Barry Allen is a cool character. It's not often he really gets a chance to show us what he can do besides be a speedster. Too often when he appears in issues involving the Justice League, he is barely seen and only for...flashy scenes with him zipping around.
With the idea of going back to the Zero Year, a time before he gained his speed powers, we get to see what he's capable without them. Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato have come up with a reason for him to to appear in Gotham City. With everything going on due to Riddler's shenanigans, the GCPD needs all the help it can get. That's where Barry Allen and his C.S.I. abilities come in. Of course due to the craziness, he gets mixed up in some of the action.
Aside from taking part in this moment in Gotham's history, we also get to see the first meeting between Barry and Iris West (this should make all on Team Iris happy). Seeing Barry use his other skills is great but there's a feeling of nostalgia in seeing these two work together.
While Manapul doesn't provide the art for the entire (slightly longer) issue, he does put a close to the issue marking the end of Francis and Brian on the series (of course Brian is coming back in a couple months for a few more issues).
Chris Sprouse gives us an interesting look at Gotham during this dark moment. Unfortunately there were some inconsistencies with some of the character builds. This isn't a comparison to Manapul's art as the two have distinct styles. Manapul's closing scenes manage to bump up the overall score.
Parts of the story felt a little rushed. Barry was pretty reckless which may be part of who he is but he took a lot of risks. You almost have to wonder how he managed to survive before getting his powers.
This issue marks the end of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato's run on the series. We get an interesting look at Barry before he obtained his powers but it does feel a little weird having a look back to Barry's past be their final issue. The art has it's highs and lows but Manapul delivers on the final pages and we get Buccellato's colors throughout the issue. This may be the end for the two but it also gave us an interesting look at Barry's beginnings.