The second part of “The Flash: Year One” continues this week as Joshua Williamson and Howard Porter continue to reveal Barry’s origin in the New 52. Based on the cliffhanger from last issue, Barry is learning things via trial by fire as time travel is involved. Use those speed powers, Barry — you need to think fast!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“The Flash Year One” continues! Barry Allen struggles to control his powers as he experiments with his newfound abilities. When one of his tests lands him in a mess, he’ll come face to face with his first villains!
Why does this matter?
At this point, every DC character needs a little Year One action, so why not Flash? We’re getting Barry’s first real superhero adventure here which is exciting in its own right, too.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Howard Porter is a gift to comic readers. Seriously, his line work and detailed style are something special, making a double-page splash of rubble in a dystopian future look exceptional. And that’s a scene we’ve seen a thousand times before! The issue opens with an excellent 15-panel page highlighting how good he is at telling a story in the smallest of panels. The villain in this issue also looks fantastic with some rather cool looking armor. Who would have thought The Turtle could look cool?
The story here is quite entertaining too. It’s fun to see how Williamson is crafting future-Barry as an intensely positive dude. Considering the world is in shambles, that’s a huge deal. It’s also neat how Williamson points out there are many realities in a scene where future-Barry is asking Barry about his timeline. Do things line up? Yeah? Okay, let’s run! There’s also a great bit of teaching that future-Barry gives Barry, which pays off later in the issue.
The trickiness of time travel is also a major factor in this issue. It’s subtle, but once you reach the cliffhanger you’ll realize messing with the timeline can very much be a problem young Barry isn’t aware of yet.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
I’m a little confused by future-Barry’s behavior. Why is he so positive in a world where the heroes lost? It makes you wonder if there’s something up with him and if he’s really who he says he is, but it’s not indicated or hinted at. Instead, we’re to trust him, which makes the lighter and more positive tone seem a bit off.
Is it good?
I’m enjoying this origin story and the wild adventure Barry is on. The guy just learned how to run fast and now he’s time traveling? Heavy, dude.