On this week’s episode of Funnybooks, I talked about how I was concerned that both The Flash and the Green Lantern titles, which were engrossed in Brightest Day stuff for their first arcs, all seem to have moved outside of that storyline and are building up to their own big events.  For Green Lantern, we’re getting the buildup to the War of the Green Lanterns, and on Flash, we’re getting The Road to Flashpoint, which kicked off this past week with issue #9.

The Flash #9 features the return of artist Francis Manapul and leads the path for the alternate universe dealings of Flashpoint.  Someone is messing with the past, and changes are already being felt in the present, including the appearance of a new mysterious character, Hot Pursuit, who’s identity (revealed at the end of the universe) will definitely have huge repercussions for Barry and the rest of the Flash universe.

Click the image at left for a preview of Flash #9.

The police have re-opened their Cold Case files, thanks to the work Barry Allen did in the first arc of the series.  Unfortunately, his work on the cold cases will have to wait, as a superhero has been found dead.  Problem is, after ID-ing the hero, they realize that the old man’s body they found is that of a superhero teenager.  As Barry researches the case, Hot Pursuit pops up, and The Flash has to chase him down.

I really enjoyed the first arc of Geoff Johns’ run on The Flash (look for my review of The Dastardly Death of the Rogues next week), and even the two issues inbetween arcs, with art by Scott Kolins.  But Francis Manapul KNOCKS this issue out of the park.  I keep hearing that this book has been seeing delays (and I think it’s takes a break while Flashpoint is running), but they’re more than worth it for a book that looks this fantastic.  Not only that, the story is pretty damn great too.  The Flash #9 features appearances by the Flash family, as well as hints of the upcoming storyline.  If Flashpoint seems like something you’re going to be interested in, get in the ground floor in this excellent issue.  Highly recommended.