Flash: Ignition is now right up there with some of my favorite trade paperbacks, and it's a tribute to Geoff Johns' excellent writing. This is an origin story, no doubt, one that could have easily been a movie -- the Flash rediscovers his own identity -- and as a jumping-on point, this story never misses a beat.
The best scenes, I think, were those between the Flash and Batman, from the unique way Johns chose to have everyone remember the Flash's identity, to the way Batman figured out the Flash's identity and Batman's concerns about Hal Jordan's behavior, to equating the death of the Flash's children to the death of Batman's parents, the whole thing just shone. And usually, I'm not a fan of an author creating a new character just for the purposes of revealing the character as the mystery villain in a story, but I thought Johns created so many new characters for Ignition, and the villain's rationale was so good, tying into themes of the whole Ignition story -- including Wally's new job -- that it worked. It all just worked.
And I have to give DC credit for bringing Albert Dose's very un-Flash-like art to this story -- and it worked perfectly. Dose's art reminds me of Eduardo Risso's, though perhaps a little less caricatured -- except for Dose's obscenely-veined-and-muscled Batman, which, for the purposes of the story, was A-OK. I don't know much about Dose, and I'm having trouble finding out what else he's done. I actually wouldn't have minded seeing him stay on Flash for a while, or otherwise move to a DC-noir book like Catwoman or Gotham Central. Can anyone fill me in?
If I had one sore spot with Ignition, it was the fact that Linda left in the end. Now, I have enough faith in Geoff Johns not to think that he's one of those writers who just can't write married characters, and has to put the relationship on hold somehow so as to give the main character new romantic tension -- from, perhaps, new characters Reece Wheeler or Ashley Zolomon -- and so I'm believing instead that Linda's leaving is part of a grand plan by Johns, which will ultimately come together in a way that will make me say "that was worth it." And now I'm waiting and seeing. On the other hand, I did think the parallel between Linda and Zolomon was great -- an excellent tie to the end of the trade.
And now bring on Flash: The Secret Life of Barry Allen (or is it just The Secret of Barry Allen?)! I'm off to JSA: Prince of Darkness next, followed by Superman/Batman: Supergirl.