Tag Archives: Road to Flashpoint

Flash #12 New Cover and Preview

DC has posted a one-page preview (yes, just one page) of this week’s The Flash #12, the final issue of the current series and of “The Road to Flashpoint.” They also confirm that Scott Kolins is the second artist joining Francis Manapul (not that there was much doubt), and released an entirely new Francis Manapul cover for the book. The variant cover is the Francis Portela cover released two weeks ago.

Barry Allen is having a tough time balancing his life. Not only is he faced with his job as a CSI, his family, and being a super hero, but he’s struggling with a past that still haunts him.

In the conclusion of THE FLASH (on sale tomorrow), written by superstar writer Geoff Johns and drawn by the amazing artists Scott Kolins and Francis Manapul, emotions are running high and Barry needs to make a change…fast.

THE ROAD TO FLASHPOINT storyline ends here and then everything you know will change in a Flash.

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

Francis Manapul Out, Scott Kolins In for Flash #11 & 12 (UPDATED!)

Those of you who pick up your comics on Wednesdays have no doubt already noticed: Although Francis Manapul was scheduled to draw both Flash #11 and Flash #12, his art only appeared on the cover of this week’s issue. Instead, Scott Kolins provides the interior artwork this time around.

The one-time regular Flash artist explains on Twitter:

Sorry guys I didn’t do flash 11 and only came back to help on 12. Editorial decided to get me started on the next project

Clearly Editorial wanted to get those last two issues of The Flash out before Flashpoint, and the clock was ticking. Manapul doesn’t say what the “next project” is, but I’m guessing it’s either not tied to DC’s event schedule or has a lot of lead time.

My guess: Someone else will pick up the inevitable post-Flashpoint Flash relaunch, but we may see Francis Manapul back for the equally-inevitable Flash: Secret Origin.

Personally I’m sad to see him go. His art was a big part of what I enjoyed about this run, and I do think that “The Road to Flashpoint” will ultimately suffer a bit for being split between two artists with different styles. It really makes me wish DC and/or Geoff Johns hadn’t tied the series to another event with its own deadlines.

One last note: It’s not clear whether Scott Kolins is doing the art for next month’s series finale (except for the 5 pages that Francis Manapul mentions elsewhere on Twitter), but after the two Rogue Profiles and #11, it seems like a safe bet.

UPDATE: Francis Manapul writes more about the move on his blog, saying: Continue 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.”

This Week: Flash #10

This week sees the long-awaited release of The Flash #10, the second part of “Road to Flashpoint!”

Written by Geoff Johns; Art and cover by Fransic Manapul; 1:10 Variant cover by Yildiray Cinar.

The prelude to summer’s FLASHPOINT event continues! The new speedster known as Hot Pursuit has arrived on his Cosmic Motorcycle, but what terrible warning has he brought with him? The FLASHPOINT is closing in, and it looks like no one will be safe!

DC Universe – 32pg. – $2.99 US

Update: As Wayne points out, DC has released a 4-page preview of the issue including the final covers. The Yildiray Cinar alternate cover has been replaced with one by Ed Benes.

Also this week: the PVC “Ame-Comi” figurine featuring Jesse Quick as the Flash: