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And now we come to conclusion of this three-issue arc and writer Brian Buccellato’s run on The Flash. I liked it. Nothing was inherently wrong with it, but the issue did leave me a bit wanting. While it did a fine job addressing the themes connected with Barry’s mother’s murder (stemming from the very early issues of the New 52 Flash), there was a lot story points explained through exposition in order to resolve everything by the end of the issue’s twenty pages.
This is really where this issue suffered. Part of me wonders if Buccellato’s story was a bit too complex to complete within three issues. A fourth would likely have allowed him to flesh out the resolution to the Broome Hill Killer murders and the secrets of Captain Frye. As it is, everything is just jammed packed with a lot of telling and not showing.
I really hate talking bad about it, because there is a lot of good here. I loved the supernatural aspect to this story. As I commented on during my review of issue 28, it is refreshing to see a different kind of Flash story than what I have been used to. I wish this could have been explored a little bit more as some stuff happens a bit too quickly to really absorb during a first-read through.
The other big narrative this issue delves into is Frye’s secret and how it connects with Barry. I am so happy that Frye is not Barry’s father. This has been hinted at going back to the first annual. Not that I mind a twist or anything like that, but having Frye turn out to be Barry’s dad would have been so clichéd, and Buccellato is a better writer than that. Thumbs up for not going down that route.
But, of course, with him now officially leaving The Flash, all the toys are put back into the box and the murder of Barry’s mother is still a mystery. Perhaps an even more mystery as it seems that Frye and Barry’s father know what happened. Apparently this is such a big deal, they need to keep it from Barry.
What is this secret? Who knows? Will the next creative team pick up on it? Who knows? Whatever the deal is, I really hope it isn’t dragged out for too long with endless teases that go nowhere. I know storytelling in comics are, generally, on-going and never-ending, but dangling a carrot for too long will just wind up angering a reader.
So, good-bye Brian Buccellato. I’ve really enjoyed you (and Francis Manapul’s) work on The Flash. It has really solidified my love for the character.
If I am lucky enough, I will get a chance to meet him at C2E2 in a few weeks where I can embarrass myself by awkwardly telling him how I like his work. (ETA: turns out he cancelled his appearance. Bummer.). The new creative team has some big shoes to fill, but I’m looking forward to what they have to offer!
Next: “Picking Up the Pieces”