When we left Barry at the end of ‘The Flash’ #3, he had been shot in the head by one of the members of the villainous group of clones known as Mob Rule. This issue picks up with Barry’s friend Manuel (who is partially responsible for the creation of Mob Rule) as he seeks to stop Mob Rule before any more harm can be done.
As opposed to the high octane action of last issue, the majority of story here is made up of flashback sequences. That isn’t a bad thing though, as we get more of the origin of Mob Rule and discover more of the group’s motivations. We also get a glimpse into Barry’s history with Manuel. But the action does ramp up when Manuel learns that Mob Rule has killed Barry, and as good a fighter as he may be, Manuel is just no match for a heavily armed group of his own clones and his anger isn’t enough to sway the tide.
I mentioned the story and artwork of ‘The Flash’ in my review for ‘Superman’ #4 this week, and for good reason. ‘Superman’ has George Perez on writing duties and he’s also doing breakdowns for the art. When you get a great writer who is writing for his own artwork, it makes for a magical mix that is hard pressed to get when you have two different creators working on a book. Perez on ‘Superman’ is great… but what Francis Manapul is doing in ‘The Flash’ is phenomenal! Each page (and often each panel) is a piece of art that would be worthy of framing on any collector’s wall. Manapul has created a book that is full of kinetic energy and emotional impact and that’s exactly what ‘The Flash’ should be!
If you don’t already have this series on your pull list, you should make it a point to add it as soon as possible. If you’re a fan of the art of storytelling in comics (and I assume you are or you wouldn’t be reading this review), you owe it to yourself to check out ‘The Flash’.
THE FLASH #4
Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL and BRIAN BUCCELLATO
Art and cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL