By Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
#13-19 $25We already reviewed this trade for our February Trade of The Month podcast. Even though we already reviewed it I thought I would do a full written review for you all since it turns out that we never picked up or read the last two issues that this volume consists of.
First off I have to mention that considering this trade is a volume 3 that it may not be the best time to jump on the Flash unless you've read the previous editions. For one there's not much of an introduction to the character of Barry Allen or his powers as Flash. This title is very episodic so you'll be missing a lot if you haven't read the other volumes or the issues they are made up from. If you have though the reward is exponential. The groundwork has been laid brilliantly for this book to pull off the climax that it has to deliver and resolve things that had been brewing since the first volume.
Now for the story. If you don't want it spoiled for you this is when you should skip to the end. Most of the story is about Gorilla Grodd making his triumphant return now more ferocious, powerful, and faster than ever. As one of Flash's most fierce adversaries, Grodd, arrives in Central City with an army of super intelligent apes backing him to rectify his plan to completely take the speed force for himself. If you thought Grodd was bad on his own then you should see him as he's found a way for him and his army to tap into the speed force. With a speed force fueled gorilla army taking over Central City the Flash’s Rogues are forced to team up with him to try to stop this invasion. When something this cataclysmic happens in a book other hero's are called to aid or it is never addressed why they didn't but in this case Manapul & Buccellato give a great explanation. Barry is forced to learn how to fully tap into the speed force in order to defeat the king of the apes. The last part of the book addresses that some of the people that were trapped inside the speed force now have some residual effects and sets up for the next volume featuring Flash’s evil counterpart.
A big part of the story telling especially with this title has been the very smooth, beautiful, strong, intense, cinematic, and brilliant art. I have never seen art so magnificent and genius in comics before reading the NEW52 Flash book. The panel design, structure, lay outs, and spreads are the most unique, smart, gorgeous, and creative I have ever seen in comics. The introduction splash pages are sensational, vivid, impressive, intelligent, incomparable visages of art. I could talk about the art all day. There's not enough complimentary words in the dictionary for the art in this title. It's easy on the eyes and easily the best there is out there. Few and far between have done story telling in such a way with all of its beauty and pure magnificence. You could easily ignore the text and get the story just by the visuals and honestly it’s easy getting caught up in them.
That being said there's no doubt you should go out and get this as soon as possible. I assure you there’s nothing out there like it right now. This title reads brilliantly in trade. The only downside is that it's obviously knee deep in one hell of a crisis from a setup that has been a long time coming all the way from the first volume when Iris disappeared. They could have easily ended this volume after the resolution with Grodd but they whet your appetite for the next story arc instead. Those last two stories may not be drawn by Manapul & Buccellato but they're good in their own right and it means to send a different message as does one other time during the Grodd invasion. I’m not one for artist change ups in the middle of a story or arc but when it's a thematic change that is meant to change the tone then I'm all for it as I was after realizing that is exactly what they did. The creative team is a juggernaut of genius story telling and beautiful art. Don’t miss it because you will regret it. The whole time I wasn’t picking this title up in issues I was missing it and now I’m glad to have it back and in even better form.
Verdict: STRONG BUY
You can pick up these comics at Age Of Comics or
Twin Suns Comics & Games
Twin Suns Comics & Games
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