The Flash #1 Review


The Flash #1
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Pencils: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Colors: Ivan Plascencia 
Letters: Steve Wands
Publisher: DC Comics

DC Comics premier speedster is back in action after his DC Rebirth One-Shot with the start of a brand new story arc, “Lightning Strikes Twice”.  On the 60 year anniversary of Barry Allen’s debut in Showcase #4, the Flash is finding it difficult to balance his personal, professional, and superhero life when lightning strikes twice and there’s a new player who’s tapped into the speed force.

In a powerfully dramatic and uplifting Rebirth special, writer Joshua Williamson showcases why Barry Allen is a beloved superhero.  The Flash Rebirth #1 also gave us the implication that this series will be on the top of the list to follow for those looking to make sense of the of the DC Universe.  Its follow-up doesn’t explore that later territory however, instead it works its way on establishing a new status quo.  Surely though Williamson will work his way towards brining those revelations into fruition but what he supplies here is a fun and exciting new start for Barry Allen.

The comic opens with a solid recap to catch readers up on the Flash’s history with a bit of foreshadowing for what’s to come for the issue’s closing pages.  It’s a little redundant considering this was rendered in the Rebirth special, fortunately though it’s done quickly and plays into what’s to come.

Williamson then establishes the “not fast enough” theme and it’s executed expertly.  Barry is feeling inadequate and struggling to balance his responsibilities as both a superhero and CSI for the Central City Police.  The dilemma of the fastest man alive believing he isn’t fast enough is an astute choice to grab readers investment.  In fact there are numerous scenes in which the writing hooks in the observer.

One scene in particular that stands out is where Barry’s Crime Scene Investigator skills are on display during a police investigation.  Allowing new comers to learn more about the character and those already familiar with the speedster to see an appreciation of his history and previously established development.  Williamson exhibits this for a second issue in a row and it’s great to see.  Writers often forget Barry’s intellect and it’s often not taken advantage of.  Williamson clearly understands the intrigue of this character trait and is using it to pull in new readers as well as engage regulars.

Another scene worth of note is between Barry, Iris, and her nephew Wally.  While there are those who haven’t liked the New 52 Wally West, Williamson exemplifies a firm grasp and understanding of his character and presents him in an enjoyable manner.  In fact, all the side characters are brilliantly used here.  They all serve one function or another in this issue but it’s still clearly a Flash comic book, as all of their actions are in response to Barry.

Carmine Di Giandomenico returns on art duties and once again displays some brilliant tone fitting visuals.  His pencils are able to capture a great sense of speed, movement, and momentum whenever the Flash kicks in his abilities.  Di Giandomenico is also able to convey solid emotion through facial expressions and body posturing.  The colors as well, provided by Ivan Plascencia, have a grand sensibility of energy that’s perfect for the character.  This art team blends together nicely and hopefully they’ll stay on this series for a long period of time.

Final Verdict

While I thoroughly enjoyed The Flash: Rebirth #1, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t somewhat worried that this series would be all about explaining the DC Rebirth fallout, digressing from character development.  Thankfully Joshua Williamson has proven that he’s committed to reestablishing the mythos of the Flash, creating a new status quo, and furthering the Barry Allen character.  This issue expertly plays into old tropes and gets back to the roots of the Flash while also dabbling into new territory of comic book’s most recognizable speedster.  Gel that together with stellar work from the art team and you have the one DC book that you shouldn’t miss out on.

Score: 4.5 out of 5

Review by Eric Bradach

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