Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Pencils: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Colours: Ivan Plascencia
Inks: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Release Date: 14th June 2017
When I was a kid, nothing made me more excited than seeing two of my favourite super heroes team up, and even now I still get the same little tingle of excitement. Well, this latest issue features exactly that, alongside the resurrection of an excellent villain which – even if you haven’t read last issue – is spoiled on the front cover. And, as Barry and Hal battle a slightly crazier than usual Multiplex, Wally and Iris face an even greater battle in the form of a recently resurrected foe.
I have to say, Joshua Williamson has been absolutely killing it on the post-Rebirth Flash, delivering exciting stories full of suspense, contemplation and – of course – fast-paced action. This issue is no exception, and had me pretty much speed-reading through the pages like the Flash himself in order to see what would happen next. I can see a lot of his work from his horror books Nailbiter and Ghosted carry over here as he writes the real enemy, the Flash’s greatest villain. We have seen him in other media as a smart foe but Williamson writes him as a terrifying and genuinely creepy enemy, someone who will go to any lengths just to get one up on The Flash. Worse than that, he retains all of his memories from the time before Flashpoint making him perhaps the most formidable super villain in the DCU right now.
Carmine Di Giandomenico is on pencils and inks this week once again, and his symbiotic relationship with Williamson and his writing is evident from page one. The style itself almost looks like it’s alive, and feels like it’s somehow actually moving due to just how undefined certain parts are, combined with some heavy inking. The result is a very kinetic looking book that fits the character of the Flash incredibly well; a hero who is always moving even when he is completely still in a world pulsating with the speedforce. It’s just a perfect fit.
Ivan Plascencia brings the book to life using high contrast and almost neon colours to make each panel pop. When the speed force is in motion the colour is searing with energy and gives the Flash his distinctive aesthetic which somehow looks more impressive and vibrant on the pages of this book than it does in other media.
This latest chapter is very action-packed and due to that you will naturally reach the end of this issue faster than you perhaps would on another issue. That is no bad thing though, as the action practically moves as your eyes pass over it, creating two of the most fluid action sequences I have seen in some time. The creative team pull out all the stops here, giving us a thoughtful main character, a link to the old DCU and of course an enemy who is so well-realised that we can’t help but be glad he is still around. Ideally new readers should start at issue 23 but even if they chose not to it would be hard not to enjoy the contents of this latest chapter.
Even if you are not already reading the Flash right now but have perhaps been enjoying the TV show or the character in other media, I highly recommend checking this issue out. It’s sometimes frightening, often brutal but always well worth the read.
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The writer of this piece was: Dave MacPhail
John Tweets from @ShinKagato