I love this book.
This book picks up immediately where the first issue left us of: the renegades (25th century police force modeled after the rouges) attempting to arrest the Flash for the murder of the Mirror Monarch (a fellow renegade). The twist is that, although the body of Mirror Monarch turned up in the first issue, the charge is for a murder that the renegades believe Allen will commit in the future.
This book is a lot of fun. Some may argue that Manapul’s art carries this book. I disagree. Yes, Manapul’s art is nothing less that perfect here. His background are detailed and lush. It’s amazing to see how his art changes in order to accommodate different scenes. While most of this book is really crisp, during the blizzard that Commander Cold summons the art gets appropriately muddled. The way he pencils the Flash in the act of saving the residents of a colapsing building just blew me away. I could go on and on about his art but I think we need to commend Johns’ writing as well. It’s incredibly clever.
From the temporal shock caused by the Renegades time travel and Johns explanation of how Barry Allen retains knowledge when he speed reads, to the implicit logic that considering that the Reverse Flash is from the 25th century it would stand to reason that the Rouges from that century would be good guys, I thought this book was really smart. Johns also goes along way in managing to keep us interested in Allen’s civilian life. Although I think it’s more than a little cliché to have that character at the office that hates our hero for no rational reason, I think Johns does a good job, overall, at showing how his civilian identity will interact with his superhero identity. On a slightly different note I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that Captain Boomerang seemed like one of the lamest choices for a revival at the end of Blackest Night. The scene in Iron heights, however, has made me confident that Johns has a purpose in mind for him that will tell a good story. All-in-all there’s a lot to love in this script which might be overshadowed by the incredible art.
After a really strong first issue and even better follow-up, count me as officially on board for the long run. Flash #03, especially after the reveal at the end of this issue, promises to be a blast. Finally I want to say that I think the unsung hero of this issue has to be Brian Buccellato, the colorist of this issue. Manapul’s art really shines because of his beautiful coloring.
Final Verdict: B+