Review: The Flash #10

Published on April 19th, 2011

Aside from Batman, (Bruce Wayne, please) The Flash (preferably Barry Allen, but I’ll take Wally West) has always been my favorite superhero. I don’t really remember when/how that came to be, but that’s just the way it is. Having said that, I can’t say I’m particularly thrilled with the way The Flash series seems to be headed right now. But, I don’t wanna get too far ahead of myself. For now, I’ll warn you that issue #10 is your typical good-news-bad-news situation.

flash10In the last issue of The Flash, Barry Allen met what appeared to be himself (going by the name of Hot Pursuit and riding a Speed Force-powered motorcycle) from the future. However, it turns out that THIS Barry is not from the future. He’s from a parallel Earth; one of fifty-two parallel Earths. Hot Pursuit has come to find The Flash, confirm that Flash is the generator of the Speed Force, and stop an anomaly that will basically destroy all existence. Bottom line: Flash’s Earth is the cornerstone for all other Earth’s, and Flash is the cornerstone to all other speedsters. Original, right?

Meanwhile, Barry’s old lab assistant, Patty Spivot, has come back to Keystone City to help out on the odd rapid-aging related deaths that have begun to occur. The last crime was one involving a young man calling himself the Elongated Kid, but the police weren’t able to determine if his death was accidental or a homicide. Near the end of the current issue, another body turns up at a shipping yard, but with two tweaks to the crime scene. One: there seems to be a deep, large motorcycle tire mark in the ground. Two: there’s a young boy hiding inside a nearby shipping container. This young boy could be the only lead as to what’s really going on.

As always, Francis Manapul’s art is simply delicious. And I also cannot forget to mention his partner doing the colors Brian Buccellato. You’d be hard pressed to tell me that the best panel in this issue isn’t the one at the bottom of page 15, where Flash loses Hot Pursuit’s trail. The panels go from these poppy colors to stark black/grey/white city street with Flash standing alone in his bright, red costume. Gorgeous. That’s the good news.

Now for the semi-bad news. Geoff Johns’ storytelling…well, I’m enjoying the crime aspect to the plot. It’s cool to see Barry still trying to be a cop again and the aging deaths are interesting and have their own sense of grounded danger that could be unrelated to a whole world-ending/world-connected event. Having said that, the idea of the multiple Earths and THIS Earth being the “key” and our DC hero being the one that holds the answer/solution to the space-time continuum is old. Didn’t I pretty much just read that in Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne less than a year ago? It’s a tired device that’s getting more than just old. It’s getting annoying and bordering on insulting. Oh, and stop trying to shove Bart Allen into Flash stories. Talk about granddaddy issues! Geez!

I just hope I’m wrong about where the overall arc is going as we head into Flashpoint. I’d really hate to stop reading The Flash because of a been-there-done-that premise. Please get something going with this, DC!

Sam Taylor