The twenty-fifth issue of The Flash ties into DC’s Zero Year initiative, and gives us an adventure that Barry Allen had prior to becoming the lightning-clad hero we all know and love.
The setup for the story by Manapul and Buccellato involves the Riddler plunging Gotham into darkness, and the Gotham PD asking other law enforcement agencies for help. Barry volunteers to respond and ends up working with Harvey Bullock and his partner Spencer Thompson, who are working a case involving a new street drug that grants temporary superpowers to its users.
Barry runs into Iris West, who happens to be working at the Gotham Gazette at the time, and the two share some nice moments. But the real pull of this issue is seeing just how different Barry’s approach to crime solving and justice in general is to the police of Gotham City. Through his eyes, you see just how dark Gotham really is in comparison to the rest of the DCU.
Chris Sprouse teams with Manapul on pencils for this issue and does a nice job. The panel work is more traditional than we’re used to seeing in The Flash, but there is a ton of action and story packed into this issue, and Sprouse handles it all well.
I wasn’t too enthused about the idea of Zero Year to begin with, but this is just a good solid issue of The Flash that doesn’t feel like a gimmick at all.
4 out of 5 Fishes Out of Water