Flash — Vol. 1 — Move Forward

Fol­low­ing my Green Arrow Vol. 1 write-up, we “move for­ward” to Flash Vol. 1 on the read list.

Flash Vol. 1

Fran­cis Man­a­pul –Writer, Artist
Bri­an Buc­cel­la­to –Writer, Col­orist

Pub­lished 7 Nov 2012
Col­lects Flash 1 – 8 (28 Sep 2011 — 25 Apr 2012)

Art
Sto­ry
Aver­age

Art

The clean lines and bright col­ors are fan­tas­tic. Every­one looks nat­u­ral, in and out of cos­tume. For any oth­er char­ac­ter, hav­ing the hero run straight for­ward in the frame might seem like poor stag­ing, but it works for Flash.

Story

The major­i­ty of this book is estab­lish­ing Flash’s sit­u­a­tion and an ini­tial con­flict with Mob Rule, an old friend. There’s a great quote Flash attrib­ut­es to his moth­er which is effec­tive­ly his phi­los­o­phy and mis­sion state­ment:

Life is loco­mo­tion, but there comes a time when you’ve got to stop run­ning away from things and you’ve got to start run­ning towards some­thing. You’ve got to forge ahead. Keep mov­ing. Even if your path isn’t lit, trust that you’ll find your way.”

In the mid­dle of his fight with Mob Rule, an unex­plained EMP blast throws a kink in the works. There’s also a jail break at Iron Heights Pris­on, which sets up Flash’s next con­flict with Cap­tain Cold. In the mid­st of that bat­tle, we find out that Flash’s speed is cre­at­ing worm­holes and he is inad­ver­tent­ly respon­si­ble for the pre­vi­ous EMP. At the same time, we see Goril­la Grodd con­sol­i­date pow­er at home, pos­si­bly fore­shad­ow­ing Flash’s fight in the next book. The segue from the Mob Rule sto­ry to the Cap­tain Cold one is stilt­ed, but I sup­pose it fits the the­me of always mov­ing for­ward to the next chal­lenge, and the plot­li­nes do come back togeth­er when you find out about the EMP con­nec­tion. Final­ly, Flash enters the Speed Force through the lat­est worm­hole in order to try to fix this lat­est dis­as­ter when he finds out that Tur­bine is stuck there and caus­ing the worm­holes in an attempt to free him­self, where­as Flash is actu­al­ly a Speed Force release valve to pre­vent worm­holes — a con­ve­nient abso­lu­tion and “fix” to Flash’s inabil­i­ty to use his speed more often.

My biggest issue with this sto­ry is it is not clear how long Cen­tral City was liv­ing in the dark, it could be any­where from days to months — Pat­ty talks about Bar­ry being gone for a long time, but Lisa Snart prob­a­bly should have died with­out life sup­port for that long.

Connections

This book intro­duces Pat­ty Spiv­ot, Dr. Dar­win Elias, Iris West, Manuel Lago (Mob Rule), James For­rest, Leonard Snart (Cap­tain Cold), Dr. Guer­rero, Rogues, Axel, Bryan, Nathan, Bur­rell, Cap­tain Dar­ryl Frye, Basilisk, Fold­ed Man, Gird­er, Tar Pit, Lisa Snart, Roscoe Hynes (Tur­bine), Hart­ley Rath­away. Pan­do­ra gets her cameo in the crowd out­side of the con­ven­tion cen­ter after Mob Rule’s attack. David Singh, intro­duced in Jus­tice League Vol. 1, is still Barry’s boss. Flash wran­gles some equip­ment from Wayne Enter­pris­es to help dis­as­ter relief in Cen­tral City. Dr. Dar­win Elias is the head of Mer­cury Labs. Green Lantern men­tioned in Jus­tice League Vol. 1 that he helped Flash take down Goril­la Grodd, but this is the first time we see Grodd, and it seems like that con­flict has not hap­pened yet.

Next up, Cap­tain Atom Vol. 1.