Thursday, June 1, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Flash #23.2 - Reverse Flash Review (Villains Month/New 52)

Gotta get Back in Time

Written by: Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul

Art by: Scott Hepburn and Brian Buccellato
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 11, 2013

Who remembers Villains Month? We had just started our site a little over a month before the Event and just jumped in head first.  I remember being excited to read origin stories of some of DC's biggest villains and while some reviewers were busy complaining about New 52 "changes", I was having a ball.  Of course, not all of the issues were home runs, but I liked this one because it actually explained the recent reveal of Daniel West being Reverse Flash. Again, others were still up in arms about it not being Eobard Thawne, but he was still Professor Zoom so it didn't bother me much.  I can't say that if I went back in a Time Machine, I wouldn't feel different now, but it's nice to look back and see a time when I wasn't so beaten down and jaded!  Also, this review must have taken me five minutes to write...I really was afraid of spoiling anything!  Oh, the  good old days... - Jim

The Flash #23.2 picks up right after issue #23 of the regular run of the book.  Not mind blowing I know, but with Villains Month you never can tell.  The regular Flash creative team of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato handle writing while Scott Hepburn is in charge of art.  Like I said, this issue isn't really a Forever Evil tie-in or even a full back story, but a continuation of the excellent main Flash story line.

Reverse Flash can turn back time so it is fitting that Manapul and Buccellato use flashbacks to tell his story.  We get to see why he would want to turn back the clock and it's very personal and involves Iris as well.  It's funny because by the end, I'm not even sure why he is consider a villain at least in this story.  He is a sympathetic character which works for me.  It may be a little cliche, but at least it doesn't seem forced.

I was surprised at the identity reveal of Reverse Flash in issue #23, but afterwards thought, "How the hell did he get speed force powers?"  Well, we get an explanation and I really didn't see that coming either.  It does fit nicely in the Flash story line and even ties up a few loose ends.

I have complained about the necessity of these Villain Month issues, but I actually have the opposite problem with this one.  I liked it, but it seemed like it could have been done in Flash #24.  Anyway, it moves the main story line along and as always makes me look forward to the next issue.

Scott Hepburn's art is good, but it is nowhere near the awesome art we are getting in the regular series.  It makes me wonder why DC didn't just keep Manapul on Pencils since him and Buccellato are on script and Brian is also on colors.  I know that may mean more work than Manapul wants to be involved with here, but it's not me working so why would I care?!?

Bits and Pieces:

The Flash #23.2 is a really good issue.  We get the back story of the Reverse Flash and find out he is a pretty sympathetic character.  The main writing team of Manapul and Buccellato do a great job, but it probably would have been better served as The Flash #24 and not a Villains Month issue.



  1. I loved Villains Month. I also loved Zero Month. And Futures End month. I think DC did an excellent job putting those months together, coming up with themes, and creators who could do something relevant with them. Villains Month was mostly an excuse to tell Zero Month stories for the villains.

    1. it was exactly a zero month for villains and looking back, it was so much fun. I also loved and missed having september be an event month

    2. Well Danny West has ever since replaced Charlotte West Rhodes as the smallest child of Ira and Nadine West and her family especially real Wally's cousin Inez who has never progressed as a minor character like her mother. Edgar Rhodes is gone too, Rudolph and Mary West the parents of real Wally absent. The biggest sin is making Ira West the most brilliant physicist of all time an alcoholic bastard who abuses his children. Changing Iris from adopted to biological daughter is small sin.