Though my oh-so-wonderful editor refers to me on the site as the ‘Bat-lady’, there is a ridiculously special place I hold in my heart for that Scarlet Speedster, Barry Allen. Though not actually picking up any sort of monthly comic book series until I was 19 years old, the Flash has always been a favorite ever since the days of the Justice League cartoons when I was an impressionable age of eight.
That was the only reason I even added the New 52’s The Flash to my pull list full of Bat-books. I have no qualms about Wally West or any of the other Flashes, but when I saw a solo title for my favorite characters, I figured I’d give it a try. To this day, I consider it one of the best decisions I’ve made in terms of my reading list.
What Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul have created can be considered nothing short of magical. Each issue is an explosion of talent on all levels, from the writing, to the layouts, to new characters, and to the coloring. I never know what I’m going to get issue to issue and, to me, that’s half the fun of reading comics. Not only that, but each of these stories MEAN something. It’s more than just action, punching, and testosterone. There’s real heart and I just find it absolutely wonderful.
It’s probably silly. It’s probably stupid and I’m making a bigger deal out of things than I should, but the past few years of going through university and adult-life struggle, Manapul and Buccellato’s stories and the ideology they’ve laid out for Barry Allen have really helped me through some of the intense crap the universe has decided to throw at me. It’s been over a year and a half, but The Flash #9 is one I repeatedly pull out when I’m having a hard time, one where I repeat Barry’s lines to myself over and over to make myself feel better about whatever I feel is impending doom. I just finished the Flash #24 before writing this, and I have a feeling that it’s going to be added to the same category as 9. Their writings really inspire me to continue to do my best, regardless of the obstacles. It’s even made me seriously consider getting a Flash-related tattoo one day soon, in honor of the awesomeness they’ve created and the motivation it gives me.
It’s probably why the title stands out for me so much in what I read, or even think about reading. Comics as a whole have become kind of dark and edgy. Not to say that doesn’t make an awesome story or arc, but reading that kind of stuff all the time is going to leave you mad depressed. Manapul and Buccellato’s Flash stories are so full of hope and determination to do what’s right to help others that you can’t help but grin throughout reading it.
What is one of my absolute favorite things about their run so far? It’s clear they put blood, sweat and tears into each issue. Most books have a separate writer, artist, inker, and colorist. Most of the Flash issues are just these two lovely gents, and you can tell they don’t shirk on anything that they do. That one issue where it was four double-trucks in a row that could be connected is forever one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in comics.
Their time on the Flash is coming to a close soon, but they’ll be taking up Detective Comics, so they’ll be staying right up my alley. Not that it would have mattered anyway. I’m pretty sure if these guys ever worked together on a book I absolutely despised, I’d read it anyway. They’re that good, and I don’t see that fact changing any time soon.