Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Flash #80 Review and *SPOILERS*

Psychological Profile

Written By: Joshua Williamson
Art By: Scott Kolins, Luis Guerrero
Letters By: Steve Wands
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 9, 2019

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

The latest issue of Flash slowed the pace WAY down in order to set other plot points up and while it had a great cliffhanger, the issue was pretty dull. So, here’s hoping that we once again kick things into high gear in this new issue. We have plenty of things that we can use to accomplish this. The Rogues are back together and supercharged, Iris is back, Hunter Zoloman has returned and kidnapped Steadfast, and finally the Black Flash is still racing around looking for new forces to murder. With all these things going on in this book right now, we should have plenty to look forward to in this issue. So, let’s just jump right in and see where it takes us.

Our issue begins with a quick recap of what’s been going on in the past few issues but it quickly catches back up to the present where Black Flash is attacking Barry. We have teleported back into the Speed Lab despite the fact that we were in the museum in the previous issue but I guess they are close enough. The Black Flash wipes the floor with Barry before telling him to stay out of his way. He then runs off, still in search of the new forces. Iris runs to his aid and immediately finds that he is injured and not healing as quickly as he has been. Barry races past that point but the two share a moment before racing off together once again. It’s clear that while the two have some problems there is still love between the two of them but it does feel kind of sudden considering everything else going on with them.

We cut to Steadfast who is being held by Hunter Zoloman. He appears to have been beaten quite a bit and Hunter questions why he doesn’t use his powers to fight back. Steadfast tells him that’s not how he does things. Hunter tries to convince him to give him the Still Force but Steadfast tells him if that happens the Black Flash will come for him and Zoloman tells him that he knows. Meanwhile in the ruins of Iron Heights, Wally and Avery race towards the destroyed prison. The two chat as they make their way into the prison and they quickly quiet down when they come across the Rogues. We cut to the Flash and Iris as they talk a little about what’s going on before Barry vibrates them into a secure A.R.G.U.S. facility to read up on Hunter Zoloman. Flash grabs all the files they have but his speed fails him when he tries to speed read. Zoloman was an FBI profiler and his profile on The Clown stated that he didn’t use guns. However, because of this it ended up getting his mentor killed. This gives Barry the clue that he needs to race off towards his enemy.

We cut back to Hunter Zoloman trying to convince Steadfast to give him the Still Force but Steadfast continues to refuse. This launches Zoloman into a rage as he begins to beat Steadfast but he gets interrupted by Barry. However, Barry is clearly outmatched by Zoloman. Hunter reveals that he has already been absorbing some small parts of the other forces that are already making him stronger than Barry. Just before Barry is defeated, Steadfast uses his powers to stop Hunter but Hunter uses every bit of the Speed Force that he has to continue the attack and now that Steadfast is using his powers, Zoloman can finally absorb them. Barry checks on Steadfast but is quickly dragged away by Zoloman into what he calls the Forever Force. He then begins to monologue and Barry has gotten his motivations all wrong. Zoloman knew that by absorbing the other forces, he would be a target for Black Flash. Zoloman either has something new up his sleeve or he is completely suicidal. Just then, Black Flash appears behind him and moves to strike. Barry sees this and runs in front of him, causing Black Flash to sink his claws into Barry. This is where the issue leaves us.

Well thankfully this issue gives us a lot more than the previous one did. We followed up on quite a few storylines that had been set up previously. Wally and Avery have encountered the Rogues. Barry and Iris talked for a moment before diving into Zoloman’s backstory. We discovered Zoloman’s motivations and we had a fight scene near the end of the book and it ultimately left us with a great cliffhanger. So, despite all the good things we got, why does this book feel so empty? I don’t know what it is but this issue feels kind of dead. Plenty of things are happening but it feels like those things are just going forward to set other stuff up instead of being payoffs themselves. Also, I’m usually a fan of Scott Kolins but I do not feel like this art style fit the book very well and he just didn’t really wow me with his art. Granted, that is a subjective. This issue wasn’t bad just kind of meh for me.

Bits and Pieces:

Flash takes a step in the right direction but we need a couple more big strides in order to get this book where we want it. We are progressing but not quickly enough for this issue. Even though plenty of things happen, most of them just feel empty. Add into this issue an art style that doesn’t feel like it really fits yet and while I’m usually a fan of Kolins, I did not enjoy his art this issue. Hopefully the next issue will take several steps towards making this book as entertaining as it can be.


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