Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Flash #9

Writer:  Geoff Johns
Artist:  Francis Manapul

"The Road to Flashpoint Part One"

Geoff Johns return to Flash has been a successful one.  He re-established Barry as a police scientist, did a multi-part story featuring the future Rogues Gallery, and followed it up with a couple of one part stories.  I guess the one parters are over.  We see "Part One" in the title and regular artist Francis Manapul has returned.  With this issue, I would guess that Johns is more focused on the big Flash event that is coming-Flashpoint.

A mysterious black and white garbed motorcyclist appears in Central City.  His bike has the tell tale speed force lines trailing behind it.  He races through the issue as he searches for Barry Allen.

Meanwhile, we learn that Barry is called in to work on a case.  The rest of the family is not happy that Barry is missing their picnic.  Johns does a good job with Barry struggling with family events since the murder of his mother.  Iris tells him that the rest went ahead with the family events when they thought he was dead.  The reactions of both characters are realistic.  Johns has always had a good handle on the Flash family.  He has not lost his touch.

Manapul's art continues to capture the high energy look that is needed for this book.  He is improving as the series progresses.  The characters are not just generic drawings.  Each person has a different look and body type.  Many artists do not vary the looks like this.  Manapul's approach is patterned after a more realistic style of character design.  I like being able to identify the characters with out being told who they are.

After seeing Manapul draw Elongated Kid, I would love to see him do more with that character.

Overall this was a good start to "The Road to Flashpoint".  Highly recommended.  I think this would be a good jumping on point for a new reader.

4 out of 5 stars.

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