Writer: Kevin Shinick
Art: Clayton Henry, Marcelo Maiolo, Steve Wands, and Bernard Chang
Publisher: DC COMICS
Release Date: October 13th, 2020
The untold account of Barry Allen’s Flash ring is uncovered as The Fastest Man Alive crosses paths with the Trickster in a story that begins as laughs but finishes with an old villain re-emerging that no one will see coming… unless they’ve read some internet spoilers of course or previews for the next issue. Let’s speed into this inaugural issue of The FLASH #763 by the new team of Kevin Shinick and Clayton Henry to see what tricks the Trickster has in store for Barry Allen and his Flash Ring.
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Readers, I was so jazzed about this issue. If I could be real for a second, it’s been so long since we’ve had fresh blood on THE FLASH that I’ve been craving something new for so long. I’ve wanted a new take and a different direction for… at least a year… if not more. Long runs are great. However, sometimes people can overstay their welcome. And in the situation of THE FLASH, Joshua Williamson needed to move on. He certainly had his moments that were pretty spot on. However, it was time to mosey on to another pasture.
That said, I immediately dove into this issue excited to see the new landscape. What’s Kevin Shinick’s take going to look like? How will Shinick portray the Scarlet Speedster? Well, as an opening issue/ one-shot goes, let’s just say he has some work ahead of him. Barry Allen’s voice and tone were all off. He came across as arrogant and cocky to both Iris and the Trickster. Additionally, the Flash made irrational and even bone-headed moves that seemed out of character and he even came across as a bully, which is totally off from the Barry Allen I know. Furthermore, for Shinick’s opening installment, he goes to the “anniversary of his mother’s death” trope that felt tired and overdone.
I know… I know… people will think I’m being overly critical for a first issue. And truthfully, I am. However, it’s been the same Flash for so long now with the same tone, attitude, and direction. I wanted something different, which I got. But, I expected something that truly showcased who Barry Allen really is. He’s socially awkward and nerdy. He’s clumsy yet charming and sincere. Barry’s got this amazing draw to help others regardless of their situation. And, he’s sacrificing, diligent, determined, and smart. My point is that very few of these characteristics transpired this issue. Additionally, the vibe of Shinick’s first rodeo was more along the lines of SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP than the main, forerunning title involving the Fastest Man Alive should be. The story just seemed too easy and too PG for this reviewer.
Kevin Shinick’s first relay with THE FLASH wasn’t exactly what I expected. After desiring something different for so long, I wonder if this creative team might not have been the best move for something long term. Now, I understand this was only one issue AND I understand we don’t know if this team is going to be on for an extended period of time. However, this issue felt like the perfect tale for a kid’s story or even an animated series on Saturday morning. It lacked the depth and maturity that I feel THE FLASH ongoing should possess, which was only advanced by the artistic choice and heavy, almost marker outlines, from Clayton Henry and Marcelo Maiolo giving it a more cartoonish feel. Look, this is one issue. I get it. But as an opener to a potential ongoing series, this is not what I was looking for. Maybe this is exactly what you wanted? If so, go grab this! However, I feel Flash fans should tread lightly as this new team takes off. As one of my favorite characters in all of comics, I hope this gets good FAST!