The Flash #18 Review

The Flash #18 Review
By: Jay
Barry Allen was covered in a
chemical bath that was struck by lightning and became The Flash: The Fastest
Man Alive. Barry Allen was pronounced dead, fought Grodd in the Speed Force, returned
from the dead, and told his girlfriend about his secret life as The Flash.

This issue is a jumping on point
for new readers with the Grodd and the Speed Force stories both concluded in
the last issue. Barry is dealing with everything the best way he knows how: by
looking forward. We start off with the clean up from the last story
arc, and Barry is adjusting to getting his life back again after his
“officially declared dead” status was reversed last issue. Barry
reports to work at the Keystone Saloon, where the Trickster is arrested for
murder. The Trickster claims to be innocent of the charges. Barry believes him
and decides it’s time to slip into his other uniform as the Flash. We’re
introduced to two new groups in this issue, one a super hero duo and the other
a political movement militia. The issue ends with an “Uh oh” moment.

Francis Manapul is taking a few
months off of writing and art chores, and the team of Brian Buccellato (who
usually co-writes with Manapul) and Marcio Takara fill-in for him. The story
itself is an OK story, but it’s nothing spectacular. Nothing that will bring in
a new reader and make them want to pick up the next issue. The story potential
is there, but the pacing is so fast that Buccellato is missing some of the beats
along the way. The story is there but it’s too much to tell in the couple of
issues that Buccellato has on his own. He is taking on the Grodd aftermath, new
heroes, a militia, and the main story of the Trickster being framed. I believe
if he had a few more issues Buccellato could tell a better paced story.
 The “Uh oh” ending even falls sort of flat because the story continues
in Dial H, which takes the suspense from it. What I did enjoy
was how Buccellato showcased Barry’s voice in this issue. Manapul got into a
groove with Barry as a character and leveled off. Buccellato added another
level that made Barry pop a little more in this issue.

While I do miss Francis Manapul’s
writing I think I miss his art even more in this issue. Marcio Takara’s art has
the “sketchy” style to it, where the pages don’t look finished, details are
lacking and it slows down the pace of the book which doesn’t work in a book
about the Fastest Man Alive. Manapul’s art has a quality to it that Marcio’s
doesn’t. When Manapul’s art loses details it’s to draw focus to the main
subject, which pops out and draws you into them more. Marcio’s art isn’t bad,
but it’s just not a good fit for this title, or this character.
If you’re a new fan of The
 or have just been waiting for a jumping on point to give the
book a try, I recommend you wait until this arc is over and Manapul returns.
That is my opinion on this issue. Let us know what you think about The
Flash #18
 in the comments.

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