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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
Last time, Barry mysteriously lost his powers (explained in Dial H #11) while trapped in a prison during a break out. How was he going to get out of that jam? Well, like all guys, he probably had seen Die Hard, because that is exactly was this issue is like (there is even a scene where Barry is crawling around an air duct).
I do not mean that in any sort of bad way. For the most part, it works. I just could not help thinking about it. The problem, however, that remains is that the entire issue feels rushed, and, because of that, I do not think Buccellato really took full advantage of what a powerless Barry scenario can do.
I liked the slight irony of Barry fumbling with the Rogues’ old weapons (though, in fairness, it makes total sense why he would pick those items – he has a familiarity with them). I loved what had to be meta-commentary about the Rogue’s weapons being “old-school technology”. Buccellato had to be trolling the angry fanboys still upset about the whole New 52.
But, unlike last issue, the action sped by too fast. I was taken by surprised when I found myself at the resolution. I thought “That’s it? Story’s over?” And, when we got the revelation of who was behind Trickster’s frame-up, it felt incredibly forced and a bit out of nowhere. I cannot help but think that Buccellato realized he needed a bad guy and just randomly picked Speed Force survivor, Marissa. They explain it, but it is all done in an info-dump erasing any sense of importance. There really is not any wrap-up with Trickster either, who was the partial focus of this and the last issue. He just disappears from the story.
There are two epilogues in this issue which really eat up valuable story time which could have been used to either expand the “Die Hard element” or delve into the Marissa’s motivations for becoming a thief. According to a recent interview, Francis Manapul mentions how Buccellato had to shorten his story by a few pages in order to get the Reverse Flash cameo in (so the story could align with the gatefold cover mandate). I cannot help by wonder if the two extra pages would have helped flesh out the story and ironed out the issues I had with it.
Next: The All-New Reverse-Flash Is Here—And No One In Barry’s Life Is Safe!