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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
I want to start off by thanking Kelson Vibber of SpeedForce.org, arguably the premier Flash website on the internet (if you like The Flash, you need to check the blog out). He has graciously posted links to our The Flash reviews of his own accord. No groveling from me this time around. Thank you Speed Force!
Isn’t that an absolutely gorgeous cover? I can totally get behind any argument that suggests it should have been without taglines, but I digress.
This issue is awesome, and I mean that in every giddy sense. It is everything I really look for in a superhero comic. There are times that I feel that comic writers are too focused on giving readers grim and gritty stories that they forget that these books also need to be fun. The Flash under the guidance of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato is fun, and this issue is the most fun I have had reading a comic in a long while.
Why is that? Because we get the Rogues. Together. Making a ruckus.
I think what helps is that each page gives us a re-introduction. This issue we get to see the first real takes on Mirror Master, Trickster, and Pied Piper. All three are brief cameos, but they are handled well where they do not feel forced. Instead it plays naturally (if you turn a blind eye slightly to the “power of coincidence” of characters being in the right spot at the right time).
Honestly, and I cannot stress this enough, this issue made me feel like a little kid again. This has been building since issue 6 (with some minor tidbits since issue 3). M&B pulled it off magnificently, and give readers a terrific cliffhanger to play out in the annual. I know. I am gushing. So be it.
There are some things that do not quite add up. Flash finally confronts Elias (and his driver Kelson – a reference to Speed Force’s Kelson perhaps?), and it is revealed that Elias is simply an ass. This did not ring true for me. I know he is a new character in the New 52, and thus largely a blank slate. However, his interactions with the Flash in previous issues framed him as such an ally of the speedster. I went back to see if there have been any subtle hints that he was in it for “the name of science”. Maybe I am wrong, but it does not read like that at all. Hopefully more will be revealed about this in the annual.
I also do not quite understand Glider taking control of the Rogues. Or at least what she is trying to accomplish and why the Rogues are willing to follow her. I guess the problem is that, unlike the other Rogues, she was not much of a presence in The Flash prior to the New 52 reboot (being dead and all). Getting a feel for her character is still sort of out of reach. Again, this might be elaborated on in the annual.
All those were minor quibbles in an otherwise terrific issue of The Flash. I cannot wait until the annual (which, fortunately, only came out a week after this issue did).
Next Week: “Flash Annual #1”
Next Month: “Issue Zero! The Secret Origin of the Flash!”