Anytime you get a book where Barry Allen tries to teach and bring a young speedster up to ... um ... speed, it's going to be a fun read.
(There are spoilers)
Writer Joshua Williamson does not disappoint in his story revolving around Barry and Detective August Heart, who just happened to get hit during what is believed to be a Speed Force lightning storm. Heart deals with all the classic ups and downs of having powers; being afraid, balance between good, evil and questionable, and, of course, getting the Speed Force munchies.
That's some damn fine Barry Allen right there in the image above. He's so approachable and a real person to the bone, he knows he has a gift and in the rare opportunity he meets another recipient of that gift; he jumps at the chance to bring them in.
There's not a crazy amount of action besides the quick chase for Iris, who had just been kidnapped by some Black Hole agents. The real cliffhanger comes at the end of the book, and the build to that moment in the last few pages is really strong.
We're starting to get hints that the Speed Force can sense when Barry needs help. Wally was sent back, but he's gone already so the Speed Force sent another speedster to Central City.
August Heart is not alone. I'm not going to give away the ending, because this is a book worth reading. Just be prepared to hate flip your way through a 4-page mini Snickers skit directly in the middle of the plot.
If that's my only complaint, though, then this book is a winner.
Williamson has clearly been sent by the Speed Force to help Flash fans, because this guy is giving us a new take on a classic character. It's still Barry at his core, but it's a whole new world around him. While August is arguing with Barry about bending the rules for justice, we see the inner-good of The Flash shine on through any minor thoughts of corruption ... besides that whole Flashpoint thing.
And, just like in Rebirth #2 of The Flash, Carmine Di Giandomenico has been sent to help out. Di Giandomenico's illustrations of the Speed Force going into action when Heart and Barry start running is fantastic.
The art comes off as character-centric at first glance, but Di Giandomenico manages to bring everything to life. From the dark undertones of Central City balanced against the brightness of our speedsters, this book will strike a chord with Flash fans alike.
Rating: 8/10 Schmeckles: The Speed Force clearly sent Williamson and Di Giandomenico to save us, because this is a fantastic, optimistic and wholly good Barry Allen tale.