The Flash: Year One Is More Than A New Origin Story For Barry Allen

Josh Williamson is doing incredible work with >

The Flash

, and the depth and quality of his contributions to Flash lore aren’t really apparent on their face. It's remarkable how a really good 70-issue run on a Justice League mainstay with his own TV show can seemingly fly under the radar, but that's what it feels like we've seen from this book so far. There’s only really one arc in Williamson’s tenure on the book that’s played a big role in the post-

Rebirth metanarrative of the DC Universe. But when you really dig into what Williamson has done, there’s not a corner of Flash world that hasn’t been dramatically changed.

Williamson co-created Godspeed, who recently made his TV debut. He revamped most of the Rogues, doing amazing work in particular with Captain Cold and Heat Wave, and in the most recent arc he gave us probably the definitive Trickster story. He’s given us Grodd and Reverse Flash and all the Flash mechanics you’d demand from a good Flash run like time travel and multiverse hopping and plenty of

Multiversity callbacks.

But the best work he’s done has been on Barry himself. “Barry misses stuff because he can’t slow down” is and has always been the core of the character, but it's a little worn at this point. Williamson’s Barry Allen has so much more depth than that. He’s one of the sharpest minds in the entire DCU. He’s spent more time thinking his way around problems than he has running through them. His friendship with Batman (though it’s now on the rocks because of

Heroes in Crisis

) is one of those forehead-slapping “HOW DID NOBODY THINK OF THIS ALREADY” moments, and the way Williamson has pulled it off is perfection.

Now we’re getting >The Flash: Year One

, and DC sent us an exclusive preview. I'll tell you, after looking through the first issue, Williamson and Howard Porter knock it out of the park. Barry’s emotional development through the issue is blazing fast, believable, and a lot of fun to read. In the space of about six pages, we go from hopeful kid Barry to sullen workaholoic Barry to Barry discovering joy again through discovering his powers. It's really impressive how the pace of the story matches the character - this is one of those books where the how of the storytelling reinforces the who and why of the character. That's skillful storytelling.


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