What better way to start off a new arc and new creative team on a book than with a big tease of what’s to come? The first page opens five years from now. We know, especially in the New 52, a lot can happen in five years. The tone is set in the opening pages and we see the struggle Flash faces with the responsibility resting upon his shoulders.
Jumping back to the present, we see Central City is a mess. The city has been ravaged by the Crime Syndicate and Gorilla Grodd and his army. This is something you don’t often see—repercussions on a city after a big event. We may not know exactly how FOREVER EVIL ends but we can assume the city’s been cleared out and saved. Now comes the time to clean up. This is something the police department has to deal with. Robert Venditti and Van Jensen continue the subtle touches of reality by making the members of the CCPD talk to a psychologist. For the average citizen or law enforcement, living in a world full of super-powered beings must be daunting. Having an entire city terrorized and held captive by talking killer gorillas can’t be the easiest thing to deal with. But rather than simply have everyone return to work and have the book ignore what just happened, we get to see there is a lot to deal with besides simply cleaning up the city.
Barry having to talk to a psychologist while being preoccupied makes an interesting scenario. We learn how the writers view Barry and also get to see what he’s capable of. As a result, we get some new developments that we should pay close attention to. Especially when it comes to how much time he actually spent talking to the psychologist.
But this isn’t an entire issue of Barry laying on a couch talking about what he’s going through. There is plenty of Flash-action. Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund show Barry zipping around all over the place, just as you’d want to see. Andrew Dalhouse adds to the art with his colors really showing off the effects of Barry using the Speed Force.
Of course Venditti and Jensen leave off with a pretty crazy cliffhanger that is bound to get people talking. There will be some fascinated readers and possibly some concerned ones. That’s what you want in a story, something to give you the urge to talk about what is going on rather than an empty feeling as you just move on to the next comic in your stack.
Because the issue has to serve as an introduction to the new creative team, we don’t necessarily get a traditional FLASH comic. Flash doesn’t go up against any super villains but we do get to see some insight into the character. There are plenty of scenes with Flash using his powers but this is all clearly leading up to something much much bigger.
A minor distraction, for me, was the way Barry was dressed. He was wearing a tight vest over a buttoned down pink shirt with a tie. He looked a little too well dressed compared to how he usually dressed and considering the fact that the entire precinct is in a pretty big mess because of the attack against the city.
Wally West’s introduction will definitely get people talking. We are talking about the New 52 so there is always the possibility that characters can be re-invented. Of course it’s too easy to tell but long time Wally fans will likely be wondering how much of the old Wally we’ll have. The obvious changes aren’t really a concern. The question is, what will his back story and personality be?
The Flash is back after the events of FOREVER EVIL. New writers Robert Venditti and Van Jensen show the after effects of a city being overrun during a big comic book event. Things slow down a little to allow us to see more of who Barry Allen is while at the same time, Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund get plenty of high speed Flash scenes to draw. There are some subtle new developments that readers should pay close attention to. The big and overshadowing one will be the introduction of a long missing and familiar character into the New 52. Aside from the obvious change, we have a pretty crazy mystery on our hands that will definitely make you want to come back for more. As cliché as it may sound, run out to your local comic shop and pick this issue up.