Thursday 5 October 2017

The Flash Hocus Pocus - Barry Lyga - The Flash Book 1

The Flash: Hocus Pocus
The Flash Book 1
Barry Lyga
Amulet Books
Warner Bros. TV‏
DC Comics
ISBN 9781419728150

Last summer my three children and I started watching Supergirl, and once we were caught up on that we watched The Flash. My daughters prefer Supergirl and my son loved The Flash. So when I found out that one of my all-time favorite authors was releasing a Flash novelization I was terribly excited. My son wants to read this book with me, but to be honest I could not wait and read a chapter or two a day with him. I devoured the book over 2 days in 4 sittings. Each of the three times I put the book down it was only out of necessity. This book was an amazing read. Not since reading Batman Knightfall by Dennis O'Neil back in 1995 have I enjoyed a super hero novel so much. And I now get to reread this book with my son and likely my youngest daughter also.

This story is set in an alternate timeline where Flashpoint never happened. Instead of running off that night after Zoom was defeated, Barry headed back in the house with Iris. As such this is a very different time line then the current TV series, and to be honest it is an amazing read. In this Flash adventure we encounter a new mysterious villain, but he doesn’t seem to be a metahuman.  He seems to be able to control the minds and actions of citizens, and inanimate objects. He calls himself Hocus Pocus and he takes control of Barry. So it is up to Team Flash to help the Scarlet Speedster before he’s forced to do something unthinkable. After he is forced to rob a jewelry store and attack the police, even Barry wonders if Team Flash might have to take drastic steps to stop him. 

Barry’s life is turned even more upside down in this story than usual. A suspension from work at the police department. Being mind controlled by an ego maniac and turned into a heel. And knowing that there might not be a way out of it this time is weighing on him. But he has team Flash supporting him, Iris at his side, Wally willing and eager to step in. And at Star Labs he has Cisco, Caitlyn and HW willing to go to their limits and maybe beyond to find a solution. The question is can they solve the puzzle in time. 

Sometimes when you really like an author and they step in to write characters you know it just does not work. I have seen that with Star Wars, Star Trek and other Super Hero stories before. But Lyga does a masterful job. He has written a fast paced story, stayed true to the characters and the DC universe. Even if this is an alternate possibility it is an amazing story and I already eagerly await the next Flash novel from Lyga due out next year! I have had a growing appreciation for Lyga’s craft as a wordsmith for years now. But with this novel I have an even greater respect for his skill with the pen, or keyboard, as it may be. 

This was an excellent read. It will be loved by fans of the expanding DC TV Universe. It will also stand solidly on its own as a superhero novel. I look forward to sharing it with my children and will likely even gift a copy to my dad. It is a story for fans of all ages. Well done Lyga well done. And in regards to the next volume all I can encourage is write Barry write!

Note: There is a great Flash discussion group on Facebook.

Books by Barry Lyga:
I Hunt Killers:
I Hunt Killers (2012)
Game - I Hunt Killers #2 (2013)

Blood of My Blood - I Hunt Killers # 3 (2014)

I Hunt Killers Short Stories:
Down Time (2018)
Lucky Day (2014)
Career Day (2012)
Neutral Mask (2013)
Blood Boy (2014)

Brookdale High:
The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl (2006)
Boy Toy (2007)
Hero Type (2008)
Goth Girl Rising (2009)

Bang (2017)

Archvillain #1 (2010)
The Mad Mask - Archvillian #2 (2011)
Yesterday Again - Archvillian #3 (2013)

The Flash Series:
Hocus Pocus (2017)
Johnny Quick (2018)
Tornado Twins (2018)

Other Books By Barry Lyga:
Graphic Novels in Your Media Center: A definitive Guide (with Alison A.W. Lyga - 2004)
Wolverine: Worst Day Ever (2009)
MangaMan (with Colleen Dorren 2011)

Unsoul'd (2013)
After The Red Rain (2015)
The Secret Sea (2016)
Thanos Titan Consumed (2018)
The Hive (2019)


Short Story Project 2017
The Ghosts at 95
Loving The University
The Ideas of March
Four Minutes
Pulse vs. the Killing Fiend
Her Decade
The Life Cycle of Stars (Ignition)
Trading Worlds
When I Die
The Autopsying of Michael Edward Morgan
Meet Me Tonight

Contributed to:

Geektastic (2009)
Who Done It? (2013)

Author Profile and Interview with Barry Lyga

Author Profile and Interview with Randall Banner

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