Geoff Johns' previous work on the Flash was one of my favorite runs ever. So I had to at least try out this new series, even though I decided to wait for the trade on Flash: Rebirth. This book picks up about how I thought it would, it's good, but not great.
Geoff Johns still has a knack for world-building and villain boosting. Central City comes across as a great but dangerous town, and I love the setting Barry will have to work in at the forensics lab downtown. The rogues make the book even with limited screen time. Weather Wizard raining out baseball games just to be a jerk might be the best bit of characterization I've read this year. The WANTED page with the rogues planning their next job was great too, there's a real sense of impending doom with them still.
Where the book falls down for me is with Barry Allen. He's ok, but I'm just not that interested in him. I feel like everything he brings to the book would be better if Wally West was there instead of him. Wally needs to show up fast to keep my interest. Barry alone is just too boring. What you see is what you get; he's a cop who shows up late and has a nice girlfriend. Perhaps his interactions with the rogues might add something to his personality, we do only see him interact with a few people in this issue.
I know this opinion is against the law; I don't really like Francis Manapul. He's ok, and some panels look great. He does a really nice job on the Flash in motion. But I don't love the way he draws faces. Everybody has the same odd manga-ish eyes. I will say that he excels at making Central City into a character in the book. It is easy to get a true sense of what the town feels like.
This isn't to say I didn't like the issue, it was actually good. But it isn't Johns and Scott Kolins' run with Wally West. Yet.