The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #8 review

This week’s DC Digital First Flash offering from the editorial office of Andrew Marino features two eight-page stories, both written by Dave Wielgosz, and while they’re different in tone to one another, they’re both pithy, punchy, satisfying reads.

Artist David LaFuente draws the first, Rain on Your Own Parade, in which two people aren’t at all happy with Central City’s annual Flash Day. One is Barry Allen himself, a modest fella who isn’t great with compliments. The other is super-criminal Tarpit.

While it’s predictable that our hero saves the day – that’s why he’s our hero – there are surprises in this short, and it left me smiling broadly. There’s a delightful energy to LaFuente’s Flash artwork, with his Scarlet Speedster at times looking like the chunky guy from the Lego cartoons, while Tarpit is as monstrous as you could wish. Luis Guerrero’s colours are as hot as heck, perfect for the story, while Rob Leigh’s letters are splendidly sharp, both here and in the issue’s second tale.

Dan Mora, who I know only as a cover artist, draws said co-feature, in which police scientist Barry Allen finds the idea that Captain Cold killed a gang of drug-dealers-turned-Popsicles far too pat. The visuals are vibrant, with Mora’s compositions smart and well executed, while colourist Tamra Bonvillain finds a rare balance between moody and brash.

The reveal is a little too guessable, but overall this is a cracking little strip, showing us the Flash actually doing some cop legwork rather than simply waving his CSI bag around. And extra points to writer and artist for Barry’s wall of cool villains… can you name ‘em all?

Hard-working Dan Mora gives us not just realistic folds on clothes, but detailed lab kit

Clever title, too, in Cold Case.

Wielgosz’ day job is as a DC editor, but with this issue he makes a good case – whether intended or otherwise – to be given a crack at the main book. He understands both sides of Barry’s life, has a good grasp of Central City’s criminal ecosystem and doesn’t limit his menaces to fellow speedsters and time travellers.

And I can’t emphasise enough, these weekly DC Digital First series are less than a buck/quid, tremendous value in these days of $3.99 as standard – a steal to make any Rogue’s heart sing.

4 thoughts on “The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #8 review

  1. With the cancellation of the Giants being announced, I can finally read these without worrying I’m doubling up on future purchases! Two great stories here, very different in tone, with artists really well-suited to the material. I’d love to see more stories drawn by Mora that look at Barry’s life as a cop. It might be a good chance to welcome Frank Curtis back from the valley of forgotten supporting characters!

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    1. It’d be great to see Frank back, I can’t remember the last time we saw him – did he even last beyond #300? Now you’ve brought him up, the Zeitgeist Gods will do their stuff.

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  2. I looked him up, even to remember his last name. He was introduced during Ross Andru’s brief editorship (the long Death of Iris storyline), and appeared off and on a little bit as Len Wein took over the book…less and less after issue 300… and finally made a few appearances in the long Trial of the Flash storyline, with his last one being in 338.

    But I feel like our talking about her years ago got Patty Spivot to return, so maybe you’re right! Let’s have it, universe! Frank’s due for a comeback!

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    1. Great research. I regretted us using our powers to bring back Patty as the Patty that came back was stuck in romance horror with Barry. Shall we try Enrichetta Negrini as well as Frank?

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