If you haven’t yet picked up this book, you’ve made a huge error in judgement. Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato are telling an interesting story with Barry Allen as he starts embracing his abilities and taking them to a new level, as he starts thinking at super-speed, as well as moving at super-speed. The story introduces an intriguing villain as well in the person of Mob Rule, which also introduces a new supporting character into Barry Allen’s past (although whether or not he’ll stick around after this arc remains to be seen). But the real reason why you MUST pick up this comic is the artwork by Manapul and Buccellato. This book is the best example of what can happen when the art and story is handled by the same people. Whereas artists have to try and interpret what the writer sees in his mind when he writes the script for a comic, with this series they cut out that step, which results in a much purer visual. Manapul/Buccellato really take advantage of this opportunity, illustrating this book and this issue in particular in such a unique manner, which manages to blend the story and the art into one.
What really struck me when reading this issue was how even though it’s extremely exposition-heavy, it never once felt that way. If the creative team had beeen different, this would have been an exposition-heavy info-dump of an issue, but thanks to this team, they make use of fantastically detailed and fluid two-page spreads to fill in the back story of Mob Rule. The smaller panels in these spreads aren’t just in standard panel-boxes, but instead in the shape of hands, feet, a tree’s branches, etc. Words don’t do the artwork justice here, but it’s definitely worth checking out.
The artistry of this comic, combined with the creative team’s enthusiasm for experimenting with the artform as well as for Barry Allen, makes this a must-read, that will stick with you, and demand rereads, just to admire the artwork.