There are many, many comic book series that come out every week. It can be hard to decide what to spend your money on when you go to your local comic book shop. Comics You Should Be Reading will give you some highlights of the current comic book world that are worth your time.
This week: The Flash
The Flash has been around for decades, but a few months ago the series got a fresh start with The Flash #1. If you don’t know anything about the Flash, don’t let that stop you. This series is very new reader friendly. Issue #4 was just released and every issue has been great. The story follows Barry Allen, one of the many men to claim the title Fastest Man Alive, as he tries to fit back into his regular life as well as being the Flash. As Barry Allen, he has to try to get back into the grove of his police scientist career and getting used to civilian life in Central City again. Meanwhile, The Flash has to deal with one of his enemies coming back from the dead as well as being accused of murder by 30th century police officers. The story, written by Geoff Johns, sounds a little crazy but it flows well and has a good mix of super hero action, character moments, and humor.
While the story has been great so far, the art has been the main attraction. Francis Manapul’s work is absolutely beautiful. The faces of all his characters are expressive and varied. Readers know what each person is feeling before reading what they are saying. This might not sound like much too some people, but it is very important. The characters need to have expressions that match their situation or their words. Otherwise there is a disconnect between the art and the story. A great artist doesn’t just show what the words on the page are saying, they add it and make the whole comic better.
Manapul doesn’t just get expressions right, the action in The Flash is great. The Flash’s speed is shown perfectly on the page. Each punch, explosion, and lightning bolt is beautiful. Readers will never be confused as to what is going on in the scene. A highlight of this action is Flash saving a helicopter crew from their soon to be crashed craft. After making sure pedestrians are moved out of the way, Flash runs up the side of a building near the crashing helicopter. Then, in a two page spread, we see the Flash running from one side of the helicopter blade to another while it is flying. Even the Barry realizes his book looks amazing. As he runs he says “Nice view” about the skyline in the background.
I used to pick up an issue of The Flash every once in a while, but never got hooked. The Flash #1-4 have turned me into a collector of the series. As long as Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul are the creative team behind The Flash I will be reading it. And you should be too.