Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Flash #36 Review

Written by: Robert Venditti and Van Jensen
Art by: Brett Booth and Andre Coehlo
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: November 26, 2014

Vice Versa

Last month's issue of The Flash was just crazy.  Barry versus his future self with the Speed Force and all existence on the line? Those are some pretty heavy stakes and Robert Venditti and Van Jensen continue to show fans that they are not afraid to take chances by letting the bad guy win.  That's right, the clash between Barrys ended with future Barry in the present day and our Barry in...I really don't know where or when he is.  In one of the craziest cliffhangers I've seen in a while, Barry found himself being attacked by dinosaurs and pursued by robots in a jungle with half his outfit ripped off.  To say I was slightly interested in seeing where this was going is a bit of an understatement.  Actually, it is a flat out lie.  I couldn't freaking wait.

This issue opens with Barry still on the run from the robot sentry with a Dalek complex.  This thing was made for extermination and is not shy to tell you.  As we saw last month, Barry can't tap into the Speed Force so what is a Flash without speed to do? Rely on a goggled, bare chested man with a Flash pendant to save him, that's what.

Meanwhile in the Present, Future Flash is checking things out and likes what he sees.  The Speed Force is repaired, he's running at max levels and he could become the new spokesperson for Meaningful Beauty.  He looks and feels twenty years younger which does feel a little too convenient, but I really like the direction of the story so I don't mind suspending disbelief a little more than usual.

The direction he takes is directly back to Patty.  Who could blame him?  She looks pretty good in that Flash t-shirt and he wastes no time planting a big wet one on her kisser.  I would normally have a big problem with this scene, but it is still Barry.  That's what makes it so good, it makes sense and is creepy all at the same time.  She senses something isn't right, but she overlooks it because Barry is paying attention to her.

When Barry and Patty head to work, we get a series of events that are usually reserved for a body switching comedy.  Barry doesn't know where things are, he forgets names and doesn't know who likes him or hates him.  Most importantly, he forgot he was supposed to spend the day with Wally.

Him and Wally have a pretty cool "take a future speedster to work day" and when he drops him off with Iris, I started getting the feeling that Future Barry may just be a really good guy. Of course, I thought that of him before and look how that turned out.  We end the present day stuff with Barry giving Iris a mysterious note for her to report on and Barry getting down to the business of why he wanted to get to the present.  It's pretty intense and if you were on the fence on whether this Barry is good (like me), you may at the very least, question his methods.

Back with our Barry, we learn a lot of crazy stuff in a really short time.  Where Barry is is so cool, who helped him is a little confusing if it's who I think it is and what he's going to do next is a complete mystery.  If his mystery helper is to be believed, he's going to have all the time in the world to figure things out.

I really enjoyed this issue for what it gives the reader...and what it doesn't.  Future Barry is up to a bunch of things and I am really worried about what he has planed.  Venditti and Jensen have done such a good job putting him in a grey area where you really have to weigh the good and the bad to figure out if he really is a bad guy or not.  How good that is, the mystery of our Barry is even better.  The thing I want to see the most is who else is stuck with him and his new friend.  I can't wait.

This week's art duties are shared by Brett Booth and Andre Coelho.  Both do a great job with Coelho doing the present day and Booth the other part.  Coelho does a good job picking up the Future Flash look and everything else and Booth simply nails his art.

Bits and Pieces:

This issue picks up for the great ending last month and well, runs with it.  Venditti and Jensen are shaping two awesome and unique stories that are full of drama and mystery.  I really can't wait to see what happens next because of the crazy foundation laid out this month.  With Brett Booth and Andre Coelho kicking ass on art, this book is one of the best combination of story and visuals on the shelf today.  I loved it.


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