Review – The Flash #39 (DC Comics)

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artwork: Carmine di Giandomenico, Ivan Plascencia (colours)
Release Date: 24th January 2018

Can it really be the 700th issue of the Scarlet Speedster already?

Though I’ve read a fair few Flash comics over the years, I’ve never really considered myself a huge fan. Granted, Williamson’s run has jumped up my pull list, and I’ve really enjoyed the new friends and foes (notably Godspeed) mixed in with classic characters and the evolution of his relationship with Iris. But whilst we’ve had some great storylines, such the death of Thawne, we’ve not yet had a Flashpoint or Terminal Velocity – an iconic work of Flash mythos.

The ongoing saga of Black Hole, and the mysteries surrounding Meena and the two Wally Wests, have certainly shown promise, and I had high hopes for resolution to these threads starting with this issue: Perfect Storm.

And, after a fashion, some elements of these seem to be getting addressed. The cover sets the tone – it’s stunning, dynamic, with the return of Grodd heralded in spectacular style. Whilst we’re on the subject, the art really is excellent throughout this issue, with the colours particularly strong. Plascencia knocks it out the park, and his colouring of the Speed Force sets a new standard – dynamic, exciting, effective, without distracting from narrative or di Giandomenico’s distinctive, jagged penciling.

My major niggle with this issue, though, also stems from the cover – the big reveal involving the return, and role, of Grodd, is somewhat undermined because you spend the whole issue waiting for it. On reflection, it’s actually what stops this from being a truly stellar issue – because it is otherwise expertly written, re-examining Barry and Iris’s relationship, looking at Wally (new Wally, that is) in a different light with Avery (Flash of China) and finally bringing together again Rebirth newcomers Negative Flash and Raijin (self-styled god of lightning) in a very neat package that’s accessible to fans old, new and CW. And that’s the thing, it really is excellent, however much or little you know about the fastest men (and women) alive, Rebirth or otherwise.

It’s quite possible that this is the start of another truly great Flash epic, and one that doesn’t involve mucking about with the timeline for a change. But with the Flash(es) so tied into the New 52/Rebirth saga that I’m constantly surprised that this issue – indeed the whole run – hasn’t delved into this further. Regardless, if Perfect Storm lives up to the potential teased by this issue, then it could end up being one of the highlights of the Rebirth era.

See you for next 700!

Rating: 4/5.

[Click to Enlarge]

SAMDAVThe Writer of this piece was: Sam Graven
Article Archive: Geeking Out
You can follow Sam on Twitter

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