Thursday, July 1, 2010

Review: The Flash #3

THE FLASH #3 "The Dastardly Death of the Rogues, part 3"
Written by Geoff Johns; art by Francis Manapul.

Francis Manapul continues to blow my mind with his art and is seriously turning into one of my favourite artists. One of the reasons I really like his work on this series is all the background action and characterization that is constantly happening around the main story. During the fight scenes, almost every panel shows some "extras" running for cover or snapping quick pictures with their camera phones. Particularly impressive was the coffee shop scene, which as far as the story is concerned consists of Barry and Iris sitting at a table and having a conversation for four pages. But while this is happening, the background is filled with customers waiting in line to place their orders, students working on their laptops, people on the street outside getting into cabs. There's even some continuity involved, like with the man who finishes reading his paper, gets up and leaves, as another woman quickly takes the free table. Some people might find this distracting (like this reviewer who complains that Manapul "switches camera angles" too often), but to me it just adds to the sense that Central City is a real place inhabited by real people.

As far as the story goes, Geoff Johns is taking his time. Three issues in and the future cops are still trying to arrest Barry for the murder he hasn't committed yet, and it doesn't really seem like we're much closer to figuring out exactly what their deal is, although we are thrown cryptic hints here and there. The much more exciting plot development, though, is Captain Boomerang's escape from prison and the revelation that since coming back to life in Blackest Night, he now has the ability to "manifest black construct boomerangs in times of duress," all of which makes him pretty badass.

There's a humourous two-page extra at the end called "Flashfacts," which gives us a history of the boomerang, followed by an explanation of Captain Boomerang's powers. I found the second part of it actually quite useful, as someone who hasn't read Blackest Night and who isn't all that familiar with the character. Scott Kolins handles the art on this section. I hope this will be a recurring feature.

Overall, this was another good issue and I'm still enjoying this series a lot.


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