It’s a brand new beginning for The Flash. We’ve got ourselves a new creative team with Robert Venditti and Van Jensen writing and Brett Booth drawing. This could be either really good or very “meh” judging from previous works they have done. Either way, is it good?
The Flash #30 (DC Comics)
It’s after the events of Forever Evil (hey DC, actually end the event before you have comics about the aftermath) and Central City has gone to crap. Barry Allen AKA The Flash is trying his best to fix the city while still having a major guilt trip for not being there when Forever Evil went down. Before he get can move on and get back to his day job however, he has to visit a psychologist to see if he is fit for duty.
The Flash #30 definitely feels like the start of a new beginning for the title and I like it. We are given a new status quo with all the characters, fun hints and a new direction for the future, and more. It’s also a good start for people who want to jump into the book, properly reintroducing Barry Allen’s history and personality alongside his supporting cast.
The writing is pretty strong overall. The characterization is good all around; the dialogue is strong and features some good lines, especially when Barry opens up to the psychologist; the pacing and structure are fine with balancing the quiet and reflective moments alongside the superheroics; and while there isn’t much going on in the story for the issue, it’s still very engaging overall. There’s one thing about the comic that is going to get a rather interesting reaction, judging by the reactions I’ve seen so far: a twist and surprise at the very end of the comic. Me personally? I do not care in the slightest bit and see it as no reason to immediately dismiss all the good that the comic already has done. To some, it might and that’s an honest shame.
Is it just me, or do you feel a draft in here?
Now, things that will definitely turn people off regardless of the surprise at the end is the artwork by Brett Booth. Ignoring the personality of the artist which can already be a turnoff, Booth’s style can be reminiscent of Rob Liefeld with the bad body structures and poses. This comic definitely suffers from that in areas, along with characters not looking like who they are supposed to be (plus, tiny heads on large bodies). To the artist’s credit, the more vibrant and kinetic style in the penciling and coloring does work here, especially how The Flash’s speed and movement is conveyed. Some characters look fine and the backgrounds and scenery are perfectly fine. If Booth had to be drawing some superhero comic, it was probably for the best that it was The Flash.
Is It Good?
The Flash #30 is a good comic and start for this creative team. Questionable change and artwork aside, the writing is strong enough to overcome its problems. The new direction is intriguing, the characters are good, and the story is engaging overall. If you can get past its shortcomings, there’s plenty to like or at least enjoy here.