Barry Allen

The best place to start reading… the Flash!

This is part 3 of my 24-part-series „Super-Heroes: Best Place to start“ [Link to the complete list… here!].

.

You’re interested in The Flash [Link] / Barry Allen [Link] or Wally West [Link]?

To me, the best place to start is…

not yet released. If you want to start reading right away, a charming first look will be:

„DC: The New Frontier“ by Darwyn Cooke (Writing and Art), a limited series / trade paperback collection [Link to review] published in 2004.

.

If you can wait until November 2012, though, I’d recommend the following collection by Francis Manapul (Writing and Art) and Brian Buccellato:

THE FLASH VOL. 1 HC Writers: Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato Artist: Francis Manapul Collects: THE FLASH #1-7 $22.99 US, 168 pg.

more info: here [Link]

.

What’s the appeal of… Barry Allen and Wally West?

Created at the start of the quirky, optimistic and crazy 1950ies/60ies „Silver Age“ of Comics [Link], „The Flash“ tells inventive, but slightly nerdy and repetitive tales of street-level, everyday men: Barry Allen and his – temporary – replacement Wally West are doting, sweet and sometimes naive midwestern boys, perpetually almost ready to settle down.

A wide-eyed, but small-scale / suburban / rose-colored examination of life’s demands on your typical normal, late-twenties, All-American „regular“ guy.

.

two other books, good for beginners:

.

good books for advanced readers:

.

sub-par or disappointing books:

.

common problems / grievances in „The Flash“ books:

  • a plethora of (fairly likeable but flat) mentors, kids and sidekick speedster heroes… who have nothing to do.
  • never-ending „the tiger cannot change it’s stripes“-storylines about gimmick-themed thugs and gangsters like Captain Cold, Mirror Master or Trickster.
  • a fairly suburban / apolitical / rose-colored perspective on city life, long-term relationships and civic duty. Even more kitties waiting to be rescued than in Superman’s Metropolis. 🙂

.

Is the current monthly „The Flash“ book, launched in September 2011, any good?

Hell, yes! Francis Manapul’s „The Flash“ is so lush, charming, engaging and reader-friendly… it feels more a like Disney / Pixar production than a DC super-hero book. Excellent, visually mature storytelling for an all-ages audience!

Interested in other comic book heroes?

I’d recommend bright and big-hearted series like „Supergirl“, „JSA“ and the current „Aquaman“.

Here’s my full list [Link]!

.

related Links:

.

my German comic book journalism: