It wasn’t until I was halfway through this issue that I realized Williamson is doing something with Flash that’s both familiar and so damn exciting. Williamson takes this series very seriously (we should know, we talked to him at SDCC 2017), and what he’s doing with the character is refreshing. As the cover suggests, Flash is now Negative Flash and with it comes bad vibes and sweaty moments. Come witness his new powers and new direction!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“NEGATIVE” part one! It’s a bleak new day as the citizens of Central City meet Negative-Flash! He’s got a terrible attitude and volatile powers that leave a wake of destruction wherever he goes. Exactly the kind of person you’d want The Flash to put behind bars. There’s just one problem: he is The Flash! Can Barry Allen get his new powers under control before they kill him?
Why does this matter?
Joshua Williamson has been writing some fantastic Flash comics with a truly frightening Reverse-Flash screwing up his life royally as of late. On top of that Carmine Di Giandomenico draws such a kinetic look to this book you get the energy of Flash even when he’s in his street clothes!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Whoa, neat new power.
I’m all for some reinvention, which Williamson is doing quite well here. Flash is still figuring out his new powers (and even whether or not it’s healthy to use them) as he can’t do things he used to. Still, he manages to use his powers for good. Well, until he blows up things by accident. Flash is dealing with these new powers like many of us would–all on his lonesome with intense responsibility lumped on himself–and it’s interesting to see him deal. I certainly got some Spider-Man symbiote vibes from this story as Barry, when not doing superhero stuff, is on edge and exhausted from his powers. He’s late to work and attempting to hold things together like someone with a drug habit would. The usual straight laced character is now dealing with real social issues at work and that adds a new layer to the character. Plus he and the reader are trying to figure out his powers as he goes along. Fun stuff.
Di Giandomenico draws a great issue with a zombie-like Flash colored by Hi-Fi and plenty of black lightning flowing around him. I really dig the thin line Di Giandomenico uses and the translucent lighting (black lines and pink to show Flash’s movement) looks fantastic. In the civilian scenes, the art has an Aeon Flux vibe that’s very organic. His lines draw you in on faces with it’s sharp details and do well to capture Barry’s experience with these new powers. Meanwhile those around him look weathered and more realistic because of these details.
Is nobody going to point out he looks like a zombie?
It can’t be perfect can it?
The geek in me is a tad annoyed Barry is cool with the murder his girlfriend committed last issue. Like, absolutely no talk of some kind of punishment comes up! Okay sure, it was self-defense, but still, Barry is a cop and that shouldn’t be cool! The girlfriend angle is brushed under the rug a bit this issue, which is fine, though it does seem cruel seeing as the last issue ended with a big question mark between them.
Is It Good?
Negative Flash is pretty flipping cool and this could be the Flash story we’ll remember for ages. If it’s anything like the Spider-Man symbiote story we most definitely will be.
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