Tony Black reviews The Flash #1…
A new storm brews over Central City and disproves the old adage about lightning never, well…you know. Just as Barry begins to feel overwhelmed fighting crime, a new speedster debuts—but just where did this amazing new friend come from?
SEE ALSO: Check out a preview of The Flash #1
Continuing the Rebirth re-introduction of Barry Allen, The Flash #1 moves away from the overarching Rebirth plot line set up of Wally West’s return and focuses much more on Barry as a character, as writer Joshua Williamson strives to get under the skin of who the Flash is, and why he does what he does. It’s a continued primer for people who may not have been following Barry for years as to exactly what he does on a daily basis, both as the Flash and as a Century City CSI, and rewards fans with the beginnings of a plot in ‘Lightning Strikes Twice’ Chapter One which not only establishes Barry’s status quo, but sets up a very intriguing new development in his world.
The issue presents a clear, strong character dichotomy for Barry to grapple with – can he be everywhere at once? It’s the same kind of problem other super powered, super fast heroes like Superman will have had to grapple with; if he’s the fastest man alive, why can’t Barry save kids from a burning building and stop an armed robbery at the same time? It’s a problem for Barry as he feels as though he doesn’t help enough people in his day to day being a hero, that he could do more. He wants to be there for his friend and love interest Iris (the extra layer only suggested here) and her nephew Wally (a different Wally) but he also seeks to be out saving people, and Williamson reminds us of the personal family tragedy that provides his rationale. The message ultimately is that Barry, like all of us, can only do so much, born out in his attempts to help friend August once robbers who hit S.T.A.R. Labs earlier rear their heads once again.
By the end, if Barry hasn’t quite come to terms with this truth, he understands the consequences and the issue ends with placing a character important to Barry in a very powerful, and very life threatening positioning. The artwork doesn’t always stand out as among the best DC has to offer, but Carmine di Giandomenico conveys the speed and desperation in Barry alongside Williamson’s accomplished writing, making The Flash consistently one of the strongest Rebirth titles so far.
Tony Black is a freelance film/TV writer & podcaster & would love you to follow him on Twitter.