The Flash: Year One has been a wonder so far, and this issue continues the trend of one of the best arcs that Joshua Williamson has done. Joshua Williamson doesn’t get all the credit, though — Howard Porter completely and utterly steals the show in every way as always. His layouts are sublime and his pencil work is some of the best in the entire industry. He is a gift to the industry and our eyes.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“The Flash Year One” continues! Things are not looking pretty for the Flash, who just got his scarlet butt handed to him by the Turtle. If Barry Allen thought being a hero was going to be easy, he’d better think again after this beating—but will it be enough to detour his destiny?
Tell me about it!
Some of the spreads in this book are fantastic, and Howard Porter is always putting in a hundred and ten percent effort and it really shows. The biggest peaks within the book have been when Porter has been on because he knows perfectly how to interpret any script that he’s given to deliver a product that is at the ace of his game. With Porter’s past work from JLA with Grant Morrison back in the late 1990s and his continued work on Flash, it’s a remarkable case of somebody improving despite the circumstances.
Porter’s just an amazing case when it comes to artists within the comics medium. His usage of grids and their effectiveness to deliver fast-paced and brilliant sequential storytelling really shows how he’s mastered the craft and become one of the greats. All of his characters look distinct with no problems of them having similar looking faces with Barry and Iris looking particularly unique and distinct. Each member of Captain Cold’s gang in the issue looks different enough to tell them apart, likewise with background characters. Even when Porter has a page covered in seventy-five percent grids he makes sure to give background instead of leaving negative space behind and instead has the panels layered across a full page of artwork.
The story of the book continues to tell the story about a young Barry Allen in his beginning years (hence the Year One title, obviously), but also continues his time meeting the Turtle, who is his first villain, as well as Captain Cold. However, the biggest strong point of the writing in this issue pertains to the relationship between Barry and Iris, and how their relationship is continuously set aside for their own jobs despite the two being incredibly drawn to each other. Their budding relationship is written incredibly well and makes me want to see more.