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We continue with Villains’ Month with the new Reverse Flash!
We have our origin story, and it makes sense (even if it feels a bit tacked on). But I get it. In issue 23, we learned that Daniel West is the new villain and that he has been collecting speed force energy. What we didn’t know is why. And how he is ever able to do this.
In a smart move, Manapul and Buccellato tied it into the previous Gorilla Warfare arc where the Rogues seemingly took Dr. Elias’s train, speed force energy, and several Central City citizens into the Mirror World. What happened next remained unresolved. Until now.
Turns out, Daniel, in attempt to escape, crashed right into the speed force energy, and it transformed him, and gave him the ability of speed and to go back in time (though he needs a lot of energy in order to do so – hence the killings).
I like how this was tied into the previous story arc. Even though it isn’t as natural as how the earlier arcs branched off one another, it still works enough for the reader to get the sense of a grand epic at play (which, I hope, Manapul and Buccellato’s run will feel like when completed at the end of issue 25).
The approach to this story I also have to commend. The narrative is told in a reverse chronological order. How appropriate. However, at the same time, the narrative of Daniel’s decent into villainy is very forward. Only going back could we really get a good grasp of what happened. Granted, the same story could have been told in chronological order, but it would not have nearly been as interesting and we would not have been able to see everything Daniel was going to lose over time if him as a kid was at the beginning. And, also appropriate, the story ends at in the present and the past, as the final scene picks up where we last saw Flash and Reverse Flash in issue 23.
I have to commend guest artist Scott Hepburn. His art is very reminiscent of Francis Manapul’s. I do not know if that was by design or happenstance, but I feel that this will read very well when Reverse is eventually collected together.
Thumbs up to this issue. It tells a complete story while giving us insight into the Reverse Flash. It also ties into the current arc and gives readers a look at this new villain that would have felt forced or out of place if done at any other point.
Cover Comments: This issue really takes advantage of the lenticular aspect. With the Reverse Flash racing towards the reader with his “shrapnel spikes” being tossed further ahead makes for a cool look. Clearly, it was Francis Manapul drew this with “3D” in mind. If you are planning to get the issue, the “3D” is worth it.