New 52 Review – “The Flash #1”

The fastest man alive gets relaunched yet again.

General Information

Title: Flash #1

Author: Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato

Illustrator(s): Francis Manapul (art) and Brian Buccellato (colours)

Cover Date: November 2011

Cover Price: $2.99

Buy the digital edition.


Barry Allen, police scientist, is on hand for a technology theft. He transforms into the Flash to stop the crime, but a member of the gang dies in the process, and is reveal to be an old friend of Barry’s.

High Point

The art is not only expressive from a storytelling perspective, we’ve got a new look for super speed action, right down to the lettering by Sal Cipriano.

Low Point

Still no sign of Wally. Spoiler protected: Is any marriage going to survive this reboot?

The Scores

This is an original take on the character. It’s only been since Barry returned after CSI hit it big on the networks that the comics have actually used Barry’s day job as a police scientist in their stories, and it works out very well. Add in the new status quo, and this is one of the titles that feels fresh in the lineup. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is really growing on me. I wasn’t a huge fan of Manapul on the title when Geoff Johns wrote it a couple of years back, but seeing the way he draws his own plots is different. There’s a lot more integration of storytelling into the work. It’s a very dynamic look. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is off to a good start. The status quo and power set of the character are introduced very quickly, in the context of the story itself. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization of Barry is as quick and efficient as Barry himself. His interactions with others and a couple of lines of dialogue sum the man up quite nicely in very little page space, leaving a lot of room for the story to move forward. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is good. Conceptually, the Flash and Green Lantern have been the two DC titles that have always appealed to me the most, and this title is a strong launch for the former. I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow is excellent. Manapul is both cowriter and artist, and his cowriter is the colourist, so both have strong visual sensibilities. This is a title that feels like it’s moving on the page. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, we’ve got a solid first chapter in the relaunch. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Flash #1 receives 37 out of 42.

The New 52

Here are handy links for the reviews of all 52 new #1 issues:

  1. Action Comics
  2. All-Star Western
  3. Animal Man
  4. Aquaman
  5. Batgirl
  6. Batman
  7. Batman and Robin
  8. Batman: The Dark Knight
  9. Batwing
  10. Batwoman
  11. Birds of Prey
  12. Blackhawks
  13. Blue Beetle
  14. Captain Atom
  15. Catwoman
  16. DC Universe Presents
  17. Deathstroke
  18. Demon Knights
  19. Detective Comics
  20. The Flash
  21. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
  22. The Fury of Firestorm
  23. Green Arrow
  24. Green Lantern
  25. Green Lantern Corps
  26. Green Lantern: New Guardians
  27. Grifter
  28. Hawk and Dove
  29. I, Vampire
  30. Justice League
  31. Justice League Dark
  32. Justice League International
  33. Legion Lost
  34. Legion of Super-Heroes
  35. Men of War
  36. Mister Terrific
  37. Nightwing
  38. O.M.A.C.
  39. Red Hood and the Outlaws
  40. Red Lanterns
  41. Resurrection Man
  42. The Savage Hawkman
  43. Static Shock
  44. Stormwatch
  45. Suicide Squad
  46. Superboy
  47. Supergirl
  48. Superman
  49. Swamp Thing
  50. Teen Titans
  51. Voodoo
  52. Wonder Woman