The Flash in the New 52

By Eric S. Brown | Aug 28, 2013

For those who don't know, the Flash is my all time favorite comic character. I have been a fan of since I first began reading comics.

I grew up with both Barry Allen and Wally West. I love each for different reasons; Barry for his power level and Wally for being a down to Earth, family man with two children and a wife. When DC relaunched its universe with the Flashpoint event, creating the New 52, I went into it hoping to see the Flash continue on as one of the best titles produced by DC.

It pains me to say it but this has not been the case. The new Flash series has had some major ups and downs since its first issue. With the reboot, the Flash's speed was greatly reduced compared to that of Barry Allen in the old universe, stripping the character, to a degree, of what made him awesome.

In trade though, DC has greatly increased the Flash's power with his supposedly new hyper thinking. His mind now truly functions as fast as body giving him, the very played up, ability to race through millions of actions and their likely outcomes before he even begins moving. While this is an ultra cool power, it still doesn't fully make up for his loss of sheer speed but it does make it more tolerable.

Many of the new series storylines and plot arcs have left much to be desired, some focusing more on the Flash's friends and other characters than the Flash himself. I will admit, despite my lifelong fandom, I went so far as to consider dropping the series from my pull list until Captain Cold and the Rogues returned.

They too were changed and modernized by the reboot with Captain Cold now truly having powers and no longer needing his specialized gun.  The changes to most of the Rogues however were cosmetic in nature and DC kept their core essences and powers intact which was a very good thing. I fell back in love with the title and even jumped for joy when I heard Zoom, the Reverse Flash, was returning.

I believed that with how well they had handled the return of Captain Cold that we readers could expect a Reverse Flash who would live up to the name.  This, sadly, has not been the case so far. The new Reverse Flash's costume strays so far from any in the character's long history that it is a bad joke and at least to me, very poorly designed.

Beyond that, the new Zoom comes across as a very two dimensional character with none of the sheer power and evil of either of the previous Zooms. To go from the metaphorical, perfect foil that the second Zoom was to the Flash to a Zoom who seems nothing more than a speedforce vampire, so far, is beyond disheartening.  It's down right insulting to Zoom fans.

I have purchased and read all twenty two issues of the new series to date and will likely continue to read the new ones out of a love for what the Flash was meant to be but I can't in good conscience say that this new series live up to the Wally run of the title.

If you want to read the best of the New 52, I urge you try books like The Legion of Superheroes, Swamp Thing when Snyder was scripting it, or the early issues of Demon Knights.  And as long as we're at it, where the heck is Wally West ?  Isn't it about time he returned to the Flash family as well?