This week marks the only week in which I bought two DCnU "new 52" comics. I did SUPERMAN #1 in the post right below this one, and this one, at the request of The Comics Cube!'s Resident Kid (my nephew), is our review of FLASH #1.
Interestingly, I was told by a friend that this was the only DCnU comic that one would feel comfortable giving to a kid. It's also still, like the rest of the DCnU books, rated T for teen. Well, the Resident Kid is 12 turning 13 soon, and this was the only title in the entire lineup of 52 comics that he was interested in. So it worked out! I plonked down the 135 pesos, put FLASH #1 in my bag, then took it home and handed it to my nephew. He read half of it, showered, then read the other half. Then he gave it back to me.
Personally, I think the issue was very decompressed, and could have used a supervillain. I breezed through it in a (pun intended) flash, and can't say that I was terribly excited. There is some nifty design work going on in the layouts, but in the end, the art was not for me. That's personal taste, though — I generally like big, thick ink lines.
But this wasn't for me. This was for the Kid. Although he can't really be classified as a "new" reader — he loves the Wally West stories THE RETURN OF BARRY ALLEN, TERMINAL VELOCITY, and ROGUE WAR, as well as the Barry Allen stories THE FLASH OF TWO WORLDS and CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS — he is still, theoretically, part of DC's target audience.
So here is a conversation we had last night, after I . Be warned — I am working from memory, as well as translating some sequences from Tagalog to English, so you can understand it. I am not changing anything for the sake of furthering any agenda, and am trying to retain the tone from the conversation.
Me: So, what did you think of the story?
Kid: It was okay. Just okay. It could have been better. It was a little bland.
Me: What about the art?
Kid: I didn't like it.
Me: Why not?
Kid: I don't think it was great. It wasn't bad, but I just don't think it was great.
Me: You didn't think this (pointing to the double-page spread below) was great?
Kid: That's okay. But it's when he draws faces. They're inconsistent, and I don't like them.
Me: Is the art clear, at least? The storytelling, I mean.
Kid: I guess. There's this one page where Barry hears a door close from the left in one panel, and then he runs to the right in the next panel. I wouldn't have done it that way. But that's it.
Me: So how would you describe the art?
Me: What about Barry Allen? How would you describe him?
Kid: You know, why couldn't they use Wally? Wally is fun. Wally is funny. I'd love to read about Wally.
Me: Well, what's wrong with this version of Barry Allen? You've liked some Barry stories before.
Kid: This Barry is... hmm....
Kid: Yes. Bland.
Me: Would you want the second issue?
Kid: Depends. How much is it?
Me: 135 pesos.
Kid: This was 135 pesos? Then no.
Me: Why, how much did you think it was?
Kid: I dunno. 50?
Me: If you were to ask me to buy a 135-peso comic, how long do you think you should spend reading it?
Kid: Around 10 minutes. Then I'd go back to it throughout the day and enjoy some parts.
Me: And how long did it take you to read this?
Kid: Not counting my shower, about a total of three minutes. And now I'm going to give it back to you, and I don't care if I ever see it again.
Me:You know, according to my friend, who's read most of the new DC books, this is the only comic he wouldn't really mind giving to a kid.
Kid: What? What does DC think of kids? Do they think we want bland?
Me: Look at the rating on the book.
Kid: T for teen. What? What do they think of teens?
Me: Well, you tell me. As someone who is about to become a teenager, what should they put into these comics that will hook you?
Kid: Fight scenes. And humor. Make it fun. And put in some funny parts.
Me: All right. I'll type all that up for The Comics Cube.
Kid (as he was leaving my room): I wish they did something better.
Well... there you go. In a word: "bland."