Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The Flash #765 Review and *SPOILERS*

You’re Already the Voice Inside My Head

Written By: Kevin Shinick
Art By: Sami Basri, Will Conrad, Hi-Fi
Letters By: Steve Wands
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 10, 2020

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Recently the Flash has been in an interesting place. On one hand, we are diving straight into new stories and new villains and we are exploring new aspects about the character. The dialogue is pretty good and the art has been great (albeit wonky at some times) but on the other hand, we are also getting some fairly cliche stories as well. The absent minded superhero boyfriend trope is very heavy handed in this book so far, and now we are even going to be exploring the “hero without their powers” trope in this current issue. These aren’t necessarily bad stories, but they’re ones that we’ve seen hundreds of times and I can’t help but wonder if comic writers have just run out of ideas. I’m hoping that things get better in the future for this title but we’re currently in a holding pattern between really good and bad. Hopefully this issue will tip the scales in the right direction. Let’s jump into this issue and see where it takes us.

We begin our issue with a powerless Barry Allen as he has been soundly defeated by Dr. Alchemy. Since then, Barry has turned to what he is still able to do, and that is investigating crime scenes. He searches for clues in Alchemy’s old cell which has been turned into something that looks like a volcano erupted near it. There, Barry finds words that haven’t been destroyed in the wreckage. Considering all the clues that were destroyed in the escape, Barry can’t help but think that the whole thing could be some kind of cover-up. While Barry searches for an answer as a crime scene investigator, Dr. Alchemy has become a menace to Central City. His actions are far more extreme than ever before. Honestly he makes so much destruction and puts so many people in danger, it is a wonder that no other members of the Justice League show up. I know this is a relatively common point that is brought up when we discuss books like this, but for real, it looks like we have hundreds of citizens floating in the sky, possibly dead. You’re telling me everyone else is just fine with this?

As Barry leaves the prison he goes through the metal detector which gives him an idea. He wonders if it is as simple as Dr. Alchemy changing his ring. Barry takes off the ring and immediately he reconnects to the Speed Force. He runs back to his personal lab and starts going over the clues that he has on Alchemy. Iris visits him here and the two talk about the case for a little while before Iris begins turning things more flirtatious. However, being too focused on the case at hand, Barry shrugs her off and gets to work on the ring in front of him. He is able to fix the ring and with it, Barry races out to face off with Alchemy again. He finds him rather quickly and lays down a quick beating. He is able to get the philosopher’s stone away from Alchemy but when he’s done Alchemy reveals that he knows Barry’s name and that they’ve both been tricked.

Alchemy then takes advantage of the shocked Barry Allen and hits him with an uppercut. Barry bounces back and rushes off through Central City. Barry runs to Iris and picks her up, then proceeds to run her to the hidden cabin they have. During that time, Barry figures out that the Stone belonged to several philosopher’s which causes Barry to panic. Just as he begins to explain to Iris, she points out that his boots are being melded to the floor. Suddenly, Dr. Alchemy bursts through the side of the cabin and attacks Flash. As he does so, the many faces of the different Philosopher’s are revealed but just before they can finish their attack, they stop. Desmond has regained control for a moment and he explains how he knows about Barry (Magus’ ability to see the future) and that when he was facing off with Trickster, little cameras were placed inside of Barry’s pupils which allow Alchemy to see what Barry sees. Turns out the philosophers’ wanted to know how Barry makes the metal which goes into his ring and now that they have it, they are even more powerful! This is where the issue leaves us.

Unfortunately, this book took a turn for the worse so let’s start with what I liked the most. The art! A different artist was brought on to this issue in addition to our regular creative team and I gotta say, his art fits this book so nicely! This is particularly noticeable when Barry is outside of his costume. Aside from that I’ve got a few gripes when it comes to this book. In the last issue we see that Barry loses his powers and in this issue we know that Alchemy goes on a massive crime spree! During that entire time, I’m expected to believe that Barry never took off his ring. He doesn’t take it off to shower, he doesn’t take it off to examine crime scenes, he doesn’t take it off every apparently. It was a pretty lame reveal to be frank. Another thing is that Barry now has cameras in his eyes that he knows nothing about (do they stay in when he vibrates?) and finally even if I was to accept that Alchemy knows exactly where Barry is at all times, how come Alchemy shows up just a few seconds after Barry arrives in the cabin? Like, I know he can fly now, but at least a couple minutes? I’m kind of torn on the multiple philosopher’s plot point right now so I’m going to withhold judgement for now on that, but jeez, the rest of this issue is a mess. What a shame! I was really enjoying this book for a moment.

Bits and Pieces:

The new creative team really drops the ball as the book that they had so much promise with has begun to tear at the seams. Major plot points are resolved with quick fixes that ultimately don’t make a ton of sense and more things that don’t make sense happen in an effort to move the story along faster. Normally, I’m a fan of moving things along, but not at the expense of common sense.


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