Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Flash #21 Review

Won't Get Fooled Again

Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Howard Porter, Hi-Fi and Steve Wands
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: April 26, 2017

Part two of the Button is here and while I may have come off as a Negative Nancy by only giving the first part (in Batman #21) an 8.5/10, I really enjoyed it.  The fight between Batman and Reverse Flash was epic and the cliffhanger was crazy, sexy, cool!  So, how does Joshua Williamson top what Tom King gave us?  I don't know, but he's got big shoes to fill continuing the story.  Does he fill them and some?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with Johnny Thunder on the top of the Good Life building, yelling for Thunderbolt.  Seeing him scream his magic word is a bit heartbreaking, but so is the fact that we don't have a Justice Society book yet.  That looks to change sometime in the future, but in the meantime, the orderlies take our old hero down off the roof and promise to raise his meds.

Then it's off to the Batcave where Joshua Williamson does a really good job reminding everyone that Barry Allen is a forensics man.  I love that it ties into his and Bruce's relationship and while the whole "never had real friends" line ties a bit to much into the Justice League movie trailer, I still liked this scene a lot.

We see the destruction that the Batman/Reverse Flash battle did and get a background of Eobard Thawne, including his most heinous crime...killing Barry's mother.  However, that's where things go south.  When was her murder ever a cold case?  A cold case?!?!  Barry's father spent years in jail for the murder and just got out at the end of the New 52.  Has that changed now?  Why wasn't I informed???  If it did change, you just took away one of the major things that defined Barry's character.

Two things that Barry discovers at the crime scene...the Button is gone and Thawne has Barry's Speed Force Signature all over him.  After Bruce tells Barry that he saw his father (and they conveniently say it's Thomas Wayne from Flashpoint), we get a forced reminder of Jay Garrick's helmet and then Barry speeds off to the Watchtower.

Things get fun here as Barry goes to the "Hall of Lost and Found" and we get to see so many cool easter eggs.  Some are awesome (Skeets), some are a bit confusing (Helmet of Fate) and some are just crazy (Martian Manhunter's costume), but they are all fun.  However, they aren't as fun as what Barry came for...The Cosmic Treadmill!!!  No, not Chris and Reggie's awesome Podcast (HERE), but the real thing!  He is going to use it to find out where Thawne went and how he died.

After a bit of Flashpoint history, Barry is about to get going when Batman shows up demanding to tag along.  Batman throws in a cool reference to when he traveled through time (thanks to Grant Morrison) and then they are off. 

While in the Speed Force they run into turbulence, but also hints of the missing years we've heard so much about since Rebirth started.  While that is so cool, things go a bit awry and they end up crashing the Treadmill...but where?!?  The cliffhanger shows us exactly where and it's one of those things that I think is the coolest thing ever even as I am kind of angry and confused about it.  It does make sense with what we've seen leading up to it, but I really want more explanation of the how and why it can actually be going on.

I liked this issue.  Sure, the "cold case" thing through me off, but I loved seeing Barry the forensic scientist here and not just the guy who always shows up late.  The ending has me really intrigued, but all in all, this issue was an info dump and pretty much just setup for the next issue.  Still, I am intrigued and can't wait for Batman #22.

Howard Porter's art is the highlight of the issue for me.  I am a fan, so that's not a surprise, but I hope others jump on the trolley after this issue.  I like his character designs, but it's the stuff in the lost and found that I loved the most. 

Bits and Pieces:

The Button continues and Joshua Williamson gets the job of giving the reader background information and setting up the next issue.  Because of that, this wasn't as exciting as the first chapter, though the end is sure to get people talking.  I love Howard Porter's art, but that couldn't save this issue from feeling a bit down.



  1. I loved all the Easter eggs in the background in the Watchtower.

    1. Me too - I wish I knew more so I could 'get' them all!

  2. And all the moments they we're seeing from the previous Flashpoint era when traveling through time.

  3. I really liked this issue. I thought it was funny that Barry strung police tape all over the Batcave for some reason. On a side note, does anyone think that the comic smells really bad? I guess it is the plastic in the cover, but I don't remember the Batman one smelling this bad...

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