“The Search for Barry Allen” kicks off a new story arc in The Flash #783, which also happens to be a Dark Crisis tie-in. Not just any tie-in either, as Josh Williamson has said more than once this series is integral to the event. So what’s going on with Barry Allen and can Wally save him? Find out in this exciting comics series that mixes the modern with the golden age of comics!
Written by Jeremy Adams with art by Amancay Nahuelpan, this book looks and reads like an event-caliber book. There are high stakes, good character work, and some great twists too. I spoke to Adams a few weeks ago, and it’s obvious his joy in writing this series is going to mean great storytelling for readers.
This issue opens with Flash ready to punch Reverse-Flash in the face, furious over his family being put in danger. Cut to Wally and Mr. Terrific discussing the Speed Force. We soon learn that force is going to play a part in sending our heroes into different multiverses in an exciting adventure. Along the way, Adams catches new readers up on the Flash-family heroes, establishes relationship dynamics, and then jettisons our heroes through portals.
This is all made hyper-realistic and cool-looking thanks to Nahuelpan’s great art. I’ve loved his work since Detective Comics and it continues to impress in many ways with this issue. There’s a level of detail and ink work that is reminiscent of Gary Frank’s impeccable pencils. The cliffhanger page may be just a building, but dammit does Nahuelpan draw every little detail with perfect perspective.
It’s worth noting this issue doesn’t require you to read Dark Crisis. This is self-contained, and it’s also easy to jump into the adventure without reading previous issues. You may not know all the heroes crowding around Wally, but there’s enough on the page to catch up with readers who don’t know these characters.
Colors by Jeremy Cox are also spot on, especially when things get weird in the last seven pages. The color tones change enough to convey that the universe they’re in is quite different.
Speaking of, the final few pages end up feeling like an entirely new adventure, adding to the overall enjoyment of the issue. Adams does well to set up the issue, and send our heroes off, but then to give us a few pages of a universe set in a past age is quite cool. It doesn’t feel like the creators are holding back on the plot simply to fill pages.
These final few pages are great fun and take a surprising turn to say the least. I will say it does remind me of AHOY Comics’ Dragonflyman comics, but this plot twist is so tied to Barry’s current state of mind it’s certainly not a riff on what they are doing in that excellent superhero series by any means.
The Flash #783 is an exciting first issue in a new story arc that takes big swings and feels like an event-caliber book on its own. The fact that it ties into DC Comics’ big summer event Dark Crisis is only icing on the cake. The Flash is delivering an adventure that doesn’t hold back and is delivering excitement.
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