Convergence: The Flash #1. Dan Abnett- Writer, Federico Dallocchio- Artist, Veronica Gandini- Colorist.
I absolutely loved “The Trial of the Flash” when it was first published. This issue takes me right back to the DC Universe of 1984. And while it plays in the continuity of those issues, it is really the character of Barry Allen that makes this issue a quality book. Like many of the Convergence mini-series, The Flash focuses on character as opposed to the inherent confrontation in the Convergence set up. So while the reader is led into the obligatory Multiversal showdown with the Tangent Earth’s Superman, it is the hope for a happy ending for Barry Allen that draws the reader in. Like Barry’s appearance in the opening pages Crisis on Infinite Earths #1, Batman plays a brief but significant role in this issue as well.
Barry has been trapped in the “present” in pre-Crisis Gotham City during a brief visit from the far future of his happy ending with Iris. While pondering his powerless, unhappy fate he is intrigued by his co-worker, Josie Leighton who is clearly a stand-in for Patty Spivot. This awareness of “other worlds” is particularly appropriate for the character who first crossed the Multiversal barrier in The Flash #123. Barry meets Bruce (Batman) Wayne at a café and receives some insight- “marathon not a sprint.”. As Barry resolves to accept his fate under the dome and live the life he has been given and not the one that has been taken from him everything changes as the dome disappears and he regains his speed powers. Shortly, he meets his fight-pairing, The Superman from the Tangent Universe.
Certainly the Patty Spivot analogue is a nice reference and connection to the current New 52 iteration of the Flash, even giving credence to the notion that Barry could be paired with someone other than Iris West. The character of Barry Allen in this continuity is a real treat to see again and this connection to the current iteration is welcomed. It actually validates the current version as well as conjuring all sorts of nostalgic feelings.
As I feel this issue was written especially for me (Thank You, Mr. Abnett) it is nearly impossible to find a negative. The issue addresses iconic elements of Barry Allen as well as the current version. Most importantly, the issue is written as if the reader understands the Multiversal perspective. However there is an anachronism. At this time Barry would not have referenced the Speed Force as that was a development in The Flash post-Crisis.
Strong on characterization, this book is a great read. It doesn’t matter if one is a fan of pre-Crisis Barry Allen or not. The issue is about the character and the growth of the lead character under desperate circumstances. 4 1/2.