Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Flash #43 Review

Written by: Robert Venditti and Van Jensen
Art by: Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, Andrew Dalhouse and Wendy Broome
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: August 26, 2015

Too Fast for Love

I have been very vocal about the Venditti/Jensen/Booth run on The Flash.  In a nutshell, I love it. Sure, every story has it's ups and downs, but I have enjoyed almost every moment from Reverse Flash, Wally West and the Savage Lands of the Speed Force up to the current Professor Zoom arc. Speaking of that, I will admit that I was never a big Professor Zoom fan and if you are like me, have no fear.  Why?  Because this arc also features his Barry Allen hate club that I like to think of as the "New Rogues".  They were introduced in the Flash Annual last month and I can't wait to see them go toe-to-toe with The Flash.  Well, the wait is over because it all starts this month.  Was it as good as I was hoping?  Let's find out...

The issue starts with Zoom and his pupils in the middle of a pep talk.  It's pretty much a reminder that they are indeed in Central City, but also of Zoom's modus operandi...he not only wants to kill Flash, but tear down the icon as well.  We've heard it before, but it keeps bringing up the question...what did Barry do to piss Thawne off so much?  Flashpoint perhaps?

We then catch up with my favorite character in this arc, Henry Allen.  Barry's Father is still on the run with his ragtag group (minus Girder) since escaping from Iron Heights and now they face another obstacle...Barry Allen.  It's not the typical father-son reunion, but it was still good to first.  They go back and forth about the positives and negatives of going back to prison and they seem to agree to disagree until Barry mentions meeting Zoom and then Henry goes nuts.  He warns Barry to stay far away from this mysterious speedster, but you know sons and their hard-headed ways.

This part of the issue was my least favorite only because it fell a little flat for me.  Barry and Henry haven't had any personal time in years and instead of taking advantage of it (though Barry does get in an overdue hug), they argue.  It really felt forced and made the great bits with Henry before this come off as just setup for what comes later.

Before that, we drop in on Wally and Iris West.  I mentioned before that Wally seemed to be packed away for future use, but the future is now.  I'm so glad because I like Wally and this month we see he is doing pretty well.  He's found a hobby to keep him out of trouble and it looks like an added bonus is Barry and Iris getting closer to being a couple.  It's in the very, very early stages, but Barry shows her a badass side she never saw before.  If I know the ladies (I don't), they eat that sort of thing up.

I mentioned that the Barry-Henry meeting didn't live up to expectations, but the Flash-Henry meeting was awesome.  He stages a hostage situation to get the Flash to come to him and then drops the bombshell that we all knew but wanted to hear out loud...Eobard Thawne killed his Wife and is now after his son.  He begs Flash to protect Barry for him and the whole scene was just awesome.  The best thing is, it gets better.  The issue ends with Barry meeting Block, Roscoe and the Folding Man. It is immediately obvious that the Flash is way over his head and in deep water.  Deep Water!

This issue did a good job of taking care of loose ends so that we can go full in with Professor Zoom and his New Rogues (I'm sticking with it) versus the Flash.  It's exciting to hear that Thawne is Nora's killer, but I can't get rid of that awful feeling that it doesn't matter for Henry.  I wish that we got more than just the New Rogues as bookends in this issue, but the ending was great and I can't wait to see how Barry gets out of his current jam.  Then he'll have to face Zoom and the entire team and that just sounds great.  Scary, but great.

I can't say enough about this art team.  Brett Booth is one of my favorite artists so maybe I'm biased, but I don't care.  I love his pencils and panel layout and even in a book with more talk and less action, he still kicks ass.  The others manage to kick mucho butt cheeks as well.  Norm Rapmund's inks and Andrew Dalhouse's (with Wendy Broome this issue) colors are the perfect accent to Booth's art.  This is the most vibrant looking book that DC puts out nowadays.

Bits and Pieces:

While I wanted more of the New Rogues, this month's issue of The Flash lines everything up and gets it all ready for the big battle.  If it is anywhere near as cool as the initial fight, Barry is in big trouble and I can't wait to see it all go down.


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