DC NEW 52: THE FLASH and GREEN LANTERN

I have to admit that I’m very pleased with the quality of THE NEW 52 books that I’ve picked up so far.  They haven’t all been favorites - - but there are no duds (and thanks to Jeff’s reviews I also know which books to avoid).  I also recommend both of these books.  I haven’t quite decided yet if I’m going to start following them but I do intend to pick up Issue #2 of both.  So, Mikes’ DC 12 remains the same.  NOTE:  As you might expect, I’ll be revealing some of the storyline in these reviews - - so don’t read this if you don’t want part of your fun spoiled for you.

Flash 1           GL 1

THE FLASH #1  (DC,  9/28/2011 release) Story by Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato.  Art by Francis Manapul.  Colors by Brian Buccellato.  Letters by Sal Cipriano. 

This particular Flash is Barry Allen, my favorite version.  (Wally West is #2 for me.)  It doesn’t appear to involve many changes from the Old DC version to the New 52, at least so far.  It is cool that we’ll now have more stories to look forward to with Barry Allen as Flash.  One definite change is the role that Iris West will play in this new version.  She’s an aggressive investigative reporter (a la Lois Lane) who relates to Barry more for the news leads he can supply her as a member of the Central City Police science lab.

On his first date with Patty (Barry is still shy), some commando-garbed thieves break into a technology symposium that they are attending.  Barry sneaks away to change into his Flash costume and in the ensuing pursuit (they still get away) the Flash falls off the building rooftop with a robber attached to him.  He uses his powers to whirlwind propel the thief back into the building through a glass window, and then cushions his own fall beneath the street level into the sewers.   (The panel placement and art on the page where this occurs gives a really creative view of the action). 

The Flash does recover the “portable genome re-coder”, which was one of the items the thieves were interested in.  I have a feeling this object will play a future role in this storyline.   There are consequences to this incident which deals with the question of how responsible super-heroes are for their actions and the moral implications when someone dies - -- the person Barry tried to save by forcing back into the building.   It gets further complicated when the mask is removed to reveal someone that Barry knows from his college years.   Hats off to Manapul and Buccellato for starting off with a gutsy story that will be sure to raise lots of questions  (in spite of the surprise ending, which could provide an escape clause for Barry’s actions). 

When skimming through the pages before deciding to pick this up, my first impression was that the art was sub-par.  It’s not - - it’s just a different style that as I took time to study it I began to appreciate more.  I like the subtlety and little touches that Manapul adds.

GREEN LANTERN #1  (DC,  9/14/2011)  “Sinestro, Part One” . Writer: Geoff Johns.  Pencils:  Doug Mahnke.  Inks: Christian Alamy with Tom Nguyen.  Colors:  David Baron.  Letters: Sal Cipriano.

I like this book for much of the same reasons that Jeff mentioned in his earlier review.  I’m not totally immersed in the Green Lantern universe (very complex) but I found this story very easy to follow.  Writer Geoff Johns covers a lot of ground in this first story, but in a very fluid and smooth manner. I like the writing here much better than in JUSTICE LEAGUE #1.   The art by Doug Mahnke is some of the best I’ve seen in the NEW 52 books, and is very dynamic.  The inks and colors also really “pop” off the page. A beautiful book to inspect. 

The cover indicates that the Green Lantern featured in this book is Sinestro (at least for now), which comes as a shocker.  The Guardians feel that Sinestro needs a chance to redeem himself, and have appointed him a Green Lantern.  My favorite Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, is back on Earth without GL powers and also without his former job responsibilities.  He still thinks and acts like a Green Lantern, and can’t let go of his feelings of responsibility to save anyone in peril (he makes a mistake here that results in embarrassment).  He’s not happy. And, he really crushes any romantic opportunity with Carol Ferris (one of my favorite scenes).

Sinestro, on the other hand, has an opportunity to prevent calamity, and comes through.  But it doesn’t make him happy.  I enjoy this story for the same reasons that Jeff does - - - both of these characters are miserable and how they resolve their issues is what will make this story interesting and entertaining.   Sinestro finds Jordan and wants to make an offer - - - a “deal with the devil” indeed.

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