Comic Vine Review


The Flash #25 - Zero Year: Starting Line Review


What was Barry Allen doing during the Zero Year? Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato take us back to see a pre-powered Barry as the two say goodbye.

The Good

Barry Allen is a cool character. It's not often he really gets a chance to show us what he can do besides be a speedster. Too often when he appears in issues involving the Justice League, he is barely seen and only for...flashy scenes with him zipping around.

With the idea of going back to the Zero Year, a time before he gained his speed powers, we get to see what he's capable without them. Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato have come up with a reason for him to to appear in Gotham City. With everything going on due to Riddler's shenanigans, the GCPD needs all the help it can get. That's where Barry Allen and his C.S.I. abilities come in. Of course due to the craziness, he gets mixed up in some of the action.

Aside from taking part in this moment in Gotham's history, we also get to see the first meeting between Barry and Iris West (this should make all on Team Iris happy). Seeing Barry use his other skills is great but there's a feeling of nostalgia in seeing these two work together.

While Manapul doesn't provide the art for the entire (slightly longer) issue, he does put a close to the issue marking the end of Francis and Brian on the series (of course Brian is coming back in a couple months for a few more issues).

The Bad

Chris Sprouse gives us an interesting look at Gotham during this dark moment. Unfortunately there were some inconsistencies with some of the character builds. This isn't a comparison to Manapul's art as the two have distinct styles. Manapul's closing scenes manage to bump up the overall score.

Parts of the story felt a little rushed. Barry was pretty reckless which may be part of who he is but he took a lot of risks. You almost have to wonder how he managed to survive before getting his powers.

The Verdict

This issue marks the end of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato's run on the series. We get an interesting look at Barry before he obtained his powers but it does feel a little weird having a look back to Barry's past be their final issue. The art has it's highs and lows but Manapul delivers on the final pages and we get Buccellato's colors throughout the issue. This may be the end for the two but it also gave us an interesting look at Barry's beginnings.

Posted by batmannflash

loved it! Especially since I'm on "Team Iris!" haha

We need Iris and Barry together again

and it's sad that Buccellato and Manapul can't stay.

Posted by Saint_Wildcard

It was good.

Posted by Fallschirmjager

Was a solid issue. Seeing Barry in action without his powers was cool.

And Barry + Iris was hot! (pun intended).

Patty is cool, but we need Barry and Iris back sooner rather than later.

I agree with you the art felt a little inconsistent, but it wasn't too distracting.

Posted by Kelevra216

@batmannflash: I like what they're doing. Since this is like an "alternative timeline," they're doing this destiny/"meant to be together" dance that Manapul was talking about on the Invincibly Supamaspocaof stuff. It's like this big tease of just get together already! I hope they keep at it a little longer without it being annoying and forced. It's still way too early for heroes to find their "one"and have an on and off again relationship.

I love the transition between the different art styles, from Sprouse's to Manapul's. The little jolt and he gets a little Flash-vibe going into Manpul's art.

Edited by batmannflash

@kelevra216: yeah I agree it's a little early and I don't want it to be forced. I kind of like this "tease" of Iris and Barry been shown in recent issues. At the same time, Barry and Patty have quite a good relationship so I'll find it odd if it ended abruptly so I guess we're gonna have to wait.

Posted by patrat18

Very solid issue.

Posted by Wilbertus

Such a shame these guys are leaving, they really got Barry Allen.

Edited by MisterNefarious

I enjoyed it. Some of the chemistry between Barry and Iris felt a little forced but it wasn't a big deal.

I hope more of the police work finds its way back into the Flash series like this. Barry's big draw is his profession, I want to see that properly utilized.

Posted by MartianManhunterIsBetterThanCyborg

This issue was great. Sad to see them go.

Posted by The_Comebacks

A great issue. They had a great run on flash. The art work they brought to flash was unreal.

I wonder if the Iris and Barry love story is getting delayed by the whole policy of heroes cant be happy or get married from DC. I hope that is not the case. It would be nice to see barry happy or at least content. If you think about the flash legacy-just about all of them cherished their lives and wives (Jay, Barry, and Wally). Their lives weren't always hunky-dory, but they were able to attain a level of contentment.

Sometimes heroes go through hell and they fight through their pain and that makes them a hero. I also believe another type of hero would be someone who has every right to be complacent (happy life, wife, good job), but refuses to stand by and let bad things happen. It would be nice to see in DC pretty soon, and it would bring a different dimension to story telling.

Posted by kilomac29

I haven't been reading Flash but I picked this up because I've enjoyed most of the other ZY tie ins. I wasn't disappointed either, I really enjoyed this book. Will Definitely go back and read the rest of the run.

Edited by jmoore430

I haven't red Flash but i red Batman zero year and it was really good so i advise you read this.