Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The Flash #76 Review and *SPOILERS*

Rogue Renaissance

Written By: Joshua Williamson
Art By: Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, Tomeu Morey
Letters By: Steve Wands
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 14, 2019

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

We have finally gotten out of the Year One storyline and looking back on it, I don’t have particularly fond memories of it. Granted, the story certainly got much better near the end but ultimately ending on a bland note. So I’m very happy that we are returning to our current day Flash but there are a couple things that I’m sure I have forgotten over the past 3 months. So we will be doing a little bit of catch up in this first issue, I’m sure. I’m really hoping that Williamson returns to form to give us an amazing story rather than another slug through the new forces with convenient exposition thrown it randomly. I’m sure the only way were are going to find out is by diving into this issue so let’s just go ahead and do just that.

We begin with a couple scenes from around the world that seems to suggest that Flash is running around and helping people around the world. In addition, we see Kid Flash and Avery getting beaten by a couple of villains. They are revealed to be Tarpit and Girder. The villains get the upper hand on the two before they are pulled out of the way by Barry Allen. The relationship between the three is still strained so Flash gives them just a little bit of advice for beating the two villains but stays out of the fight himself. Using his advice though, the two are able to knock Tarpit and Girder into each other, defeating the duo. With the battle finished, Barry tries to talk with Wally and Avery but the two aren’t his biggest fans for the moment. Flash simply asks if they will give him the chance to show how he’s changed.

The three race off to the Flash Museum which Barry has completely rebuilt. He leads them to a painting on the top floor and vibrates through it. The two follow him to find a new command center has been built for all of them and it has been connected with Commander Cold’s satellite that allows them to keep an eye on the forces around the world, as well as keep tabs on the Rogues and Trickster. Steadfast is there with them working on the issues with the new forces. We cut to Barcelona where the cops are trying to chase down a man. He runs into a nearby cafe and rips open the gas line for their stove. It is revealed that the man is Heat Wave and he pulls a match out of his pocket and explodes the store and the cops that chased him into it. Outside though, there are more cops waiting for him but he is saved by Captain Cold. The two catch up and it is revealed that Lex Luthor gave Cold the ability to upgrade his tech so his powers came from his own body and he built a new flamethrower for Heat Wave. He reveals his plan to get the gang back together before we cut away.

Back in their new lab, Barry reveals that the Speed Force is getting slower. Wally and Avery mentioned that they have been experiencing small things but hadn’t mentioned it. Steadfast reveals that the Speed Force is dying because the new forces were never meant to be released. Barry reveals his plan going forward to focus on the new forces and he wants Wally and Avery to handle the Rogues but with the aid of the new lab to help them. The two seem frozen and Barry quickly realizes that something is wrong. He suddenly feels it as the Black Flash appears and attacks. Barry is able to hold him off at first. He usually only shows up when a Speedster is about to become one with the Speed Force but this time he isn’t after any of our speedsters as he runs past them and drives his claws into Steadfast before saying that the new forces must die. This is where the issue leaves us.

This issue starts up a new storyline and usually this is where books struggle for me because there is always a lot of build up that has to be introduced and none of it gets delivered on until later on in the series. However, this book does that but gives us enough things to intrigue us about what’s to come that it has gotten me excited. A new lab for our heroes can provide lots of great new storytelling possibilities, Captain Cold and Heat Wave have been powered up in a big way and they are coming back in force and to top it all of the Black Flash has appeared and seems to be targeting the users of the new forces. There is so much that Williamson introduced here and I’m really excited to see where it goes. To top it all off the entire issue has some really amazing art. As I said, I’m not a huge fan of first issues but this one is about as good as it gets when it comes to set up. Hopefully Williamson will deliver on all the great things he has given us in this issue.

Bits and Pieces

The Flash is finally out of the Year One storyline and we jump right into exciting new possibilities. Williamson takes this opportunity to set up a lot of great and interesting plot points in this book that make me excited to see where this book goes. Now, I’m not a huge fan of issues that have to set everything up that is to come but this one was great and the art was amazing. I find myself seriously excited about this book.


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