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?
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.