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Speed Reading! – The Flash #34
September 16, 2014Posted by on
The Mashup Gang storyline is done! And it ended in an incredibly uninteresting way. Not to say that the issue was bad, but it wasn’t all that good either. It was probably as middling as a comic book can come. And, in some ways, that is worse than it being bad.
I don’t want to dump on this, but the story wasn’t really all that engaging. Flash figured out who the killer was last issue, so 34 was really nothing much beyond a boss fight. Brett Booth’s art was good (he really has a knack for the Flash), so it was visually interesting – just not narratively. I suppose it might read better in a collected edition. I’ve had this complaint before in regards to the Gorilla Warfare storyline, so I can’t really pick-apart the Venditti and Jensen too much as it is a pitfall of the comic book medium.
But I think another issue with the Mashup Gang arc is that it went on a bit too long for its own good. I started to realize this last time, but now I am convinced of it. This storyline did not need to be five issues long. I suspect it likely would have been shorter had the writers not been juggling two other stories at the same time.
That said, I did appreciate how they tied Seaborn’s villainy back to the events of Forever Evil where Central City was trashed due to a MIA Flash. At least that gave it a little more depth than the traditional “cop-goes-bad” trope.
And then we have Wally’s story – which ends too easily. The last time we saw the kid, he was getting arrested for being a look-out during a robbery. So, how do we get him out of that jam? Easy – have his Uncle Daniel (the Reverse-Flash) give him a scared straight talk!
Oh, did I mention that Barry bribed him to talk to Wally? And that he will be putting regular deposits in his account so he won’t talk?
That is incredibly stupid! Barry has never been shown to be this dumb. Maybe aloof, but not dumb. How can he not see that this will inevitably blow up in his face?
And is it me, or has Daniel West undergone a personality change? While he is obviously a bad guy, he wasn’t previously depicted as a sociopathic mastermind who now seems to be the T-Bag of Iron Heights. His new depiction makes him a bit less sympatric as a character.
I do feel bad about slamming this issue so hard, because I really do like this creative team and the direction they are taking the book. Everyone puts out a bad issue here and there. Hopefully, we can go full steam ahead and leave the Mashup Gang behind us.
Next: Five Years Later — The Battle for Wally West’s Life Begins!