The Flash is back from writer Si Spurrier and artist Mike Deodato, Jr. at DC Comics. But does this new horror-inflected take on the Scarlet Speedster work?
We reviewed the book on the Stack podcast. But in the interest of highlighting more about the title, here’s a summary of the conversation with our thoughts. And if you prefer the longer audio version, that’s below as well!
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The Flash #1 (2023) Review:
In the issue, we remeet Wally West and his family, though they’re dealing with a new baby, kids expressing their powers, and the burgeoning horror of the Speed Force. Flash fan Alex Zalben loved this refocus, stating, “I love getting back to Wally and his family, which is such a great core dynamic that we haven’t really visited in a significant way in a while. I also love the heartache here.”
Given the horror take, the hosts agreed that Deodato Jr. was the perfect choice, with Pete LePage noting, “I love the art style.” Added Zalben, “I didn’t know why we’re getting Mike Deodato Jr. on this book because you wouldn’t necessarily associate his dark, very line-driven style with The Flash… but this really worked for me, and the place that it goes by the end is very dark.”
Justin Tyler also agreed that the new, darker take on The Flash was working in this first issue. “I like the way it it is undercutting the big, bright Flash stuff, while still allowing Wally to be himself in a world that is literally darkening around him, based on the art and the plot that happens here.”
As for the end of the issue, which teases that the Speed Force might be a force for bad, not a force for good, Tyler liked that choice, too. “The Speed Force as a force for bad… versus a force for good… Flipping that and having that be more of have more of a character, as opposed to something like gravity… is interesting. I like where we’re headed.”
Finishing off, Zalben said, “The villain at the end [is a] really bizarre, horrific design. If you’d like things like the Immortal Hulk, definitely pick this up.”
The Flash #1 Official Synopsis:
WALLY WEST RACES TOWARDS THE FUTURE WITH A NEW ALL-STAR CREATIVE TEAM! Wally West has never been quicker, more fulfilled, more heroic. His loving family is around him. And yet something is off. Very off. His evolving understanding of his powers has opened Wally to new avenues of sci-fi adventure and attuned his senses to strange new ideas. Something whispers from the dark vibrations beyond the Speed Force, and as Wally experiments with creative new approaches to his powers he encounters new realms, mysterious allies, and mind-shattering terrors. A new era for the Scarlet Speedster begins now from the team of Si Spurrier (Coda, Damn Them All) and Mike Deodato Jr. (Avengers).