At this point, we’ve seen many superhero origin stories over and over again. Even characters that have been around less than a decade have had their origins told multiple times. At this point, there’s no reason to retell an origin unless there’s something new to add. Does The Flash #70 offer that?
Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter, and Hi-Fi Color bring us the first chapter of The Flash Year One. It’s a blast of a story for the fastest man alive.
You think you might know the story of Barry Allen. However, there are parts of his story we don’t know. We see Barry struck by lightning, experiment with his power, and also the first time he travels through time… It’s clear that Barry Allen’s first year as the Flash is not what we expected.
Barry Allen’s origins received a distinct retelling in the last few years, thanks to the Flash television series, so Williamson had to contend with that with this story. Thankfully he does so ably and in a refreshing way, avoiding many of the distinct moments of the first season of the Flash quickly. He also takes advantage of the comics medium, by putting in moments that would be too difficult for film. This version of Barry feels distinct from the more experienced Barry Williamson has been writing too, but he’s still noble and heroic, two important traits essential to the Flash.
I would be willing to say that Porter is the greatest Flash artist of the past decade, maybe even two. He has a fantastic sense of motion, but he also uses layouts and camera movement to portray motion, having Barry travel through multiple small panels quickly to show how fast he’s moving. One of the biggest highlights is the montage where Barry tests his powers, which is first a sixteen panel grid, then nine frantic panels, exploding to a page that’s simply four panels as Barry breaks into an electrifying sprint. It’s a fantastic sequence and is totally worth the price of admission alone.
I’m excited to see where this story goes, especially with its stunning final page. We’re in for a treat.
The Flash #70 is available now from DC Comics.