Josh Williamson, writer, obviously has a strong feel for Barry Allen. While The Flash #1 feels like it's focusing on the past to much, to most, I feel that he is using it to his advantage.
While The Flash: Rebirth #1 tied in a lot from the big Rebirth one-shot -- the DC wide one --, this issue from Williamson and Carmine Di Giandomenico is much more of a "Hey, slow down, let's map out our story and remind the fans that this is a Barry Allen book."
The book opens with a scene right before the fateful storm struck Barry and shows his interactions with a fellow Central City PD Officer, August. While it's full impact isn't felt until the last two pages or so, it's still a reminder that Barry has always done everything he can to help everyone, even when he wasn't The Flash.
It's that DC Comics reminder that, our heroes are heroes even when they're not superheroes.
Williamson nails home that theme throughout this issue. Barry never feels like he can do enough, because he's not satisfied unless he nails it 10-out-of-10 every time. It's a heartbreaking look at this character, he has done so much, given so much and saved so many, but there is no chance in hell he'll ever be satisfied.
It's a basic arc opener of a story, but one Flash fans will eat up. It' enjoyable, fun, touching and introspective. Williamson is on a roll with Barry.
If you missed our review of the one-shot from two weeks ago: Comic Review: The Flash: Rebirth #1
I would be remiss if I didn't take time to gush about Di Giandomenico's work. Just like with Spider-Man, there is a somewhat do-gooder, innocence to Barry Allen and The Flash. They are never satisfied, in one place or around long enough to even receive a thanks.
There is a scene where Di Giandomenico rips my heart out. The Flash just saved a literal buttload of people, but was told there was nothing else he could do by an officer. Just as the officer turns to say, "I just wanted to take the time to say ..."
Barry is gone.
That's what you're getting with Williamson and Di Giandomenico's Flash. You're getting a Barry Allen, Flash story through and through. We're still dealing with the loss of 10 years and the return of Wally, but Barry will always find something to keep himself busy.
We also get a little mention of the grander story going on, it's just a little "Batman and I will keep digging while Wally investigates more."
Rating: 8.5/10 Warm Tauntaun bellies.
Williamson and Di Giandomenico are giving fans an enjoyable, fun, touching and introspective take on Barry Allen as The Flash. Book #1 is a slow down, if you will, and plate-clearer after all the big one-shot issues. This is The Flash book people have been waiting for, in my opinion.
Great art, great writing, great direction all-around.