The cover begs the question," Who is Hot Pursuit?" but we already know the answer to that -- Barry Allen! The real question should be," Is he friend or foe?" At least that will be the question on the lips of every fanboy at the conclusion of Geoff Johns second chapter of -- The Road To Flashpoint!
DC's company altering summer event, Flashpoint, gets a mini prequel thanks to Johns and Manapul's clever tale of time travel and heroics. But is the newest addition to the speedster line-up truly who he says he is? And if so, why is he so adamant about saving time on his own? Tensions flare between Barry and Bart over the validity of Hot Pursuit's story, which leaves the Allen's separated not only physically but emotionally, and at a time when they should be relying on each other the most. Something is amiss and the "Scarlett Speedsters" need to pick up the pace before they run out of time -- literally!
Johns has finally injected some excitement back into a book that has been sitting idly by for the past few months -- and I am elated! This tale has a break neck pace that leaves you in a virtual whirlwind of euphoric vertigo! You are bombarded with intrigue and action, divisions and reunions, murder and, most of all, an underlying feeling of impending chaos that is lurking just around the corner. On top of all that, Manapul's art is downright awesome! His action sequences are literally electric, sparking across the page in a frantic pace that is perfect for The Flash! But it is the combination of Manapul's line and Buccellato's colors, that make this book truly standout. Together they separate the duality of "costumed" and "non-costumed" life with brilliant use of color or the lack there of. The Flash and his speedy counterparts, assault the senses with vibrant swathes of color, but when they are shown as their non- super personas -- the color is washed out, making normal life feel drab and lackluster in comparison to the life of a super hero. The division between the different aspects of a hero's life is extremely well done and quite thought provoking!
Praise aside, I do have a complaint. If you are going to put Wally West on the cover, you better damn well put him in the book! I know Barry Allen is the quintessential Flash for some, but I grew up on stories revolving around good old Wally, and it's just not fair to toy with a man's emotions like that. Chant with me folks -- WE WANT MORE WALLY!! There, now I feel better.
So get in line and drop your $2.99 for a book that reminds us just how fun a good comic can be!