DC Comics’ dynamic cover campaign strikes again! I picked up this month’s issue of The Flash based entirely on the phenomenal cover by local artist Francis Manapul. I’m not entirely sure why I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the issue, but it is a great read. This really shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me, given the creative team involved. Geoff Johns is one of my favourite writers, I have enjoyed nearly everything he has done, with one exception – Blackest Night. This was a big reason that I didn’t give The Flash #1 more than a quick flip through when it was first released. I knew I should be reading the comic, but I was trying to avoid anything related to Brightest Day, and its banner above The Flash logo soured its debut for me. That and the insanely long delays that plagued The Flash: Rebirth mini-series had caused me to lose interest in these characters.
The Flash #9 is the perfect return read for errant fans like myself. A new arc – Flashpoint – is starting, and though I was a little mystified by references to previous issues, the story drew me in quickly. Barry Allen thinks that there is something wrong with his timeline, but before he has a chance to decide what to do, a new character – Hot Pursuit – arrives on the scene. Looking like the love child of Ghost Rider and Flash, this motorcycle speedster is teased as being responsible for the death of The Elongated Kid. The last page reveal though, throws this into doubt.
Francis Manapul’s art is absolutely stunning, and Geoff Johns’ writing is sharp and fast paced. I am kicking myself for not having been on board since the first issue, and I can only hope that this creative team sticks together for many more issues to come.