Review: THE FLASH #8

THE FLASH #8
Written by Francis Manapul, Brian Buccellato
Art by Francis Manapul
Release Date: April 25, 2012

This book, more than any comic I can think of, embodies its title and main character in every aspect of its being. This book bleeds speed. Issue #8 takes place in the Speed Force, the very source of speed, and this book is filled with it. Manapul and Buccellato definitely know what makes Barry Allen tick: the need to keep moving to keep those he loves safe, and the crippling fear and guilt that his speed is somehow making the world a worse place. These traits are on full display in this issue and even moreso than Barry, I really enjoyed how they wrote Turbine. This is not a typical super-villain…this is a man who has no concept of where time is anymore and what it all means. He’s lost his marbles, yet he’s sane enough to be a shepherd for readers through what the Speed Force actually is and what it means, which is not easy to write. This is a multi-faceted story that never loses sight of what it is trying to tell and does some serious character building for Barry Allen. There is also a nice treat at the end for long time Flash readers with the return of an old…friend? I’ll leave it at that, but do not it made me smile.

When a book is written by artistically creative people, you know hope it is going to be visually dynamic and more so than the story, the artwork is where this book really shines. The visuals leap from the page and the Speed Force is a dynamic and wild place, sparking with electricity and energy. Manapul’s pencils and Buccellato’s colours are explosive, taking the feeling of speed to a whole new level in this book. The splash pages are amazing and the artwork is amazingly detailed. Down to the integration of the title into a scene this issue could be used a lesson on how to create a visually engaging superhero comic.

This is by far and wide the strongest issue of The Flash so far and Manapul and Buccellato are really in sync. I can’t wait to see where they take the speedster next.

Verdict: 9.0/10

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