able to keep this book on time. Monthly from April 2010 through May 2011 would only have included two more issues, but the two Rogue Profiles wouldn’t have been added. Under those circumstances, Johns could have fit another 4-issue story between “Dastardly Death…” and “Road to Flashpoint.”

Geoff Johns does a good job of keeping Hot Pursuit’s motivation and methods ambiguous throughout the issue, keeping it unclear whether he’s causing or tracking the murders. The super-heroics kick into gear at the very end, with not one but two cliffhangers to be resolved in next month’s series finale…though with a title like “The Road to Flashpoint,” it seems pretty clear that it’ll wrap with some sort of transition. I expect the “last issue” to end in one of two ways: Either it will feature a teaser with Barry in the altered reality of Flashpoint, or it will end with a fade to white like all of DC’s “Zero Hour” tie-ins back in 1994.

So, let’s move on to some talk including SPOILERSContinue reading

Review: Flash #9 and 10

Yeah, I’m way behind on reviewing The Flash. I thought about jumping straight in with #11 this week, but I decided I’d try to catch up if possible. Even if it is close to midnight.

So, the first two chapters of “The Road to Flashpoint,” by Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul…

Flash #9

This was a fun issue, with some nice shout outs for long-term readers, but didn’t feel like it had much substance. It was the first issue to feature DC’s new, shorter page count (20 pages instead of 22), which may have something to do with it. On the other hand, I remember reading the latest issue of The Unwritten the same night, which had so much going on that I didn’t even notice it was shorter than usual. I actually counted pages to verify.

I still love Francis Manapul’s art, and the large panels and splash pages help it shine, but I’m really starting to feel like pacing is becoming a problem. (More about that with #10.)

It was great to see Wally, Jay and the rest, even if only for a couple of pages. I’d like to see them actually do something by the end of this storyline, though.

The rift between Barry and the “real cops,” as Detective Jerkwad calls them, was infuriating…but sadly all too realistic. No one likes to get caught abusing their position, and it takes effort to move past “I’ve been caught” to “I need to change what I’m doing”…and the type of person who would frame innocents just to look like he’s doing his job probably wouldn’t be interested in making that leap.

Hot Pursuit’s real identity was unexpected, and kind of cool at first, but started to grate a little during the following issue.

Flash #10

To be honest, I was really underwhelmed by this one. Fully half the issue was exposition. Not just exposition, but a bunch of guys standing around talking. In a book that’s supposed to be “all about speed.” And the exposition isn’t even really for this storyline, it’s for another story that’s coming up.

Sure, I know the story is called “The Road to Flashpoint,” but it’s starting to feel like these four issues of The Flash are only a prologue, and not a story in its own right. Okay, long prologues worked for Robert Jordan (as he got further into The Wheel of Time, the prologues to each novel approached a hundred pages and were released ahead of time as stand-alone eBooks), but I feel like the book is in a holding pattern.

Fortunately, the second half of the issue was a lot more engaging…which is odd, because it dropped all elements of super-heroics and super-speed to become a purely character-driven police procedural….and again featured a lot of standing around talking. Other reviews I’ve seen have made similar comments, and I think they’re right that it’s a matter of matching the storytelling style with the genre.

I like that Geoff Johns has updated Patty Spivot* into a full-fledged police scientist in her own right, rather than leaving her as a lowly lab assistant, and the interaction between the two former colleagues was a great mix of awkwardness, joy, slipping into old roles, and establishing new boundaries. I especially liked the understated moment where Patty says to Barry, “I didn’t know…you were back,” rather than coming out and saying, “I didn’t know you were alive” — it’s got to be strange to get a phone call from an old friend you thought had died** years ago.

The last scene between Barry and Bart, though, where Bart asks Barry if he’s avoiding him (and Barry dodges the question), comes close.

Hot Pursuit talking about another story? Not so much. OK, he’s got a cool super-speed bike that transforms into a night stick that projects holograms. But the concept of a super-speed time cop is, so far, more interesting than the execution.

I do see some interesting parallels with “Chain Lightning” and the Dark Flash saga. “Chain Lightning” featured someone who looked exactly like Barry Allen. The Dark Flash saga featured an alternate reality version of the starring Flash. Both featured Angela Margolin, a Central City police scientist who bore a striking resemblance to one Patty Spivot…

The Flash #10 also made me realize something about this relaunch: I find the modern Barry Allen, Police Scientist a lot more interesting as a character than the modern Barry Allen, the Flash. I’m still not sure why that is, but it’s something I’ll have to think about.

*Coincidentally, Patty’s earliest appearances after the “Ms. Flash” imaginary story were the very issues that Greg Elias has been writing about in his Flash Annotations series, starting with Flash v.1 #270-275.

**Barry Allen went missing during the Flash’s trial, and would have eventually been presumed dead. His identity as the Flash became public knowledge after he died in Crisis on Infinite Earths, but was erased from everyone’s memory and all records by Hal Jordan when he was bound to the Spectre at the end of “Blitz.”

New Variant Cover for Flash #10 by Ed Benes

DC has released a preview of this week’s issue, labeling it as the “Secret Origin of Hot Pursuit.” Although DC previously identified a piece by Yildiray Cinar as the variant cover for #10, the final version features a cover by Ed Benes which looks quite similar to the standard cover by Francis Manapul, minus the other Flashes.