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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
This is another issue that does not let up. Everything is go, go, GO! Grodd is chasing Barry, Turbine and Patty are chasing leads, Rogues are fighting, and Daniel is searching for Iris. It reads really quick, because everything is movie so swiftly.
I think that is both a strength and weakness of this current story. Because it is a big action/adventure, when the 20 page issue is over, you are left wanting more. However, you are also left a bit disappointed. In The Flash #14, there is not a lot of progression in terms of the story. We meet some new characters (more on that), and we get a game-changing moment (more on that), but it seems we are largely at the same place we were at the end of issue 13.
13 gave us some opening action. Now, the story needs to develop. Otherwise, we are just seeing characters wailing on each other. If there is no substance, then what is the point? That said, we still have three issues left in the arc. Hopefully, things will become more clear on why things are happening.
On the plus side, we get the New 52 introduction to Solovar. In the previous continuity, he was, basically, Grodd’s rival. Manapul and Buccellato give a nice update of this character’s origin (pretending to be a regular ape in a zoo). It was also great to tie that back to issue 9, and Solovar being the ape that scared Barry at a young age (though, it does reek of small-universe syndrome). He seemed to be a pretty major side-character previously in the Flash mythos. I wonder how long he will be for this world considering the issues ending.
And, considering that ending, Patty now knows Barry is the Flash. Good. I feel this needed to be done a long time ago. Now, it is just a matter to see where they go with it (with Patty not liking Flash, but in love with Barry). I really hope M&B handle it better than when Dan Jurgens did a similar narrative beat during his Captain America run in the late 90s.
On the downside, what is the point of Daniel West? He seems so superfluous at the moment. Not helping is his ham-fisted dialogue (re)explaining that he is an ex-con who wants to do good now. He is looking for Iris (trapped for months – yet no one seems to have noticed since she is still getting mail at her apartment; doesn’t she have rent to pay?). I really hope there is some worthwhile payoff with this character.
Overall, I liked this issue, but I wanted more. The story really needs to kick it up for a reader to become invested. I have faith in this team as they have yet to disappoint.
Next: No Future for Flash!