The Flash #2 is published by DC Comics, written by Si Spurrier, art by Mike Deodato Jr, colors by Trish Mulvihill, and letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. The Flash faces something new, a being that could change everything Wally understands.
This is a comic that alters the Flash on a molecular level. The book has both epic confrontation and cosmic manipulation. There is a fight at the start and end of the issue, with many serious differences between the two. The first is against the new, horrifying creature that seeks to cause destruction. It is silent and deeply disturbing, instantly making an impact. And from there comes the breaking of physics, even beyond what is already stretched within a Flash comic. A whole corner of the cosmos is introduced, the opposite of the Speed Force but just as dangerous. The issue slows down at this point and is purposefully perplexing. The surrealism of the situation is recognized early, but there is a serenity as well.
But this is a Flash comic, and the recognizable elements of the book serve to ground it. The Gorilla Grodd and his army have a plan that is messing with reality itself but is disturbed by the inclusion of the newcomers. The second fight is more of a classic Flash fight, but what has been learned through the issue alters how the action unfolds. Everything about the Flash and what powers the speedsters is changing, and the surprises are seemingly endless. The pacing isn’t as rapid as other Flash books, but that matches the storytelling and allows for reshaping the rules.
For much of the issue, Wally is a passenger, and the script is phenomenal at portraying that confusion. The narration is like a stream of consciousness, often figuring out how to explain something on the fly. With something so incomprehensible happening, Spurrier excellently tries to put universal forces into words. The captions eventually turn into a conversation with something that can interfere and communicate with Wally’s thoughts. Their dialogue is fascinating inhuman, but thoughtful. What’s terrifying is the concept of what is happening with the newcomers, and the fabric of reality makes Gorilla Grodd seem small within the grander scheme of things. Attention is drawn to the other gorillas, such as his number two because they get pummelled and brutalized by the monster that has arrived. Grodd’s plan is clearly nefarious, but it’s hard to focus on it due to everything else happening.
There are a few moments where the supporting cast is seen in The Flash #2, from Mr. Terrific and Linda to other Speedsters, but the sheer amount of plot requires Wally to restrict their presence. However, whenever they are seen, it fuels the notion that something is just uneasy and wrong everywhere. The comic continues to be on the verge of a horror story, with an atmosphere that always feels pressurized and uncertain.
The art is outstanding. The new enemy is a bizarre yet brilliant design, highlighting the impact of what Spurrier and Deodato want to achieve. Its body is a lumpy and disgusting mass of flesh covered in tall shards of glass or metal. The dozens of spiky points made me cringe just looking at it. The way it moves or doesn’t move is incredibly creepy. The first fight is a rough and unsettling affair. It’s frantic and savage, with Wally practically helpless to do anything to stop the villain from tearing everything apart. The celestial twist of the book is also terrific, as Deodato creates a brand new set of entities. The super-speed looks fantastic, but something distinct is incorporated into Wally’s movements and powers, practically the opposite of speed.
The colors are gorgeous. Beyond the majestically vibrant red of Flash’s costume and the blending of shades when he runs, the newcomers have a beautiful tone. A variety of colors are actually what serve as features for the characters, functioning as a skeleton and a definition of shape. The lettering features more intricate details, giving a voice and gravitas to the dialogue.
The Flash #2 rips up the rule book of the fabric of the DC Universe. What was believed about the physics and even the spirituality of the Speed Force is being upended with the introduction of something new. The force has something else that serves as the equal and opposite reaction. Spurrier has sent Wally into entirely unexplored territory that serves as a relief from the heaviness that is hanging everywhere else. Strangely, the absence of speed is moving the comic forward.
The Flash #2
The Flash #2 rips up the rule book of the fabric of the DC Universe. What was believed about the physics and even the spirituality of the Speed Force is being upended with the introduction of something new.