This is a pretty simple issue with a hook at the end meant to keep people reading. The thing starts with Barry on a date with Patty who he apparently has been crushing on for two years. Things soon get messed up as the exhibit they are at gets attacked by a group wearing high tech suits causing Barry to vanish and suit up. Granted to say, the Flash manages to keep them from stealing the Re-coder they were trying to steal but all but one gets away. The one that doesn’t Barry kind of falls off an aircraft with and to try and save the man he throws him through a window then vibrates through the street so he can splash safely into sew water… Yeah, I don’t quite see the logic of how that wouldn’t kill him but maybe vibrating through a street slowed him down?
As he lays there though we get possibly the oddest introduction of Iris West ever. She looks through the hole in the street down at Flash and says “Flash! Iris West, Central City citizen. Are you okay?” I mean really, who identifies themselves like that? Or am I wrong and the paper she works for just oddly called the “Central City Citizen” which then would be the oddest name for a newspaper ever? Either way, Flash returns the genome re-coder, joins Patty again as Barry, and we see the man was a college friend of Barry’s which is noted by a nice Flashback. Oh, and I should mention that Barry’s old friend Manuel is dead. Deemed not the Flash’s fault by the police and autopsy report but it still gets to Barry.
Barry decides to play a bit of detective running his own tests at his house when someone sneaks into his apartment (and just before Iris was about to drop by). In an odd twist, it’s Manuel and much like in Barry’s flashback the two have to take off running being followed by a bunch of guys. So he can suit up, Barry pretends to trip into the river and by the moment he catches back up with Manuel he finds his friend being jumped by a dozen other guys that look exactly like him.
So what are my thoughts? The story is good. The very first page had me connecting with Barry as a person, but when he suited up and I saw the general note given on who the Flash is mention the Speed Force, I was quickly reminded that we have no word at all on Wally West still. Not to mention that while I felt some connection to Barry as a person, his Flash is… kind of dull. It was generally a good story and I’ll continue on with at least another issue. I just don’t know how long I’ll continue reading this when his time in costume came off as dull to me, and I have a feeling it isn’t the writing but mostly the character. Before ending this though I will give props to Francis Manapul’s art and Brian Buccellato’s colors. This issue has a simpler look to it than many of the comcis that have come out, yet that doesn’t mean the art in this is boring. It actually comes off very well and the two do a nice job with it while having a couple neat paneling ideas like after Barry falls from the aircraft and vibrates through the street.