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While billed as a part of the Brightest Day storyline, this issue has none of it, which is just as well, as it needs to return Barry Allen to his role of The Flash, set up his civilian life (once again in a police lab, but a much more CSI one now), relations with Iris, and the return of old villains as well as some new ones, plus get in some thrilling Flash action. Sounds like a lot, but writher Geoff Johns handles it all with ease in this impressive story. While the preceding miniseries FLASH REBIRTH seemed rather a frantic jumble of action, here Barry Allen gets to relax a bit and settle in, between the battles.
Artist Francis Manapul is using the style last seen on his Superboy stories in ADVENTURE COMICS. It’s a slightly cartoony approach in the figure work, with a soft rendering using gray washes, almost a watercolor look. Not what one would expect in an action hero, but I like it a lot; it’s refreshing and charming. Manapul does a nice job with the quieter moments, but is no slouch in the action scenes either. And I like the wide variety of shot and angle choices, from very close to very wide, overhead to ground level looking up. I grew up on Carmine Infantino’s FLASH, and I still like that approach, but Manapul does equally fine things in his own unique way. Good stuff and recommended.