Barry Allen aka the Flash goes on a date with his co-worker Patty Spivot to a science exhibition. There they meet a scientist by the name of Dr. Darwin Elias. An unknown group attempts to steal one of his inventions, and they're quickly stopped by the Flash. One of the attackers dies in the battle and he's revealed to be a long time friend of Allen named Manuel Lago. Now Allen wants to learn what was Lago's connection with this group. -summary
I have to say that one of my issues with The New 52 is that some of these stories really don't feel like reboots. There are too many elements that still bind some of these titles to their previous continuities. Despite this, they still for the most part will come off new to a newer audience, which is DC's goal anyway. On the other hand, I don't think older readers will see too much new going on here. However, if there's any character that feels like their world went through a makeover it's definitely The Flash. Francis Manapul appears to be building him from scratch, as this Flash still doesn't know the extent of his powers, and there are also many changes made to his world; for example, he has never been married to Iris West, and even enemies have went through some type of change. In any case, Flash Vol 1: Move Forward is a pretty enjoyable book that continues making Flash out into a cool character. This TPB collects issues 1 - 8.
To the chagrin of long time fans, the focus is on Barry Allen and not the Flash people have come to love over the last 20 years or so being Wally West. For those who remember Barry Allen's passing during Crisis on Infinite Earths, and may be out of the loop in later stories. Barry Allen was resurrected back in Final Crisis, and Geoff Johns penned his full introduction back into the DCU with Flash: Rebirth. Since then the character would go on to make his presence known and even play a crucial roll into triggering The New 52 with the story Flashpoint. When looking at how much the character has impacted the DCU as of late, it's clear DC had every intention on making him the true Flash, at least at the moment anyway.
This story goes straight into the action and builds up the story arc. There's no origin story here whatsoever which could be a negative thing for some people. Fortunately, you get to see Flash do so many cool things and take on different villains, I can imagine some of those people actually forgiving the lack of an origin. The first story follows Barry Allen as he finally meets up with his long time friend Manuel alive and well. The story is alright at best explaining how Manuel survives, and even goes further into developing him. I won't go too deep into his details, but I'll just say that Manuel is a superhuman, and he happens to be a cross between Deadpool and the Multiple Man of Marvel. Some of Flash's original rogues gallery make it to this story in some form. His nemesis Captain Cold has more in common with Iceman of the X-Men now, as he doesn't need ice guns anymore, which I think is a better choice. There's a newer version of the super spinster called The Top, now referred to as Turbine, even Pied Piper and Golden Glider make rebooted appearances.
There's quite a bit of good to be found here, and Flash is indeed the show stealer since the Speed Force is somewhat explored. It appears that every time Flash goes full power he effects the time and space continuum, and this turns out to be a very interesting plot device. To include, Flash does at least one really cool thing with his powers that should be seen. The only real gripes I have with this story is that Barry Allen's life is just too damn boring, and this must be noted because there's an ample amount of time developing him and his relationship with Patty. His personality and life just isn't as fun as Wally West; I miss that witty nature. In addition, it can be quite heavy with the psycho babble in which some people may feel themselves losing track of things.
I'm looking at the artwork of this book, and I'm beginning to think DC just don't like Wonder Woman. Everyone seems to be eating fine steaks while she's stuck with beff patties. Manapul illustrates some wonderful character designs and splash backgrounds despite some inconsistency. There's a cinematic flow that follows Flash's motion across some pages and it just looks awesome. The action panels, especially the fight with Captain Cold is pretty fun. Brian Buccellato's colors compliments the artwork very well. I love the color work in the Speed Force dimension, as it really plays a role in blurring the multiple time periods. There aren't many dull moments to see here.
Outside of Barry Allen's personal life, I can say my enjoyment was pretty high with this book. It provides a good look on Flash's world for newbies, plus the cliffhanger promises something big later on. This is another New 52 title that shouldn't be skipped.
Pros: -Feels like a reboot, a successful one at that, artwork and colors
Cons: -Quite wordy on somethings, but nothing too big
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