Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Flash: Season Zero #12 Review

Written by: Kai Wu & Lauren Certo
Art by: Phil Hester
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: February 9, 2015

Shark Bait (...Ooh ah ah)

Living in the universe of DC Comics has to be fun and being a member of any of their police forces has to be even more fun. The variations and randomness of the criminals who pop up can be daunting, but at the end of the day it really keeps you on your toes.

Take for instance Coast City PD. Most of the time, they're out catching your regular Joe Chill's and and maybe the occasional Trickster...but now and again a Metahuman pops up, and that really ruins your day. But what do you do when you find yourself faced with a Meta-animal?

Make Jaws jokes, of course!

There's no way that you can have a story starring King Shark and not get at least one Jaws reference in there at some point. In that regard, Kai Wu and Lauren Certo don't disappoint. They also show off a surprising amount of humor in this issue as well, and that surprised me. Up to this point, The Flash: Season Zero has felt like a more serious title, attempting to stay true to the TV universe. Last issue, I pointed out that the book was feeling more campy and comic-booky; this week it's a straight up laugh riot and I'm okay with that.

While a walking and talking shark-man sounds like great fodder for a lot of great humor, I found some of the funniest moments in the book to be in the interactions between The Flash and his friends from S.T.A.R. Labs; though that isn't to discredit the shark humor in the book. While no character referenced needing a bigger boat (yet) there's still time in the arc for that to change.

I liked this book a bit more than the last issue on another front too: the art.

I make it no secret that I enjoy Phil Hester's work on this title immensely, but there's something about the art in this issue that just blew me away, specifically on The Flash. While all the characters are represented quite nicely, something on The Flash just feels so right--from the details on the suit to the shading of the character, there were moments I thought I was reading a mainstream print issue and not just a digital first title.

Flash felt real to me and that's the highest thing I can ask for from a book. As simple as it is to ask for that, though, it can be difficult for the artist to deliver sometimes; but not here.

This is one of the rare issues where I need to take a moment to call out both Eric Gapstur, the books inker, and Kelsey, the books colorist. As great as Hester's line art is in this book, Gapstur adds an intense amount of feel to the mood through his shading, while Kelsey gives all the panels color that pops. In certain panels the color feels more muted and less vibrant, but that works for those specific part.

Bits and Pieces 

I can't say this issue was perfect mainly due to a few small writing issues that I believe were present in the main story, but thais issue is close to perfection. The art and story come together in a way that made this issue feel real to me, almost as if I were watching the issue on TV in HD. King Shark is a great villain with a lot of potential and it's great to see that his inclusion is being used as a chance to add a bit of humor to an otherwise serious title.


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