Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Flash #44 Review

Written by: Robert Venditti and Van Jensen
Art by: Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, Andrew Dalhouse and Pat Brosseau
Cover price: $3.99
Release Date: September 23, 2015

Speed Kills

I am one of the biggest Flash fans out there and that goes for Venditti, Jensen and Booth's run of this book.  From the Savage lands of the Speed Force to Professor Zoom, I have enjoyed the action packed craziness they have been giving fans each month.  It seems that every story has something cool that I can grab onto and this one is Zooms pupils, whom I like to call the "New Rogues".  I'm trying in vain to make that stick and I won't stop until it does.  While we've seen them in action already, last issue was the first meeting with the Flash and unless Barry comes up with a new plan (and some fancy swimming), this story may end a bit differently than anyone could imagine.  So, how does the story continue and is it any good?  Let's find out...

The issue starts where we left off last month, with Barry Allen two thousand feet under water and dying.  While it's great to see him fight for survival, it's even better when we find out the narrator is Professor Zoom and he wanted him to live...for now.  It's all part of his evil plan that has been more about killing Barry's spirit than the man himself.

We then get something that I love so much, but rarely see nowadays...Professor Zoom and his Speed Force Team with the names and descriptions of each.  It seems so simple, but it's great for newcomers and people with horrible memories, like a certain reviewer named "me".  In fact, I had forgotten that Selkirk was involved until this page jogged my mind.  Zoom then refreshed my memory again when he visits his "Guest", Henry Allen.  He seems a little too happy to taunt Henry with Nora's death and what he has planned for Barry.

While I liked this opener, it's followed by a fight between Frye and Hartley that was a bit of a bummer.  It seems like David doesn't want their relationship to go public and of course, Hartley hates being his dirty little secret.  Guess what?  It's not what you think.  It's not a gay thing, but a detective/former costumed criminal thing.  Pretty sneaky, sis (Venditti and Jensen being the "sis" here).

The next morning, Barry meets up with Wally and after hearing everything going wrong with Barry's life, Wally gives out some sage advise along the lines off "Don't worry, be happy".  Very simple, but strangely effective.  Barry then drops off Wally at his new work study at the CCPD and we learn that in Central City, it's safety first.

Things really pick up as the "New Rogues" (is that trending yet?) show up downtown and take a page from Arrow's book when they announce to everyone that the Flash has failed their city.  Of course, Barry takes the bait, changes outfits and tries to slug Block.  A bunch of broken fingers later and her and Roscoe show how awesome their Speed Force powers can be.  When Barry tries to escape, they also show a bit of Zoom's grand plan.  He is using Barry's power against him and the entire city.  The issue ends with Central City in big trouble and it's all because of Barry.

I will make no bones about it, this issue is a lot of setup.  It's all leading to the inevitable...Central City turning on Barry and the fight to regain their love and trust.  However, setup is not a dirty word here because I enjoyed this issue and what may come from it.  I'm talking about what happens to Wally.  It may not be long before we see him running really, really fast.

How may times can I tell everyone how much I love this art team?  Add one more to it because I loved how this issue looked and how Brett Booth can capture the speed and motion a Flash comic demands.  Booth, Rapmund and Dalhouse are my favorite art team and they have done nothing to change my mind.  My favorite part was the beginning as Barry is running back to Central City after nearly drowning.

Bits and Pieces:

While this issue is mostly setup, we get to see the beginnings of how Professor Zoom plans on taking down the Flash. He's using Barry's own powers against himself and Central City and it looked awesomely frightening.  Everything else just looked awesome and while this wasn't the greatest issue of the Flash I've read, I enjoyed every moment of it.



  1. Aaaaaaah!! When is Barry going to figure out that you can't just run into a situation (get it lol) and figure it out on the fly. Things go wrong and people get hurt EVERY time Barry doesn't have a plan, which is always.

    1. yea, his "I think I'll run real fast" plan isn't helping him here

  2. I really enjoyed this book. The set up was well paced, and it never slowed the book down. This reminds me of Waid's run of Flash in the early 90s. Issue #90 even has Flash under water like page one of this issue. It was a nice tip of the hat, or just a complete coincidence. Either way, olives it.

    1. Hey Paul, saw your post on Facebook and yea, I do think it was a shout out to the Waid comic. I love when they pay respect to old stuff like that and Brett Booth in particular is a huge Flash fan as well as the artist.

  3. Whatever happened to the Flash using his speed-force charged brain to play out all the possible outcomes of his choices before acting on them? He used to plan multiple steps ahead...Lately, he's been a little thoughtless.

    I don't know about Vendetti's writing...he's already turned me off GREEN LANTERN. If THE FLASH wasn't one of the few characters whose book I'd buy no matter who the writer is, I'd probably have dropped it before now. He's not, necessarily, a BAD writer but I find him, for lack of a better word, generic (in my opinion).

    I HAVE been enjoying Bret Booth on pencils. His style ( specifically his lean figures) complements the Flash well. That being said, I reaallllyy miss the Flash's simple, red, no extra lighting bolts or visible seam having, pre-FLASHPOINT costume.

    1. I agree with the brain was so good when he would plan things out and I'm not sure why they got away from that.

    2. That's what I loved about Barry... he was a true nerd who kicked ass. Now Barry is not so bright and always gets his ass kicked at first. It's still a great series though. How the heck is he gonna fix this!

    3. You mean Kanye West not Wally of course!