Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The Flash #763 Review and *SPOILERS*

Wrapped Around Your Finger

Written By: Kevin Shinick
Art By: Clayton Henry, Marcelo Maiolo
Letters By: Steve Wands
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 13, 2020

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

We’ve come across a brand new start for The Flash. We have a new writer and artist that I’m fairly unfamiliar with so I get to go into this new run with a fresh perspective. The only members of this team that I am familiar with are the colorist Marcelo Maiolo and letterer Steve Wands (who has been with this book for quite some time) and while I have a high opinion of them, ultimately the story will come down to the writer and much of the art will come down to the artist. Joshua Williamson left this book in a pretty good place and while his run did have it’s down moments (including several scenes that left us scratching our heads) ultimately it was definitely time for a change and only time will tell if this change was a good one. Let’s jump into this new issue with this new team and see how they do with their first outing.

We begin our issue at the Central City Farmer’s Market where Barry is spending the day with Iris. He reveals in his inner monologue that this is the anniversary of the day his mother died, and he has chosen to distract himself by hanging out with Iris. They talk a bit and they reveal that they have been going around the city all day. As they make plans for the rest of the night Iris makes a comment about pizza from New York and Barry takes the opportunity to race off to get that very pizza. As he runs though he suddenly feels something off and realizes that his ring that holds his costume is missing and thus, he has ruined his current outfit. He returns to Iris and the two try to locate his ring at home to no avail. Iris questions whether Barry really needs the ring at all and Barry insists that he does before dawning another one of his costumes and beginning the process of retracing his steps through the city. He arrives at the arcade that he and Iris visited before and finds none other than Trickster here. He immediately begins to subdue Trickster but the cops let him know that he is actually not guilty this time.

It is reveals now that Trickster (specifically Axel Walker) has become the new owner of the arcade and he invites The Flash into his new business. As he enters he sees that there is brand new decor and his ring is being offered as a prize. As he moves to reclaim his ring, Trickster triggers another game which drops a woman towards some spikes. Flash rushes to her aid and finds that she is nothing more than a doll. Trickster then takes out a pair of goggles and lets Flash look through them to reveal that he has set up a gambling ring but instead of cards or roulette, the patrons bet on the Flash and how quickly he will be able to achieve his goals. Flash turns his attention to Trickster who offers him a new game, an IQ test. During the game, he reveals that he isn’t alone and has teamed up with Riddler, Toyman, Prankster, and Cluemaster. Riddler attacks and this gives Trickster the opportunity to throw Flash’s ring into the group and they all begin running away in different directions. Seeing Prankster go after a vehicle, Flash decides to follow him and chases him through Central City. He feels as though something is off because of Prankster’s speed when he is blindsighted by an attack from Toyman. When he strikes back at Toyman, the villain disappears and Barry realizes that his senses have been altered by Trickster somehow.

Barry rushes back and confronts Trickster who still won’t lift his trick or give the ring back. He then offers Flash a deal. If Flash tells him why the ring is special, he will give it back. Barry tells him that the ring holds special powers and without it, he will eventually lose his powers. Trickster laughs at his good luck and decides to use the ring himself. When he uses it though, it releases Flash’s costume but at the force of several air bags, right into the face of Trickster. Trickster lays on the ground and Flash regains his ring. Back at home, Iris asks him why the ring is so important to him and Barry reveals that while the ring only has a few uses (such as holding his costume) he made it from the wedding rings that belonged to his parents and so the ring holds sentimental value to him. We cut to Iron Heights and we see that another villain is planning to execute a plan of his own. That villain is none other than Dr. Alchemy! This is where the issue leaves us.

This issue is really silly and has an old school feel to it. The villain just becomes a business owner in order to get one over on the Flash but in the end Flash uses his brains, rather than his powers to outsmart the villain. It’s actually a lot of fun, but there are a lot of things that make you scratch your head and go “wait… how did that happen?” but if you are able to suspend your disbelief about those things, I’m sure you will have a good time with this book. It’s certainly not perfect and it’s not going to stay in your memory for a long time but it’s a goofy and enjoyable read. As for the art in the book, I’m a bit torn and it seems to be a relatively common issue for artists when they first hop on the Flash book. They draw The Flash so nicely when he’s in his costume. I really like the look of the book during these moments. Flash facing off against Trickster is very colorful and looks great. However, when Barry is in his normal moments where he is out of costume, something just feels strange. It’s not bad, but it’s definitely off a little. I’m sure this will get better as the artist gets more familiar with drawing these particular characters.

Bits and Pieces

This first issue with the new creative team gets off to a bit of a slow start. It isn’t bad or anything but if you want something to really sink your teeth into and think about where it’s going to go, there isn’t anything like that. But frankly, I don’t think it needs to have that. It’s a silly and fun issue of Flash that gives me a really old school comic feel. I like it plenty. The art is odd in some places but overall, it’s nice to just goof around every once and a while.


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