Tuesday, January 23, 2024

The Flash #5 Review


Written by: Si Spurrier
Art by: Mike Deodato Jr.
Colors by: Trish Mulvihill
Letters by: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover art by: Mike Deodato Jr., Trish Mulvihill
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: January 23, 2024

The Flash #5 puts all eyes on Jai West when the weirder side of his powers comes into full view, leading him to make a life-defining choice.
Is The Flash #5 Good?

The Flash #5 has a decent story at its heart. You get a clearer picture of Jai West's powers, how the "grossness" of those powers has been troubling him, and how those powers force him to have a mature conversation with Wally about his future. Under the covers, there's a strong coming-of-age story set in a superhero family that's worth reading. Unfortunately, Si Spurrier bogs the story down with weird, faux intellectual concepts and narration that crushes the emotional core of the story under ponderous nonsense.

When last we left the Flash family, Wally tried repeatedly to find Max who was lost in a separate vibration of reality (or whatever made-up descriptor you want to give it). Flash eventually found his way to a "secret garden" where statues represented moments in Time of people he cared about, but no progress was made on the overall plot.

Now, Jai struggles with his powers doing strange things like spewing little organic imps from his body. The man with the strange hat who advised Mr. Terrific to kill all speedsters in the first issue arrives to give Jai some words of wisdom and a few clues about what he can do with his powers. We learn Jai can teleport to any speedster at will, that the little organic imps can be used as teleportation "save points", and that the mystery man with the weird hat, Inspector Pilgrim, seems to know an awful lot about the future.

What about Grodd and that rainbow thingy in Central City Park? We learn a little but technically nothing of importance. During an interrogation, we learn that Grodd is acting on a prophecy he was given. Mr. Terrific comes up with a plan to collapse the rainbow thingy. When the plan commences, The Stillness arrives to stop everyone, but the Flash blows up the Stillness and the rainbow thingy in a burst of rage-induce Speed Force energy. How's that for plot points that end before they start?

What's great about The Flash #5? The core of Spurrier's story about a superpowered son coming to grips with the ups and downs of his powers makes for memorable reading.

What's not so great about The Flash #5? All the reality-bending gobbledygook is just that... gobbledygook. Spurrier is trying so hard to make his faux intellectual concepts about dimensions and vibrations and vectors and blah, blah, blah. You know what? Nevermind. I'm boring myself trying to explain Spurrier's boring attempts at high concept.

The purpose of a comic is to entertain. If Spurrier would get out of his own way, this series has a chance at fulfilling that purpose.

How's the art? The topic of "digital assets" is a hot-button issue online at the moment, and if you're in the "anti-digital assets" camp, you're not going to like Deodato Jr's oddly incompatible art. The style of the characters doesn't match the style of the backgrounds, which doesn't match the style of the displays of power. Individually, they're fine, but putting them together looks like a harmony chord that's out of tune.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

Follow @ComicalOpinions on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Bits and Pieces:

The Flash #5 succeeds in creating a heartfelt story about a superpowered boy wrestling with his powers and his future. Unfortunately, the emotional strength of this issue is mired in pompous dialog, plot points that don't go anywhere, high-concept ideas that are meaningless, and a story that feels like it's treading water.


No comments:

Post a Comment