“Kid Flash Lost, Part One”
As described here, I decided a bit belatedly to pick up this ancillary miniseries to the Flashpoint event because it's centered on a denizen of the “real” DCU somehow transported into the Flashpoint universe – like Booster Gold in his series and Barry Allen Flash in the main Flashpoint mini. Kid Flash is Bart Allen, the grandson of Barry Allen, born in the 30th century but for reasons I've never been entirely clear on because I've never read his early stuff as “Impulse” resident in the present. Just go with it. He's been “Kid Flash” I think since the opening of the current Teen Titans series about a decade ago, after a decade when he went by “Impulse.” The consensus is that he seems to be the Kid Flash that will be featured in the post-Flashpoint Teen Titans title. (Where does that leave Wally West, the first Kid Flash, for a long time the Flash? That's not been answered. Some see an ominous hint in the solicitation copy for the new Flash #1: “The Flash knows he can’t be everywhere at once, but what happens when he faces an all-new villain who really can! As if that’s not bad enough, this villain is a close friend!” [my emphasis] I hope not.)
In this three-issue series Bart somehow finds himself in his native future era, now the 31st century, held captive by Brainiac, who in the Flashpoint universe has ruled over Earth for several years. He breaks free, but finds that he cannot access the Speed Force and is effectively powerless. He's rescued by a now-female Hot Pursuit (!), but then finds himself starting to fade from existence: “[W]e've got to … get back home fast … we're not supposed to be here … because I saw this movie with Cassie [fellow Teen Titan Wonder Girl] … if we don't get hit with some Speed Force lightning … I'm history.” I think the movie is Back to the Future.
Sterling Gates performed an admirable job the past couple of years taking a somewhat unlikeable and pointless character in Supergirl and quickly developing her into a likeable and heroic young lady (DC apparently erasing that achievement is probably the most egregiously wrong-headed aspect of the coming relaunch/reboot – it's said here much better than I can). I consider him one of DC's better writers and he does a solid job on this issue. Not sure where this story is going to go or how relevant it will be to the overall event, but I'll stick with it. The art by Oliver Nome and Trevor Scott is not really to my liking, but passable. It reminds me a lot of my first exposure to Olivier Coipel's art when he took over Legion of Super-Heroes in the “Legion of the Damned” arc about a decade ago – which I didn't like at all. The figures often look distorted, their features almost bestial – the example that jumps at me here is in the last panel of the next-to-last page where Bart's face is horse-like with a nose about three sizes too big! (Note: The cover above is by Francis Manapul.)