The “Road to Flashpoint” continues to plod through the pages of “The Flash.” While Barry Allen was the Flash when I started reading comics, Wally West became my Flash, and since then, I’ve just found Barry Allen to be boring. Still, I’ve enjoyed Flash stories in the past, and hope to again in the future, so I check in with this series every couple issues. It’s been a while, since issue #9, and, honestly, I’m not sure that I really missed anything.
The prologue to the “Flashpoint” adventures started back in “The Flash” #8, and nothing I’ve seen since then has done much to spark my interest in the story as set up in that issue. In that issue Professor Zoom goes back and meddles with his own timeline. Hot Pursuit (still one of the lamest names of a character in comics ever) has come back to the present time in “The Flash” to correct some chronal anomalies. Do the math and you, too, can be a forensic scientist, capable of deducting how the world of “Flashpoint” might have gotten that way before it even happens.
There’s no denying this series is going to be integral to the “Flashpoint” event, but nothing I’ve seen here really inspires me to take the leap of faith in investing in that event. Sure, there’ll be bits of that series I pick up here and there, if for no other reason than to check the pulse of the series and provide some thoughts on the books for you loyal review readers, but Barry Allen hasn’t done much for me in his own book. I’m not sure there’s much to look forward to elsewhere. Taken independently of said event, this story is just flat out boring. Barry’s been so involved with work since he returned that the rest of the Flash family is getting irritated about it. So Iris calls an intervention. That leads to things being said that should be left unsaid, speedsters running out of the room and a not-so-surprising final page reveal.
Scott Kolins brings his softer, vignette-flavored artwork to this issue, giving it a more homely feel, but in some places the pages just feel more empty than planned. Michael Atiyeh’s colors over Kolins’ art makes this book look pretty, but it also makes the negative space that Kolins employs seem so much more negative. Kolins and Atiyeh have a nice partnership in their work that is jaw-dropping when it works, as it does throughout much of this issue.
It’s odd reading this book with the same creative team that had me so very enthused to read about the adventures of Wally West, but now they leave me apathetic with the lackluster affairs of Barry Allen. I’d like to think it’s me, and not Johns and Kolins. But maybe it’s just Barry Allen.