THE FLASH #70 is the perfect jumping-on point for any new or returning Flash fans! It offers a unique twist on Barry Allen’s origin, and includes some stellar characterization from Joshua Williamson. Howard Porter’s art is just stunning.
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A Sensational Origin

Joshua Williamson’s long awaited YEAR ONE story arc finally starts in THE FLASH #70. This issue shows, again, how Barry got his powers. On top of that, it also reintroduces Barry, Iris, and some of the rest of the Flash’s supporting cast. While much of the issue retreads familiar ground, it still feels fresh and exciting. Williamson achieves this feat by showing what makes Barry Allen such an interesting character. We learn some new things about Barry, and we see just how much of a good-natured person he is. This issue is incredibly new-reader-friendly, and is the absolute perfect jumping-on point for anyone interested in The Flash. Howard Porter’s art is phenomenal, especially when he introduces characters.

Lightning Strikes in THE FLASH #70

THE FLASH #70 begins with Barry Allen as a child, looking out of his window at a raging storm. His mother comes in and notices that he has a black eye. Barry explains that, much like the heroes in his mom’s old comic books that he reads, he helped stop a fellow classmate from being bullied. His mother beams with pride and tells Barry to never lose his optimism. Flash forward to 11 years in the future. Barry’s mother died many years ago. The police believed that Barry’s dad did it, but Barry believed otherwise. That led him to become a crime scene investigator for the Central City PD. At a crime scene, a colleague, August (later known as the villain Godspeed), posits that a victim was killed gangland style. Barry disagrees, using his keen eye for deduction.

Iris West, a journalist who seems oddly transfixed with getting a one-on-one interview with Barry, shows up. She playfully teases Barry and insists that there’s a story buried inside him somewhere. August lets the aloof Barry know the Iris may be interested in more than an interview. Barry insists that he has no time for love, and retreats back to the CCPD station. Later in the night, while researching for a case, Barry receives a late night text from Iris inviting him to catch some food. Just as he contemplates this, a bolt of lightning strikes the window, destroying it and throwing a bunch of chemicals right onto Barry. He survives, but when he wakes up from his coma, he discovers a monumental change.

THE FLASH #70 page 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

What does Barry do with his newfound powers? What happens when he runs too fast? Read THE FLASH #70 to find out!

A Kind-Hearted Soul in THE FLASH #70

THE FLASH #70 has many strong points, including an exciting new take on a classic origin story. Joshua Williamson adds in some heretofore unknown aspects of Barry’s origin, but I don’t want to spoil the surprises here. The issue’s other major strong suit is the characterization of Barry Allen. Williamson gets to what Barry stands for and what his most cherished beliefs are. Above all else, he has an incredibly rigid, firm view of right and wrong, and sees it as his moral obligation to help correct those perceived wrongs. That’s shown at first with his standing up for his classmate as a child.

Later on, in a great little three-panel scene, we see just how morally good Barry is. After getting his powers, he tests them out in many ways. One of which consists of going to a junkyard and rebuilding a demolished car. He remarks that it would be cool if he only had a driver’s license. I really love this scene because it so subtly shows Barry’s moral righteousness. He just got these amazing, godlike powers and used them to create a car in seconds — a car, might I add, that belongs to no one. However, he still doesn’t use the car because it would be illegal to drive it. That’s Barry Allen. Williamson understands him more than any other person writing Barry at the moment (i.e. in JUSTICE LEAGUE, SUPERMAN, etc.).

Phenomenal Art

Howard Porter returns to the book with THE FLASH #70. He reminds us why he was missed by starting out with an amazing first page. Porter draws a 16-panel grid, mimicking a large window looking out at a raging, red storm looming high on a neighborhood. In the clouds, though, stands an image of The Flash, looking down at young Barry Allen with a sullen-yet-determined look. Perhaps he knows what’s going to happen to Barry’s mother soon. It’s a highly powerful image, made even more potent with the addition of Hi-Fi’s superb coloring. The dark, moody reds of the storm loom ominously over the dreamlike blue of the town. It’s great foreshadowing for what’s to come, again, for Barry’s poor mother. Just awe-inspiring artwork.

THE FLASH #70 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Final Thoughts: THE FLASH #70

THE FLASH #70 is a truly remarkable book. It retreads an origin story while still feeling fresh and innovative. Plus, the characterization is stellar.

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