FUTURE STATE: THE FLASH #1
Written by: Brandon Vietti
Art by: Dale Eaglesham
Colors by: Mike Atiyah
Letters: Steve Wands
Future State The Flash captures the feel of a 1950’s science fiction adventure comic, with a dash of horror mixed in. Dale Eaglesham’s art and Mike Atiyah’s colors create this mid-century adventure comic esthetic. While the comic achieves this vibe, it leaves the open the question if this a story and mood that Flash fans are interested in seeing.
Writer Brandon Vietti applies Barry Allen’s science background to this world and provides the driving force to the plot. Vietti, a veteran director and producer of DC’s animated films, successfully builds a dark future where the Flash and associated Flash family had their speed force stolen by Wally West. West is possessed by some demonic force, and Barry Allen is convinced that West can be saved and is using his scientific knowledge to attempt a rescue. Vietti’s pacing of the issue starts off with a high stakes fight as one of the Flash family is killed battling a new twist on a classic rogue villain. The narrative slows to allow some world building before ramping up to a failed confrontation with Wally West. Vietti’s world building creates a dark state of affairs for Central City, which matches the dark timeline of other Future State titles. Unfortunately, the world Barry is occupying is more interesting that than rushed conflict with West. There are many lingering questions to this world and it is unclear if these limited Future State titles will allow Vietti the time and pages to fully explore the ramifications of a de-powered speeder.
It is too early to tell if these questions around the state of the world and the Flash family, may tie into larger Future State themes. This series may create a compelling narrative when finished or collected as a whole, but as a stand alone issue it speeds through character development and leaves a trail of dead speedsters. This high cost of life may provide character development opportunities for Barry Allen, but after a single issue it is unclear if Vietti will have the time to flesh out this version of the Flash.
Artist Dale Eaglesham wastes no time though in creating the esthetic for the title. His previous work with Conan meshes nicely with the adventure / horror approach to this story. Mike Atiyah’s colors and shading successfully match the genre and transport the reader into this darker world Vietti created. Stylistically it works well for the team of speedless speedsters, forcing them to apply the variety of technology formerly used by their rogue’s gallery.
Brandon Vietti provides readers readers with a dark adventure comic which captures Allen’s single minded drive to save others and sacrifice himself. The artistic team of Eaglesham and Atiyah wonderfully creates this adventure comic genre feel. The challenge for readers is to determine if this approach is worth investing in. As an adventure comic it succeeds, but readers have to hope the creative team has enough time to craft a story that pays off in the end.