‘The Quick and the Green’
Writer: Brian Buccellato
Artist: Sami Basri
Colours: Stellar Labs
Letters: Taylor Esposito
Cover: Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
A review by Jake Morris.
The wait for a new issue of one of your favourite monthly titles is always a killer, so when it reaches that time of the year where we get a new annual release, it is certainly a welcome addition to the weeks books. So with the promise of a new Flash annual, I was stoked for a double dose this month…
The premise for the annual was rather simple; an issue focusing on the friendship between Barry Allen and Hal Jordan while also giving us an insight into the first meeting between the pair in this New 52 universe.
It is well documented that Hal and Barry have always had a strong friendship and one of the complaints I have heard since the relaunch of DC’s new line is how we have lost all of that previous work into what made them such good friends and a fun read when together.
The issue starts out with a present day moment in which Barry and Hal are sat in a club called The Parrot Lounge, which funnily enough, looked like a candlelit dinner between the two. Aspects like that add banter to the proceedings as the pair argue like a married couple in which Hal shows a disdain for Jazz and how he is only on Earth due to his unpaid parking tickets. Within a matter of panels we are then transported to a new alien location and then the issue flashbacks ‘a few years’.
As we flashback we learn that Barry is working on solving the disappearance of children in several cities through narration and are then thrust into the introduction of Green Lantern who questions Barry, all the while receiving a fair share of questions too. This meeting between Flash and GL is quite abrupt but paced well, despite some hindrance in a few bits of dialogue that do come off as rather clunky in tone.
The transition between panels and pages is handled expertly by Sami Basri who stands in for an absent Francis Manapul in the annual. His work suits The Flash as he handles those quick movements of Barry’s in a very slick way and also conveys much detail in rather tight panels when in the thick of the action.
Ultimately, the interaction between both Barry and Hal is enjoyable and many laughs are to be had (more so in the flashback sequence). The transition between past and present shows how the two have grown not just as heroes but also as friends and crime fighting partners. Both heroes show arrogance in the early stages of their interaction and the balance between which one of them is serious and who comes across as the more immature changes more than the balance of a seesaw but it works incredibly well and it is something that had me smiling throughout.
As we reach the present once more, the change in character is evident but also in how much both men trust one another. The lack of investment in information from Hal towards Barry is something Barry displays disapproval of and in an odd way, it is nice to see as it shows how highly Barry thinks of their friendship.
This annual might be about how they met and what they get up to when in an intergalactic fighting arena, but most importantly it is about how the friendship and trust between two superheroes is just as imperative as it is between two regular guys sitting in a jazz club having a drink and a laugh.
All in all, the issue was a nice new take on the two heroes’ friendship. It might not be the original stuff, but that is still there for everyone to read. However Brian Buccellato has given us a story that is both fresh and new and hopefully foundations to be further built on in the future. Also, Flash wearing a Lantern ring is always a welcome addition to any comic book.
Furthermore, just to finish off, the annual is topped off with a heartwarming mini named ‘Details’, helmed by Nicole Dubac and Cully Hamner. It definitely evokes some emotion and ends the annual in a more subtle way with small threads shown throughout the mini tying together right at the end.
Jake is a contributing writer for Drunk On Comics. You can follow him on Twitter at @JakeUtd