CW’s The Flash Review & Spoilers: Flash Season Zero #1 by Andrew Kreisberg, Brooke Eikmeier, Katherine Walczak & Phil Hester

Flash: Season Zero #1

Story by: Andrew Kreisberg
Script by: Brooke Eikmeier & Katherine Walczak
Penciled by: Phil Hester
Inked by: Eric Gapstur
Colored by: Kelsey Shannon
Lettered by: Devon Bennett
Published by: DC
Cover Price: $.99

Note: This is a review of the digital version which can be found on Comixology.

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

Summary (contains spoilers): The issue starts with Flash knocked down as a building is collapsing on him. He comments that, “When you die, you life flashes before your eyes.”

We flashback to nine months ago. We see Barry working as a police scientist. We see the particle accelerator explosion that gave him powers and put him in a coma for 9 months. We meet the supporting cast.

The police are called in to deal with a suspect robbing the Central City National Bank with super strength. Barry changes into his costume and rushes to the scene. The thief seems to be a circus strong man.

Barry tries to fight with him, but the circus strongman easily overpowers him, hurting Flash’s ribs and ankle. He throws him into a support pillar, which brings us back to where the issue started. Barry manages to survive, but Central City PD has arrived, so he takes off to protect his identity.

Later, we find out that the strongman works for a circus and was at the bank to steal a key for the ringmaster.

Review: Before I review this book, I have to admit, I did watch the leaked pilot and really enjoyed it. That may have tinted my feelings about this issue.

Honestly, there was nothing particularly wrong about this issue. It gave us a quick glimpse into the world of Flash TV series, a fun little action sequence, and a good cliffhanger to build this series on. I loved Grant Gustin’s performance as Barry in his episodes of Arrow, and I thought the characterization of him was spot on here.

BUT, at the same time, I do think that this should have been a free first issue. Too much of the first few pages is a long winded intro to who this version of the Flash is with some quick glimpses at the supporting cast. It really was a lot of “telling the reader” when it should have been “showing the reader.”

Also, the supporting cast from STAR wasn’t even relevant to this issue, so introducing them just seemed like a strange distraction.

Even odder since one of the relevant facts of this issue “where did he get that costume” isn’t mentioned at all. Also, it’s not quite clear when this takes place. I don’t want to spoil the pilot too much, but after the building collapses in this issue, Flash says that he wants to get away before two characters arrived…but one of them would have known his identity already from the pilot, since Flash is already wearing his costume at this point.

I did think the costume looked more like new 52 Flash than the costume from the series, but I like Phil Hester’s art and it worked well enough for this story.

I don’t want to sound pedantic here, but I did feel a little ripped off by this comic.  In the good old days, this would have been free with Wizard or as a handout at comic shops and conventions.  Instead, DC is actually charging us a dollar for their own advertising campaign for their new TV series.  And since this is digital, they can’t even claim printing costs here.   I want the show to do well.  I love Arrow, and as I said earlier, Grant Gustin makes a great Barry Allen…but that doesn’t mean I want to pay for advertising.

I like DC’s digital series, and Arrow was consistently one of the better ones.  I suspect that Flash: Season Zero will be much the same in the long run, but I couldn’t help but feel that this issue had too much exposition and not enough meat to it.  That said, the cliffhanger was compelling and I will be back in two weeks to see what happens next.  I just hope I feel more like I got my money’s worth after reading issue 2.


Title: Flash: Season Zero #1
Written By: Andrew Kreisberg, Brooke Eikmeier & Katherine Walczak
Art By: Phil Hester
Company: DC
Price: $.99
Pros:
  • Fun (but too short) action sequence.
  • Characterization of the Flash felt spot on with the show.
Cons:
  • Way too much exposition which could have been done in a much more creative and active way.
  • Costume doesn’t quite look like the show.
  • This should have been a freebie.
Is it worth your $.99? 7/10 – I actually kind of feel bad giving it a “maybe.” Especially for 99 cents…but I really can’t help but feel this issue should have been given away for free. Too much padding and exposition…and that is not great when you only have 12 pages to tell your story.

 

 

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