The first issue of the new Flash, as part of the New 52 event, wasn’t really all that much to behold.
It was a well introduced story, but not a particularly compelling one. Basically, Barry Allen had some trouble with the law and is worried about his identity being revealed.
However, the second book picks up the slack, as the audience learns what will be different about the New 52 Flash.
He is endowed with a new power, of sorts. Meaning, the Speed Energy Flash’s body taps into is being fully utilized, but his brain is not properly taking advanatge of it.
Suddenly, he’s capable of tapping his brain, as well as his body in to the Speed Energy. As you can probably guess, this part was both a little forced and a little fast.
I would have been more pleased if it had taken some more practice to get it to work – although, I guess this is The Flash, afterall – but the result is a cool new ability. Yes, Barry gains the power to analyze a situation, seeing all the causal elements of it in an instant and allowing him to use his bodily speed to interact with the causality of future events.
This is established in the story with a simple example scene. Out on the street, Barry sees a potential sequence of events with his newly-fast brain: an old man is going to be killed by a thief fleeing a corner store, while a boy is about to be hit by a car.
With his new power, Barry figures out what to do. He swipes a single apple from a market stall, making the rest start to fall, and sets off a chain of events that saves the life of the old man and the boy. He does it so quickly that no one around even know that he was there to do it. His conversation isn’t even interrupted.
This is an interesting new aspect to the character, and could create some compelling moments for the line. Yes, he can do more, and be more helpful than ever with this new-found ability, but what are the drawbacks?
Surely he’ll discover in the upcoming issue that using his speed this way causes some kind of problem.
So, while the plot of this Flash book has been a bit slow so far, the introduction of changes to the character make it fun, and surely worth picking up.
The Flash #2 is available wherever you pick up your comics, including the comiXology store.