Monday, 30 January 2017

The Flash, Volume 1: Lightning Strikes Twice Review (Joshua Williamson, Carmine Di Giandomenico)


Honestly, I don’t think Flash is for me – I simply cannot see what it is that some people love about this character. He runs fast, yellow lightning surrounds him, I fall asleep – it’s the same with every Flash book whoever the writer is! Flash is one of the blandest superheroes ever created and, six decades later, he’s still chasing after a personality!

Flash Rebirth starts by recounting two of the biggest reveals from DC Universe Rebirth #1 – SPOILSIES if you haven’t read it – with Flash reunited with white Wally West – an emotional reunion apparently but I’ve been more emotional looking at a stapler – and he and Batman stare at the Comedian’s Smiley Face badge with Batman saying they should probably investigate it. Will this book explore either storyline any further? Nope! White Wally West’s return is covered in Teen Titans Rebirth and the Batman/Flash/Watchmen investigation will be a miniseries called The Button out later this year. (I say “white” Wally West because New 52 black Wally West is also in this book. So there’s now two Wally Wests in this world. Shrug.)

What we get in this book instead is a lorra nothing! Woohoo…. It literally takes 50 pages before something happens. Random folk are getting hit with Speed Force lightning, turning them into Speedsters. Except one of them, Godspeed, is a bit of a tosser, killing new Speedsters for their Speed Force because he wants their power zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………. Let’s say speed a few more times because I haven’t said it enough already. Speed, speed, speed. Flash is so speeding dull.

At 180 pages, this book is the longest Rebirth volume I’ve read so far while also annoyingly having the least going on. Barry teaches the new Speedsters how to use the Speed Force, he fights Godspeed, and that’s basically it. Not that that stops writer Joshua Williamson from loading up the pages with dreary narration and unexciting dialogue that reads like wading through mud. Ironically for a book about the fastest man alive it has an agonisingly slow-moving story. Godspeed’s a weak and unoriginal Flash villain too – he’s just another evil Speedster like Reverse-Flash, Zoom, Fast Bastard, Savitar, and Speed Demon (I made one of them up).

Carmine Di Giandomenico’s art was quite good. Appropriately for the character, he draws motion well and the fight scenes between Flash and Godspeed were pretty damn spectacular, very… flashy (yukyukyuk)! Sometimes the panels were laid out quite imaginatively too to emphasise the character’s speed. 

I suppose this is an ok introductory book for new readers. You find out who the Flash/Barry is, you get a strong understanding of his powers and a bit of his complex history too - whether you’ll want to read more of him after all that though is another matter! The scenes where Flash is teaching the new Speedsters to use their newfound abilities were surprisingly decent too, particularly when he showed the teen Speedster how to be grounded; mostly though this was a really tedious, frustratingly long-winded and very uninteresting read.

I’m probably not going to bother with Flash comics anymore regardless of people insisting that this latest one is really good, not like the others; I just end up wanting to blow my brains out from boredom well before I get to the end. This one’s only gonna appeal to that unfathomable sub-set of comics readers, Flash fans.

SPEED!

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