Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato back on art and writing duties. When you sit down to read this issue, you do need to make sure you're sitting down. Manapul and Buccellato are setting the stage for some big crazy action and before you know it, it starts exploding in front of your eyes.
As we've been witnessing the re-introduction of Barry Allen in the New 52 world, he's taken on some different opponents so far. That changes here as he doesn't face one or two but a whole team of villains. What could possibly have brought these villains together and how the heck can Flash take them all on? Besides the threat from them, there's also the matter of Dr. Elias's move to make the entire city turn against Flash. Maybe Flash should reconsider trying to escape back into the Speedforce to get away from all this craziness.
Does it need to be said how beautiful the art and color are here. Manapul continues to lay out each page in ways that depart from the typical comic book fashion. The way the art comes together with the art almost feels like Francis and Brian are writing a love song to me. Or at least to all Flash fans. I can't help but go back and look at it all over again after reading through the first time.
The excitement clearly has been amped up here. It's almost an odd feeling as the action before almost feels subdued compared to what goes on here. It feels like there's been a change in the feel of the book as we previously saw single members of the Rogues and now suddenly they're all here at the same time. It's not really a complaint to receive more Flash action but it almost catches you off guard.
In regards to Elias, I feel like I missed the issue where his character does a complete 180. It makes his character interesting and you'll feel the urge to punch him in the face, if you're usually inclined to punch comic characters in the face.
There's a lot going on here. I know scheduling concerns are often out of the hands of creators but I'm not a huge fan of stories continuing or concluding in annuals (just as GREEN LANTERN appears to be doing this month as well). I would rather have this story continue in the next issue but of course next month is the zero issues.
If anyone has been itching for more action in the pages of THE FLASH, look no further because there is plenty to be seen here. Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato look like they went into overtime to deliver this spectacle of a comic book. Having the combination of their art and colors absent from the last couple issues really made you long for their absence. With all the craziness and action here, it almost feels like too much was crammed into one issue. There was plenty of action before but it almost feels like a decision was made to either hold back the action before or crank it up here. Either way, there is plenty to keep Flash busy and Manapul and Buccellato continue to make it a great time to be reading THE FLASH.