Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Pencils/Inks: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Letters: Steve Wanos
Release Date: 14th June 2017
The Flash is having the worst week ever. Firstly, his nemesis Reverse Flash came back from the dead and decided to place Barry directly in his crosshairs. Then, after putting Kid Flash in the hospital, he revealed Barry’s identity to Iris, showed them a horrific future and convinced Barry that he hurts everything he touches. Oh, and to top things off, Thawne has also corrupted Barry’s powers with negative speed force causing him to become a force of destruction.
Writer Joshua Williamson positioned Reverse Flash as the main antagonist a few issues ago but he has rather cruelly flipped this dynamic on Barry here. The Flash is a hero, it’s in his blood, everything he does is for the greater good but how can he save his city when the very power he has become so dependent on lashes out violently whenever he attempts to use it? The Flash, his powers, ever his personality are being sucked in this negative force that now courses through his very being and the frustration and anger of our hero is palpable.
Carmine Di Giandomenico is on pencils and inks this week, and while his work is decent when its stationery it really comes to life when the characters are in motion. We see a lot of Barry as Negative Flash this issue, and Di Giandomenico’s action sequences move at a blistering pace. Barry himself looks like a twisted and contorted version of himself, his inner darkness peering out at the world with a grimace instead of a smile. The damage wreaked upon Central City every time Barry loses control of his energy is suitably devastating though the damage caused to his foes may even be more brutal.
Hi-Fi is on colours this issue and from the very beginning I was a massive fan of the visuals generated by the negative speed force. That unnatural purple tinged lightning is the very essence of darkness and watching it lash out at its surroundings and at anyone Barry is running past is thrilling. The Road Reapers and their Tron inspired motor cycles shine neon blue, ironically a much less threatening colour than Negative Flash’s own energy.
This book is a thrilling and fast-paced adventure showing the Flash in a somewhat unique situation of being his own worst enemy. Barry is trying his hardest to do the right thing but everything is going wrong around him just like his nemesis said it would. Watching this deconstruction of such a pure hero is fascinating and the fun part will be when we watch him try to pull himself back from the brink and convince the world he is still a hero.
First time readers shouldn’t have any problems picking this up thanks to a quick recap at the start of the book, but obviously those who have been reading for a long time will get more from it. Whether you are a veteran of the series, someone who has only watched the TV Show or a completely new reader, this comes highly recommended.
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The writer of this piece was: Dave MacPhail
John Tweets from @ShinKagato