Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Flash #74 Review and *SPOILERS*

Slow Down and Tell Me Where the Turtle Man Touched You

Written By: Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter
Art By: Howard Porter, Hi-Fi
Letters By: Steve Wands
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 10, 2019

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

It has been a while since I was this hyped up for an issue of The Flash. I was all down on this Year One storyline for a long time and while I still agree that the beginning of the story is not very good, it has all led to this confrontation between Barry and Turtle from the future and I am so excited to see where this story takes us. The cliffhanger from the previous issue really set the tone for what I want to see from this book and if Williamson and Porter can deliver, I will be overjoyed. Let’s stop talking about how excited I am for this book and instead, jump right into it.

We begin with a short catch up for readers as we get the whole “my name is Barry Allen and I’m the fastest man alive” bit but it quickly changes as we see our Barry face to face with Turtle from the future. He has Barry’s future self chained up and on a leash. Turtle announces his presence in an attempt to goad the Flash of this time to face him. Barry is currently out with Iris and he tries to convince her that they should get away from here but rather than run from danger, Iris tells him that she has to investigate and do her job and run straight toward danger instead. After Iris leaves, Barry dawns his Flash outfit and begins taking out some of Turtle’s men before turning his attention on the boss himself but is quickly sat down by Turtle’s power. Barry is able to go toe to toe with Turtle for a while but soon finds himself outmatched. When he sees an opening, he grabs his future self from Turtle’s clutches and his future self tells him to run away as fast as he can, leaving Central City to Turtle.

Barry takes his future self to the CCPD crime lab where his future self reveals that he is dying. He reveals that they lose the battle on this day and that Turtle is trying to construct a shell that will tie his time and this one together, giving Turtle control over the flow of time. He has already drained future Flash of his speed but in order to finish his project, Turtle will have to steal the speed from this time’s Flash as well. Future Barry tells him that his only option is to run away. This realization causes Barry to shut down for a moment as it reminds him of when he was a child and was powerless to do anything to save his mother or protect his father. As they stand there, future Barry sees the boxes filled with his mother’s comics and he reminisces. The two talk for a moment and eventually the conversation moves to Iris. Barry remarks upon how he is inspired by her.

During this time we see Iris going into Iron Heights before being captured by Turtle’s men, but not without putting up a fight herself. Back at the lab, Barry finished his ring that he was working on in a previous issue. He has resolved not to run away but to face Turtle. His future self tries to reason with him but his mother’s words ring true in his mind and he knows that heroes do not run away. The ring opens just as we cut to the next scene. Iris has been brought before Turtle. He decides that Iris will be the one to tell his story. Iris confronts him about his crimes but they don’t have long to talk before Barry arrives in his new suit; the classic Flash costume. The battle begins and Barry is able to dispatch most of Turtle’s men, except for two that are holding Iris. This is when Turtle reveals his hidden weapon. Barry turns around and sees the Turtle from his own time, but he has been upgraded with future tech. This is where the issue leaves us.

Now this was one hell of a treat to read. The entire issue is really well written and we see our hero’s character development that has been set up throughout the entire story arc to this point finally come to fruition. This was expertly done and while those first few issues were a bit of a drag to get through, this issue raises their value for me significantly. This is how to do a slow burn properly (take hints, You-Know-Who) and now I have appreciation for this story that I didn’t before. Top all of this great writing with some absolutely gorgeous art and you have one hell of a comic. But don’t forget the best part! THERE’S MORE TO COME! I am so excited for the next issue and I cannot wait to see how this Year One story comes to an end.

Bits and Pieces

Williamson and Porter land an amazing issue that not only is great on its own but raises the quality of the issue that came before. It delivers on things that we’ve been setting up for the past two months and does it in a beautiful and creative way. The art compliments the story and I was hooked from beginning to end. It’s been a while since I’ve really got to sing the praises of this book and I’m happy to do so after an issue like that.


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