Tag Archives: Relaunch

Review: Flash #1 (The New 52)

I had no idea what to expect from The Flash #1. Actually, that’s not entirely true: I knew I could expect fantastic art by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato, and it delivered. But I wasn’t sure what to expect from the story, the pacing, the characterization. And after five years of Flash relaunches, Wally’s disappearance, Bart’s death and rebirth, Barry’s return as Captain Angst, Wally being pushed so far off the sidelines that DC acted like they didn’t even recognize his name, and a general trend among the mainstream parts of DC moving away from the characters and stories that I wanted to read, I was beginning to wonder: Is it time to hang up the boots for a while?

Well, after reading the first issue, I can say: Today is not that day.

Some of the things I liked:

The art. This was my favorite part of last year’s Geoff Johns run, and it’s even better here. Not only does it look good, but Francis Manapul continues to experiment with layouts as well, going far beyond the standard grid-and-splash-page patterns. I particularly liked the fall from the helicopter and the page showing Barry in his apartment. And when was the last time you saw a splash page of the Flash standing still (and not posing dramatically) look so good?

With DC’s newfound emphasis on deadlines, I really hope these guys can keep on schedule!

The speed. While it’s not a headlong rush from beginning to end, it never drags. As much as I liked “Dastardly Death of the Rogues,” I still felt like it would have been better at 2/3 the length. This doesn’t feel padded.

Continue reading

Flash #1 On Sale Today

THE FLASH #1

Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL and BRIAN BUCCELLATO
Art and cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
Variant cover by IVAN REIS and TIM TOWNSEND
On sale SEPTEMBER 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

The Fastest Man Alive returns to his own monthly series from the writer/artist team of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato! The Flash knows he can’t be everywhere at once, but what happens when he faces an all-new villain who really can! As if that’s not bad enough, this villain is a close friend!

CNN’s Geek Out has a preview in their Science of the Flash article. The writer/artist team of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato have been running the interview circuit, speaking with CBR, IGN and Cosmic Treadmill about the new direction for Barry Allen, the roles of Iris West and the Rogues, and the new villain introduced in this 5-issue arc, Mob Rule.

His Love Life Will Change — In a Flash!

We’ve known since Comic-Con that the New 52 reboot would retroactively break up Barry and Iris Allen (and I had some fun with the phrasing the other day). Today, as discussed at Robot 6, DC formally announced the breakup at The Source, and revealed who Barry will be dating in at the beginning of the new series. Continue reading

DC Comics: Pulling (or is that Polling?) the New 52

So, the DC reboot* is upon us, and it’s time to make some decisions:

  • What new series should I buy?
  • Should I stick with print, or go digital?

I’ll tackle the second question later. For now, here are the books I was looking at when the New 52 was first announced, and what I’m looking at now.

Buying

Flash

As with Action, it was the creative team that got me excited about the fifth relaunch in as many years. (Seriously, DC, pick a direction and stick with it.) And as with Action, every interview, every announcement since then has chipped away a little more at my interest. But then Francis Manpul posts a new piece of artwork, and I feel like can’t possibly pass it up. TENTATIVE YES.

And yes, that’s a sad verdict for someone who’s spent the last 15 years running a Flash fan site, but it is what it is.

Justice League Dark

Love the concept, hate the title. I had high hopes for this when it was announced, but the execution of Flashpoint: Secret Seven, by the same writer and featuring many of the same characters, has me worried. TENTATIVE YES.

Demon Knights

The complete opposite of Action Comics. When I first read about it, I thought, “Hmm, that sounds sort of interesting, but I just don’t know.” But everything I’ve heard about it makes me more interested. DEFINITE YES.

Regarding Demon Knights and Justice League Dark, it seems that the Matt Wagner/Amy Reeder Vertigo series has made me a fan of Madame Xanadu. Who would have expected that?

Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E.

I really liked the Seven Soldiers version of the Frankenstein monster, and the idea of him as a sci-fi secret agent sounds like a lot of fun. Plus the Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown miniseries was enjoyable (despite a dip in the middle issue), so I’m on board for this one. DEFINITE YES.

Resurrection Man

I keep meaning to read the articles about this, but somehow keep forgetting to come back to them when I have time. So I still don’t know a whole lot about it, but the concept is interesting enough to make it a TENTATIVE YES.

The Shade

Announced as part of the second wave of new titles, the 12-issue miniseries launches in October. I like the character, especially the modern interpretation, and I really enjoyed the 4-issue miniseries James Robinson did back in the 1990s, so I’m on board for this one as well. DEFINITE YES.

Considered, but Skipping

Action Comics

Grant Morrison brings Superman back to his roots. Sounded great at the time, but the more I’ve heard about the actual direction, the less interested I’ve gotten. PASS.

Teen Titans

I’ve been burned too many times, and I think what I really liked about the series was the Wolfman/Perez dynamic, which I’ve come to realize is never going to exist again. I actually think it’s a good thing that they’re taking the book in a new direction, even though it’s clearly not for me. PASS.

Hawk & Dove

As fond as my memories are of the series 20 years ago…I just can’t. PASS.

Deathstroke

I liked his solo series back in the day, but between my changing taste and the emphasis on ultra-violence, I don’t have any interest in the new version. PASS.

(OK, except for the issue where he destroys the 405 freeway. I live in LA and commute on that damn thing. It’s a revenge fantasy.)

In Summary…

So that’s my DC Comics pull list for September. 5 comics out of 52 (plus The Shade) may not sound like much, but considering I was only reading one DC proper title before Flashpoint, it’s actually a pretty big increase.

Edited to add: For context, this brings the DC Universe back up to 50% of my active pull list. The rest is 1 Vertigo (The Unwritten), 3 BOOM! (Elric, Farscape & Darkwing Duck, at least until Farscape & Darkwing Duck end in a couple of months), 1 Dynamite (Wheel of Time) and 1 Aspen (Lady Mechanika). Mostly sci-fi/fantasy, with the closest to a traditional superhero being Darkwing Duck.

How about you? What are you planning to pick up?

*Of course it’s a reboot. They’re resetting the system, with some things altered and others preserved. They installed a service pack, and now they’re rebooting. People use the term reboot to mean starting over completely from the beginning, but if we’re going to use the computer metaphor properly, that would be a wipe-and-reinstall.

Flash #1 Variant Covers

Straight from The Source, it’s Ivan Reis’ variant cover for The Flash #1, due in stores and online at the end of September.

It reminds me of the Flash Secret Files 2010 cover, only with the new transformation sequence added to the new costume design.

DC has also revealed the third variant cover, a sketch version of Francis Manapul’s main cover for the book. Continue reading