Image © DC Comics, Inc.
This is a Zero Year story, which puts it six years into the past, and in Gotham City. Barry Allen has just graduated from the Central City Police Academy and has taken an internship in Gotham just as a major storm is about to hit. Barry’s enthusiasm and impulsive actions do no endear him to fellow police, and he keeps getting pulled back from his natural impulses. Of course, Barry is not yet The Flash either, and Gotham’s streets are very dangerous. Also here is a young Iris West working as a reporter, and of course their paths collide. It’s a good story by Manapul and Buccellato that I enjoyed reading. The art is a bit jarring, as most of the issue is by Chris Sprouse and Karl Story. Chris essentially has one heroic look for his characters, and that look is not much like that of Francis Manapul. In fact, Barry Allen looks a lot more like Tom Strong than any previous version of him I can think of. His art is great, but a little distracting here. Late in the story, Manapul takes over, and brings it back home stylistically, but that only makes the style clash more obvious. Despite these quibbles, the art is all well done, and I did enjoy the issue.