Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Release Date: 22nd February 2017
“Rogues Reloaded” has been the best storyline of the Rebirth era FLASH so far, with writer Joshua Williamson finally hitting his stride.
At times, FLASH has been an awkward mash-up of the NU52, classic Flash and the TV show, but with this arc, FLASH finally feels like the classic DC version, albeit with a modern twist.
Aside from re-establishing the Rogues in the Rebirth setting, this arc has been notable for highlighting Barry Allen’s sense of goodness and unwavering optimism. Williamson manages to do this without turning Barry into the Peter Parker-lite version that the TV series is sometimes guilty of, while also utili the Rogues to great effect, using them to demonstrate Barry’s faith and trust in the decency of other people, even his greatest enemies.
That is not to say that everything is wonderful. Barry is still a bit of a dour character, paling in comparison to the vibrancy of the previous Wally West run. The classic/NU52 retcons still don’t sit well – new Wally West feels out of place, especially with the original’s return, and Barry and Iris’ early courtship makes no sense, especially since Wally is running around as an adult in the pages of Titans. Still, these small criticisms do not detract from the sheer sense of fun and entertainment to be found. FLASH has finally found its fleet footing, with the tone and pace of the book having settled into its groove.
It would be remiss to praise FLASH and not highlight the fantastic pencils of Carmine Di Giandomenico, whose manga tinged pages crackle with energy and dynamism. His style is occasionally too rough for FLASH, but the level of draftsmanship on display is impressive, especially given the tight shipping schedule.
As someone who considers the Mark Waid run to be the pinnacle of superhero comics, it has taken quite some time for me to warm up to the return of Barry Allen and the subsequent comics bearing his name. However, this has been a tremendous arc; action packed and full of nice character moments, and has turned this doubter into a firm believer. FLASH has sped to the top of my pull list, and it should be on yours too.
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The writer of this piece was: Craig Gorman.