The Flash has been a major focus of the DC Universe over the past couple of years since Barry Allen returned from the grave. This past summer featured the Universe shaking Flashpoint, and now the Flash is back in an all new solo-title.

If the New 52 ‘Flash’ #1 provides anything, it is a great example of a comic book as art. Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato pull double duty collaborating as both writers and artists for this all new Flash adventure. From the cover to the final page, this book is simply filled with great artwork, and once the story got past the clumsy beginning it was no slouch either.

If you can remember all the way back to the end of August, you know Barry Allen had three continuities to choose at the end of Flashpoint. He could have stayed in the Flashpoint Universe, gone back to the regular DCU or (the choice he made) this all new DC Universe. You may also recall he had memories of all three at the end of the book when he was sharing a letter from Thomas Wayne to his son Bruce.

I’m sure you’re wondering what this has to do with the new Flash book. Well nothing yet, but if decades of DC Comics stories has proven anything, it is that the Flash (and the other Speedsters) are the moral compass of the DCU. It is why the Flash will always be one of the most important characters in comics.

All is not the same in the Flash world; Barry is no longer married to Iris West. Wally West doesn’t appear to exist. No Bart Allen. Oh, and the issue starts with Barry on a date with fellow “lab-rat” Patty Spivot. However, there are some things that never change. Barry is off and running at the first sign of trouble and is always looking for ways to save the innocent. While the book stumbled a bit out of the starting gate, it quickly found a nice pace. Hopefully, this will remain a superhero book and not a super-speed CSI.

The Flash knows he can’t be everywhere at once (of course that doesn’t stop him from trying). What happens when he faces an all-new villain who really can? If that’s not bad enough, this new enemy turns out to be a close friend. This appears to be the start of an interesting Flash story, and hopefully this new “frienemy” will make a welcome addition to the Flash’s already stellar Rogues Gallery.

The Flash #1
Story by: Franics Manapul & Brian Buccellato
Art by: Francis Manapul
Colors by: Brian Buccellato
Cover by: Francis Manapul