Do I need to mention how incredible the art and colors are here? Each month when I read an issue of THE FLASH, I try to ask myself is it the art and colors or is it the storytelling I like more. They clearly complement each other. I couldn't imagine reading this story with art by someone else. Yet at the same time I wonder if I'd enjoy it as much if someone else was writing it with Manapul and Buccellato doing the art. Thankfully, we don't have to worry about that.
Last issue ended with a pretty big cliffhanger. Flash has a lot of lives to save yet is running the risk to everyone around should he push his powers too far. This new twist to Barry's powers adds a new level to his character. There never really was the consideration that being a hero and using powers could actually endanger the lives of those meant to be saved. When push comes to shove, what decision is Barry willing to make. That's where the idea of the sacrifice mentioned on the cover comes in. The combination of the storytelling and the art clearly expresses this turmoil all the while it takes place over a few seconds.
The continued theme of repercussions continues to play a big role. You can feel the tension flowing through the book. The art really conveys the feeling and emotions the different characters are going through. I always saw THE FLASH as a fun, light-hearted book. Obviously this is still fun, but it does get a little heavy as you see decisions and opinions being made.
Did Manapul and Buccellato kill a character I really dig? Obviously the answer has to be no. But if they did...
Here's where I might contradict myself a tiny bit. I am digging the direction this issue is taking things but it does give it a different feel. Change can be good. We don't want the same thing all the time. Yet, I felt a little bummed out for some of the characters.
I hate to ask but when does this story take place? There are many that aren't too thrilled with the Flash but in JUSTICE LEAGUE, everyone loves them.
This issue takes things to a new level. Being a superhero isn't just about having a cool costume and powers. Decisions need to be made carefully and that's exactly what Barry Allen is discovering. With powers potentially being a threat, he can't just do things the way he used to. Manapul and Buccellato combine their stellar storytelling with their gorgeous art. They manage to pull you in with the feelings and emotions the story calls for and put them all on display in the way only they can. Flash is exploring new territory here and it's great to see a veteran character in a different setting. As much as I hate to admit it, that's where the "New 52" is succeeding. We had countless great stories with Barry before CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS and now we get to experience new great stories from the beginning. I'm not exactly sure where the next issue is going to take us (and Barry) but I absolutely cannot wait to find out. Manapul and Buccellato are giving us a helluva ride.