Monday, October 2, 2017

The Flash #31 Review

Red Handed

Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Neil Googe, Gus Vasquez, Ivan Plascencia and Tom Napolitono
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: September 27, 2017

It's the Bloodwork finale and even though I haven't been a huge fan, I really hope we get some answers here.  I really want to know whose blood was used to give Bloodwork his powers and how I can get me some.  Sure, Bloodwork doesn't look very sexy, but beggars can't be choosers, right?  So, do we find out and do I get some new powers?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with blood in the streets, it's up to my ankles.  Blood on the streets, it's up to my knees.  Blood in the streets in the town of Central City...okay, enough of my Jim Morrison impersonation, but really, that's what's going on.  Barry and Bloodwork are going at it and while Barry is using the Negative Speedforce to cut down some of Bloodwork's disgusting blood and guts, our new villain is trying to convince us that he is what he is to protect himself.

My main problem with this story in general is that with such little background to go on with Bloodwork, he never comes off as important enough to do any long term harm to the Flash.

The fight continues as Ramsey grows more and more disgusting, until Barry shows him some compassion and he suddenly has some doubts.  It all ends up being a ruse to get Ramsey close enough for Barry to use the Negative Speedforce to jolt Bloodwork back to normal.  I don't know what made me more mad...Bloodwork being stopped so easily or Barry being a total dick?!?  Okay, it's a tie!

After all this, Ramsey is arrested, but boasts that there is no evidence since the Flash destroyed it last issue.  While that seems true, Kristen steps up and has more evidence.  Again, this is just thrown out there and like almost everything in this issue, it doesn't feel earned.

With Ramsey heading to trial, the issue ends with Singh getting tough on Barry and Kristen, Barry going off to stalk Iris and Wally West showing up and proving that he is a better character than most care to admit.  Joshua Williamson may have rushed his way to the finish line, but if all this leads to a less mopey Barry, I'm all in!

This wasn't a great ending to an arc that already had some problems.  The way Williamson forced the ending made it feel like he didn't care much for his villain or story and because of that, I didn't either.  Bloodwork was as generic as they come and while the setup with Barry working a CCPD case seemed a bit fresh, this whole thing ended up being stale.

The art was a bit off as well.  The character designs looked off and while there was a big fight scene, this book looked slow.  I don't know if that makes sense, but it lacked any real sense of movement and that's a big no no in a Flash book.

Bits and Pieces:

The Bloodwork story is over and I'm happy to move on because we might get a better Barry out of it, but also because it just wasn't that good.  This series continues it's bumpy ride and I can't recommend it.



  1. So true.

    The entire arc has felt empty and lifeless. A whole lot of Barry moaning. And blood work is the lamest new character design

  2. This issue and arc has been total nonsense, but sometimes nonsense is fun.
    This arc has felt like total filler and this villain a total throw away. It also comes off as total fun. I realize that it's dumb as s%@t, but sometimes I enjoy turning my brain off and just enjoying dumb s%@t like Burger King tacos. I know this is hypocritical, but there are things that I find dumb in one book and find completely acceptable in another. I don't like crazy cosmic stuff in Batman, but I love it in Green Lantern. I don't like magic in Superman but it's completely fine in Wonder Woman. With Flash I view it as a 1950's sci-fi drive-in movie. I not only allow wacky pseudo science, I actually enjoy it.
    The art here is also a lot of fun. The cartoony style might be out of place for some with this type of horror oriented story, but not for me. I'm a huge fan of the WB style of American animation and I'll take it almost anywhere and anytime. It's actually the style I attempt (knowingly or unknowingly) to replicate in my own drawings. So, viva la Googe.
    I'm not going to sit here and tell you that Bloodwork is a character that will become a villain for the ages. I'm saying that Bloodwork, much like Godspeed, is a character that would do well, with a good writer taking the time to mine the potential value. Like Neil Gaiman with Angela or (dare I say) Tom King with Kite Man. It wouldn't shock me to see Bloodwork show up on the CW TV show.
    The ending wraps up all the loose ends way too conveniently. I would have liked it to be much more ambiguous with Barry just talking it out with Bloodwork in a Spider-Man 3 kind of way. Instead Barry betrays Bloodwork's trust and makes the Flash seem like a total douche. Though Barry's douchiness is an ever growing trait with the character that I find rather interesting.
    All in all this issue is stupid. Stupid fun, and stupid fun is still fun. 6/10 for me.