Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato continue their Flash epic, delving even more into the nature of Speed Force, and how tied into Barry Allen it really is. Sadly Barry Allen takes a back seat in his own book this month.
Manapul and Buccellato have done a lot of interesting things with the Speed Force. Before the reboot, it use to be this continuity monster that sucked down any story that tried to touch upon it. But these two have not only made it accessible, but a very interesting part of who the Flash is. They continue with that showing how tied in the Speed Force is to Barry. It’s great stuff to read. The best part about every new Speed Force revelation is how simple they are. They make sense to the ongoing story, and can be easily referenced without the reader trying to figure out how fickle the Speed Force is with this writer. With these two on the book for the foreseeable future, the Speed Force will no doubt grow in it’s origin. Reading their interpretation of the Speed Force, it makes a reader wonder why other writers never thought to writ the Speed Force in this way.
But the issue isn’t all about the Speed Force, as Turbine is introduced as well. He’s an interesting character, and one that should be around more in the future. His plight makes the reader sympathetic towards him. So when Barry ultimately has to hurt Turbine, the reader feels bad for both sides. Those are the best villains in comics. But the issue spends way to much time focusing on Turbine and his story. With the issue having to balance between him, Barry, Iris and the lost people, the Speed Force, King Grood, and Patty, it’s a very packed issue. Don’t think for a second that this book isn’t entertaining, but the writing team could have focused more on Barry and what he thinks about everything that is going on. Forgetting Patty and Iris would have been a good idea for pacing reasons. The King Grood scenes could have been trimmed down by a page, but that might be a stylistic choice. Manapul and Buccellato balance the book out well for being new writers, and no doubt they will work out the kinks.
The Flash has always been a beautiful book, with Barry Allen speeding around everywhere. But in this issue, with Barry only walking around, Manapul and Buccellato bring us a beautiful world. The transparent faces and scenes behind them are simply gorgeous on every level. It’s easy to get lost in this book each and every month. Much like the Flash, Turbine’s powers look great. Readers can see and feel the speed that Turbine is cranking out. The quick shots of King Grood and his world are great as well. Manapul packs a great amount of detail into them; with the reader being able to see every hair on their body. Seeing issues like this can make one nervous that Manapul or Buccellato would have to take a month off to achieve this level of detail.
The Flash #8 gets 3.5/5.