Images © DC Comics, Inc.
The extra length in an Annual gives a creative team room to get deeper into the story, and Manapul and Buccellato have chosen to explore the background and origin of Flash’s Rogues Gallery, as they’ve recreated it for this “New 52” revamp. For me it succeeded in some ways, though I still felt some of the Rogues were explored more than others. Fortunately my new favorite, Golden Glider, gets the lion’s share of the storyline, and I thought that part worked quite well. Meanwhile, in the present, Flash is still battling the Rogues and finding it tough going. Though none of them impress me that much individually (except Glider), as a group they’re a tough challenge. Meanwhile, Patty Spivot from Barry Allen’s crime lab has a short but interesting plot moment, and at the end of the book lots more trouble arrives. I kind of wanted some sort of resolution of the Rogues storyline before that happened, and I didn’t get it, so as often happens this Annual ends up being just a longer chapter of a bigger story.
The art is an interesting mix, with Manapul doing layouts that are finished by a different artist on each of five chapters. Some try to go the watercolor route of Manapul himself, some head into more traditional inks, but each is well done overall, if not as good as Francis alone.