Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The Flash #764 Review and *SPOILERS*

Ring This, Ring That

Written By: Kevin Shinick
Art By: Will Conrad, Hi-Fi
Letters By: Steve Wands
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 27, 2020

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

The Flash has begun anew with a brand new creative team and we have just begun to dip our toes into the stories that this writer wants to write, and the art that this artist will bring to The Flash. Last issue, we enjoyed a little old school fun with a silly and lighthearted superhero romp that ended with Flash getting back what was stolen from him, and defeating Trickster before he could cause even more trouble. It certainly wasn’t a book that was swinging for the fences, but I’ll never be upset with an infield single. It was fun and that’s one of the main things that I’m looking for in a title. If a title can make me smile, it was worth putting my time into it. Now we are moving forward with this book and we teased a return of Dr. Alchemy. I’ve got a good feeling about this one so let’s jump into this new issue and see where it takes us.

First off, I want to say that the cover for this book is great! Spelling the words “Kill Flash” with the periodic table is very Breaking Bad and just makes for a great cover! Nice job cover team! Anyway, the book begins with Barry and Iris in a kitchen. Iris can tell that something is off with Barry and he simply states that he doesn’t want to lose his ring ever again. Iris makes a not so subtle remark about rings before she turns to give Barry a gift. However, just at that moment, the news reports that Dr. Alchemy is breaking out of Iron Heights and Barry dawns his costume and races off to meet him. We get a very quick rundown of Dr. Alchemy and who he is. Former chemist, found the philosopher’s stone, turned to crime. Now he is fighting with the police as he attempts to escape the prison. Barry tries to speed around him without him noticing but unfortunately this doesn’t work and Alchemy hits Barry with a blast. Barry’s mask begins to change and Barry finds himself feeling terrible. He quickly rips his mask off as Dr. Alchemy turned it into the element Mercury. Barry vibrates to conceal his identity and just when he needs a moment to recoup, the CCPD comes in with their heavily armored units and they begin taking shots at Alchemy. Alchemy changes the bullets into gas that will kill the men, but with a new opportunity, Barry is able to knock Alchemy down and use his abilities to disperse the gas.

However, just as he is about to remove the stone from Alchemy, he turns to ground into water and Barry has to prioritize the men stuck in the water, which gives Alchemy a chance to escape. Barry returns home and begins researching the philosopher’s stone. Iris joins him and remarks about how they will not be going to their date. The two talk for a little bit and Barry really begins to sink into research as we, the audience, get a crash course in the philosopher’s stone. We learn a few things in this scene but it’s over nearly as soon as it begins and we see Barry in the lab. Seeing that they definitely will not be going out, Iris goes to leave when Barry has a sudden revelation. The exhibit is on the Metal Men and Barry thinks that their creator may have some knowledge about the subject as the process of creating those Metal Men is very similar to the power given by the philosopher’s stone. Barry dawns his costume and rushes out to the museum to try and get a head start on Dr. Alchemy. He doesn’t find anything initially but a sudden bright light changes that.

Alchemy has appeared and he has turned the roof to glass. He then breaks that glass putting the patrons in danger. Flash reacts quickly and is able to stop the glass from hurting anyone by creating a barrier out of moving air that is at the correct temperature to melt glass. Now that he faces off with Alchemy, Barry begins charging his counterattack. He will expose Alchemy’s transmutation to a high amount of electrical heat. Their powers collide and Barry is fine. He was able to fend off the attack. Barry goes to capture Alchemy but finds that he is moving very slowly. Alchemy reveals that the Speed Force is now leaving Flash’s body. He hits Flash with a punch to the gut which brings Barry to his hands and knees. Alchemy tells him that he could kill everyone in the building but he isn’t going to because the image of Flash being unable to stop him is much more fitting. As Dr. Alchemy flies away, the issue comes to a close.

This is a fairly entertaining comic as well for this teams’ second outing. I really like that they have decided to just jump into the Dr. Alchemy story that they teased in the previous issue. A lot of writers will tease things like that and then drag it out over several issues before continuing the storyline. This team just went for it and I appreciate it. The fight scene at the beginning of this book is really well done and the artist really shines through in these moments. In the previous issue, I noted that there were some odd moments in the art when it came to our main characters outside of their costumes. Those moments seem to be gone from this issue and I hope that continues. The fight near the end is also well done, albeit very short. I like seeing Barry solve problems with more than just speed. Using his knowledge to accent his abilities is really exciting to read. There are a few things that while I didn’t dislike, makes me pause. I find the relationship between Barry and Iris to be very cliche at this point. I guess, I’m just over the whole “superhero can’t maintain his relationship because he’s a superhero” thing. Granted, I know it’s a very regular plot point in comics, but because of that I’ve grown tired of it. I feel like I’ve seen it a million times. Our characters relationships should grow just as much as the characters themselves. I’m frustrated to see Barry and Iris in the same place they were not that long ago. Also the lore parts of this book feel short but unnecessary. I feel like I didn’t really get a lot out of the lore dumps in this book. Not to say they weren’t interesting, but I’m wondering if the average reader really needs them to understand this book. If they can be cut out without hindering anything, maybe they shouldn’t be there? Just my opinion, of course.

Bits and Pieces

The Flash continues with the storyline that was teased in the previous issue as we see Flash face off with Dr. Alchemy and seeing these two fight is a real joy for the eyes. The artistic team really shines in this book and the writing, while nothing too special, is really well done. I’m enjoying this book so far. Perhaps there is a few issues here and there but nothing that really ruined the experience for me. A solid title right now and I hope that continues.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review. The Flash certainly was fun to read this week, and Dr. Alchemy was a breath of fresh air in the villain department.