I think it fair to say that the flash is one of my favourite characters, first place is a two way tie between green lantern and spider man with a different one occupying the top slot at different times. I started reading the flash sometime 2 years ago after I got interested in him via green lantern, I had loved him in the justice league television show but like many of the characters in that show I felt the show did enough exploring of his character that reading comics would give me no new information and unlike green lantern he did not have an easily accessible jumping on point. Green lantern had rebirth and although he had existed since the 50’s this represented a starting from point for this character, unfortunately this was not the case for flash when I started reading it, I know that rebirth came along later but that’s so tied up in the old dc universe that it can still be very difficult to get into the flash, if you ask me though there isn’t a much better place to start with the flash than the new run in 52 because it does a fantastic job of telling you everything you need to know about Barry Allen and the flash.
The art in this book for lack of a better way of describing it is quiet simply beautiful, drool inducing, spectacular, amazing and any other word that a thesaurus will throw at you when you look up beautiful. if I had to describe it I would say that it lacks a certain precision, this is in no way an insult on the book though because it really suits the flash, the flash is meant to be fast loose and this style suits it perfectly. Its blurry somewhat amateur look suits it, if I had one criticism regarding the art of this books its in the structure of the panels. Despite my quite liberal stance i’m quite conservative when it comes to certain things and those things are my cinema and the structure of my comics. There is a lot going on in this book which requires you to spend a lot of time looking through every little detail on each page, the layout of some of the pages is also somewhat daunting and confusing and requires in some cases reading thrice but it doesn’t really affect the book as a whole because like i’ve already said this book is simply gorgeous and you will want to keep looking at the panels for as long as possible.
The story of the flash move forward is dense, quiet frankly the amount of stuff going on is quite frankly staggering but at the same time not overwhelming. This story while taking the flash in new and interesting directions (something that was promised by the dc reboot) also pays homage to classic silver and golden age flash stories. This story deals a lot with time and although many of the newer flash fans will think this is in relation to flashpoint this is not the case, time travel has existed in the flash since its inception, first he had the cosmic treadmill that allowed him to travel forward in time, in infinite crisis the flash travelled backwards in time to save the planet and off course any self respecting dc fan will know that flash point was all centred around flash ability to timetravel. I know that was bit of a weird tangent to go on but It is revelavant to my point that unlike many of the other books in the new 52 the flash has managed to create a new story while still managing to pay homage to what has been before. There is a lot going on in the flash but somehow it manages to fulfill the promises on the new 52, it successfully re-established the flash and the new universe while changing just enough to keep the flash interesting. The start of this successfully re imagines flash origins by introducing a new best friend in to the mix but low and behold he turns out to be a new enemy and point of contention for the flash, it also does this wonderful thing were by it quickly goes through the flashes powers In quick succession while imposing the idea that while flash can run fast he can also think fast, this change in the flashes powers is interesting enough to keep me interested while making absolutely logical sense, if his body is fast then why cant his mind be fast too. This new power gives him the power to see probabilities and in a somewhat limited fashion see the future but naturally it has it limitations in that he can get bogged down and get hurt if he over thinks, I think much of the future flash story lines are going to deal with this problem of balancing the two. There is also the problem that Barry’s speed force is dangerous and that if Barry runs too fast then he will open up a time portal that could prove disastrous for the people around him, this is a nice devices to placate Barry’s powers and adds a extra dimension to it all. This naturally culminates in him being sucked into the speed force and sent to some strange part of time but more on that in the next book.
Unlike many of the other parts of the dc reboot this has changed many of the pre existing parts of the flash, firstly Barry has a new girlfriend he is no longer with iris west in fact iris kind of has a vendetta against the flash , secondly there is no wally for many this will be a good thing but for me im a little disappointed I would have preferred if they got rid of the family and kept wally but alas that is not meant to be but I hold out hope that they will reintroduce him in the future because hes a character I enjoy even if his family is a massive pain in the ball sack. Thirdly the flash is not all that popular in the two gem cities, all these things are really interesting and will hopefully add a new dimension and keep the flash interesting. So this has done the impossible it has successfully established the flash in the new dc universe while somehow changing the things that were the foundation of the flash in the dc universe. This is highly recommended for any flash fan and none flash fan alike.