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There are several things that put this title among the ones I look forward to the most. The art is terrific (more on that below), and the writing is often just as good. Writers Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato are not merely telling a story, they’re playing with the artform, trying things that break away from the expected, predictable comics experience. For instance, pages 2 and 3 of this issue are made up of nine large panels, and it’s a countdown, one second per panel counting horizontally and then down. But each of the vertical rows is a separate part of the story, a different camera, different characters. This is really smart and creative storytelling. Other parts of the issue are nearly as good, with (as usual) a great incorporation of the book’s title into a dramatic double-pager, an amazing multi-panel spread of Flash going all out on the Cosmic Treadmill, and a terrific surprise that awaits him on the next page. And that’s not even the finale. Between all the action scenes are some fine character moments, too.
I don’t have room for a spread here, but this is a pretty cool page too. Manapul’s art really shines in this book with it’s unique combination of hard action overlaying soft gray shading and watercolor technique. I love it.