Serials for 11-2-11: The Flash and Daredevil

Careful readers will notice that these issues are from last week, or even the week before. I don't like to review issues the day of, even though it'll get me a bit more hits. This way I can let the comics simmer in my head before talking about them. I'll always be a bit behind schedule, but as long as I'm pumping out content every Wednesday, I'm happy.

Flash #2The Flash #2 (Oct. 2011)
by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato
$2.99, DC Comics

There's a lot that happens in this issue, but the highlight is Barry Allen's newfound power: some kind of "augmented cognition," bordering on an ability to predict the future. There's one splash page where Barry "sees" a bunch of different outcomes for the same event:

I have no idea how to read this! First I tried reading from top to bottom, left to right, but the panels aren't linear; they don't follow each other. Then I noticed that there are sets of three panels that converge on Barry, and that helped a bit. After that I figured that you're not supposed to get it. The panels are all these different outcomes that are running through Barry's head. The panels come together for Barry so he can figure out the best outcome -- we're not supposed to be able to understand his thought process!

In the following pages he acts on it, and it makes for an incredible sequence. You can find the five pages at Newsarama. I'm serious check out those pages. Note the small details, like the "H8 2 W8" on the getaway car, right before it lands in a fertilizer truck.

And the storytelling is no slouch either. You'll find yourself zooming into panels and zooming out to admire the sequences. To linger over the panels and trace out their paths. Manapul and Buccellato are really pushing the medium, and they're using Barry Allen to do it, as he discovers more about the clone villain "Mob Rule," and as they activate an EMP in Central City.

Daredevil #3Daredevil #2Daredevil #2 and #3 (Aug. and Sep. 2011)
by Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera
$2.99 each, Marvel Comics

Issue 2 features a fight between Daredevil and Captain America. It's a superb sequence as Cap accuses Daredevil of his past misdeeds, and Daredevil evokes some arguments to defend himself. The issue came out around the release of the Captain America: The First Avenger movie, so Comix Revolution was out of stock when I came around. I had to wait for the second printing, which was two weeks ago, and then the third issue 2nd print, which was last week.


And I'm glad I waited! The first three issues concern Matt's struggles against a court that won't take any valid lawyering from the alias of the vigilante Daredevil, and Daredevil's struggles against the "soundshadow" of Ulysses Klaw. It's a no-nonsense super-hero story with Daredevil's special spin on the world around him. Paolo Rivera draws in his own sound effects, and he draws only the outline of the SFX when Klaw uses his sound attacks on Daredevil -- it highlights the loss of his senses. It's as if he's battling himself, his own disability, and that really makes this comic stand out from other super-comics. I'm so glad Rivera's doing an ongoing. He used to do more paints, but I'm loving his pencils on Daredevil. They're modern and classic at the same time.

See more Paolo Rivera at his blogger.

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