The Flash #5
By Colin Andersen
September 22, 2010 - 23:08
The Flash is just plain, old-fashioned fun. That’s really about the gist of it. I have read that plenty of people don’t much care for having Barry Allen back as the main Flash and only having Wally West appear peripherally and, to be honest, I am one them. I was a huge fan of him, admittedly because I grew up with him as the Flash, but as I read more and more, Wally really proved himself. But don’t let that stop you from reading this book. Geoff Johns may not be revolutionizing the character, but Barry is proving to be worthy of having the title of the Flash and this series is just a ton of fun that feels like a story straight out of the ‘80s or ‘90s.
Issue #5 continues the fight between the villain Rogues of their past and their law-enforcing counterparts from the 25th century. Sure, it’s just using a variation of the old story of a superhero or villain fighting their alternate selves, but it is used to great effect here. Each of the Rogues picks a target that makes sense for them and they actually have some pretty creative uses for their powers. I particularly enjoyed some of the uses of Mirror Master’s powers; they showed some pretty creative thinking on Johns’ part even if some of the uses don’t result in much. I would like to see some of the Rogue’s get a little more screen time as some feel very underused, but when they are used they’re used quite a bit beyond what you normally expect them of them. I’m even enjoying the dichotomy between the current and future Rogues. Barry himself is a compelling lead and I really like his inherent goodness; he is constantly trying to help everyone at all times. He wants to run and save his wife, while also trying to stop the Rogues’ battle and stopping them from breaking the glass containing the Mirror Lords. There’s some compelling characterization here, even if it isn’t always the deepest examination of the people talking.
As I said before, this issue is also a great throwback. The plot really reminds me of an early to mid-nineties issue of The Flash
and that is not a bad thing by any means. An interesting thing about the book, however, is that people could complain that this book is both too simple and too confusing. It is a fairly straightforward plot; Rogues from the future are trying to arrest Barry for a murder he may or may not commit while the Rogues from the present day try and finish Barry off. That’s the story in it’s bare strokes. At the same time, though, there’s a whole lot more to it. There are sub plots such as the kid Barry is trying to get exonerated, there are mysteries to be unraveled, Brightest Day tie-in pieces, and quite a bit more. I’ve seen people complain about this book as both. If you pay attention, it is not that hard a story to follow at all, while still being fairly straightforward, with the standard twists of the comic book genre being thrown in. Speaking of these twists, there is one this issue and, while it’s certainly nothing super original, it did still manage surprise me.
Francis Manapul continues to help make The Flash
excellent for his part as well. He has an incredibly kinetic art style that makes everything look stylish and detailed, even while staying fairly simplistic and clutter-free. Perfect match for Johns’ story then isn’t it? It’s really excellent stuff and I couldn’t find a single panel I didn’t like. I’m sure his style wouldn’t work for everyone, but I absolutely love it and every panel seems to flow like water from one to the next. Every panel looks just great. My only real complaint towards it is that, from a distance, it can be hard to distinguish some of the future Rogues from their modern counterparts, but usually, it’s pretty easy to sort out who is who. I adore Manapul’s work.
No matter how you feel about who is operating as the Flash or how simple and/or confusing you find the story, you should be reading this series. The Flash
is probably in the top five books DC Comics puts out each month and always finds its place at the top of my read list. Nobody that enjoys superhero comic books should be missing this series. Even if you don’t care for the story, everyone should be able to at least appreciate the sheer, illustrative genius of Francis Manapul. Go out now and get this issue and all four of the previous ones.
Rating: 9 /10
Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12