Welcome to the Thunderdome
Written by: Robert Venditti and Van Jensen
Art by: Brett Booth, Vicente Cifuentes, Ale Garza, Norm Rapmund,
Andrew Dalhouse and Pat Brosseau
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 30, 2015
I have been a big fan (maybe even the biggest) of Robert Venditti, Van Jensen and Brett Booth's run on The Flash. It doesn't hurt that I love The Flash as a character and can't wait each month to see what the old speedster is up too. Lately. he's been fighting off the "Zoom Crew" and while I liked the name "New Rogues", I'll concede to the Crew because that's a pretty awesome name. It's also an awesome team that Professor Zoom has put together. A team with one solitary mission...make the world forget about the Flash. To do so, they can't just kill him, but tear down the myth, the myth and yes...the legend. I'll give Zoom credit, he knows how to play the pieces on the board and the way last issue ended, he may just win the game outright. Of course, Barry will have something to say about that as will a couple of friends as well. It's all leading to a huge clash between Thawne and Barry, but is it any good? Let's find out...
The issue opens with Barry and the whole Central City Police Department inside Block's "Thunderdome". While I understand that Captain Frye is a little upset with Flash lately, he comes off as a bit too over the top when dealing with him here. No, he isn't driving his truck around with his son, entering arm wrestling competitions, he's ready to shoot Barry, even after Flash saves his ass. In fact, if Singh didn't step in, he just might have done it!
Things continue as Barry uses his cranium and tells everyone that the only way to break out of the Dome is using something really hot. He meant it as more of "it's impossible", but Wally West hears him and has a plan.
Remember that forced scene when Wally learned about magnesium engine block? Of course you do and now it's coming home to roost. Wally takes the engine block, straps it to the front grill of an armored car and heads on a collision course with the dome. While I found it ridiculous for Wally to need wooden blocks strapped to his shoes to work the vehicle's peddles, his plan worked. Check out the big brain on Wally!
There is a small opening in the Dome and Flash jumps on it. He gets Wally back to Iris (who just punched a very insensitive photographer) and saves everyone in the precinct...right before the building itself crumbles to the ground. Captain Frye is pissed and chews out Flash...it's lucky that he still gotta little ass left. Before moving on, however, Frye gets real dark and starts making sinister promises to nobody at all. Crazy. Sexy. Cool.
We then check in with the main villains, the Zoom Crew (I'm getting used to that!) and their special guest, Henry Allen. Venditti and Jensen show the reader just what Zoom is after and believe me, it's not just erasing the Flash's name from any history book. Any fan worth his salt (and a whole lot less) knows that Professor Zoom is in this for himself, but this issue finally shows the Zoom Crew finding out the truth as well...with deadly results. If you didn't think that Zoom was a evil enough villain before this issue, I think you will changer your mind after this issue. The cliffhanger promises the Zoom versus Flash battle we've been waiting for, but I hope we see more of Zoom versus his Crew first.
This issue was a little down from the previous handful. While it was action packed, it took some time to really get moving and give us some story progression. When it finally did, however, it packed a serious punch. We see Zoom's true intentions, get a little more of Wally and even some good Singh and Frye stuff to boot.
Brett Booth is one of my favorite artists of all time and he kills it is this book month after month. That's why the art upset me this month...it wasn't only him. While the other two artists (Vicente Cifuentes and Ale Garza) are good, I am a demanding guy and I demand nothing but Brett Booth on this book. The transitions between artists were a bit jarring, but nothing was a deal breaker.
Bits and Pieces:
I love this story of the Zoom Crew versus the Flash and while we get some really cool story progression, this book was a bit down. It was the combination of an odd start and some jarring art transitions that made this issue feel a bit off, but a not-as-good (I'm not saying bad) Flash issue is better than some other books good issues. I still love this book and can't wait for next month, but I just can't give this book high marks.