The Flash #4

#1 Posted by G-Man (33938 posts) - - Show Bio

There were a couple characters shot last issue. With Barry Allen actually getting shot in the head, this issue is a little light on the Flash action.

The Good

It's likely been said many times but Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato are an amazing art team. This issue opens up with a flashback to a funeral and Manapul's art combined with Buccellato's colors truly creates the perfect tone. You can feel the feelings and emotions pouring off the page. The softer touch used in the flashback scenes really separate them from the present day scenes. It's amazing to simply look at the two scenes side by side to see the difference and what can be done.

Recently we've seen Barry Allen acquire a sort of new power. Having the ability to work out all the possible outcomes of a situation seemed like it would give the Flash an incredible edge. But one thing that immediately came to mind was the fact that it could be a distraction. Barry discovered this the hard way last issue when faced against a member of Mob Rule with a gun. That means less Flash in this issue but we do find out more about Barry's friend and...inspiration for Mob Rule, Manuel Lago. I was interested in Manuel before but finding out more about his past really bumped him up in my book. Hopefully he's a character that won't get killed off like other new characters introduced in this series.

Besides the colors and art, there's also the page and panel layouts we're seeing. There seems to be a lot of experimentation going on and it's turning out great. Even looking at the cover shows Manapul is trying some different things. It's great every once in a while to see something a little different in the way a comic page is read.

There is also some new developments and follow ups to other plot points in the issue carrying on from before. With so much going on, it's great to see the supporting cast get a chance to be seen without their stories being forgotten for issues.

The Bad

I might be nit-picking but because this series is called THE FLASH, we expect to see him. While I completely understand why we don't see much of Barry, looking forward to seeing him in action and that not happening can be a slight disappointment. What we have to keep in mind is Barry was shot. Getting shot in the head isn't something Flash can simply walk away from. We do see Barry and all is explained. It's well executed but I wanted to see some Flash action.

I'm also unfortunately finding myself getting a little impatient in seeing what Iris' fate will be.

The Verdict

No doubt about it, Flash is one of the best looking comics around. Francis Manapul's art and layouts combined with Brian Buccellato's colors are breathtaking. We've seen some attempts by creators taking on the art and writing but there can be a slight distraction as they try to take on both duties. That isn't the case with Manapul and Buccellato. They appear to have a very firm grasp on writing the story and presenting it in a kick-ass way. We get a lot of action along with some flashback information and little updates on the supporting characters. What we don't get a lot of is Barry Allen. It's understandable as he was shot last issue in the head, while attempting to get a handle on his new power. This is really a time I long for the days of half stars in our ratings. I would have easily added this another half star to the score. The story is building up and it looks as if the next issue will bring the story to an explosive conclusion.

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