In Review: The Flash #47

The story was bit of a letdown, but the visuals are outstanding.

The covers: The Flash cradles the body of his mother has her life fluids make a path across the floor. In another dimension, Zoom races past the figures with an expression of absolute joy on his face. Behind him races our hero, reaching out to stop the madman. Good, dramatic cover from Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, and Andrew Dalhouse. Having Barry and his mother in brighter colors than the two characters in conflict makes them jump out at the reader. The Harley’s Little Black Book cover is by Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson. Racing through the American desert, much like the Road Runner and the Coyote, Harley is racing the Flash. How can she keep up? Roller skates and a jet pack. Even she looks surprised at how well she’s doing, while Barry is giving her an “Are you kidding me?” look. I love the Dodsons’ work and it’s impossible for me not to love this cover. Overall grades: Both A

The story: “Reunion” from Robert Venditti and Van Jensen opens with Daddy Allen learning Barry is the Flash. He also tells his son, while being watched over by his captor Thawne, that Zoom killed the hero’s mother. Zoom then reveals that he’s from the future and has come to the past to destroy Barry, since he blames him for the future’s revolt against his leadership. He believes that if he kills the Flash he can return to the future and rule it without rebellion. With this all out in the open, the two speedsters begin to run after each other: one trying to kill, the other trying to stop. A realization comes upon Barry on Page 13, and that was the highlight of the story for me. However, after he comes to this conclusion, and gets a double-paged spread to show his slamming against the villain, Barry goes down. He doesn’t really use this ability to take out Zoom, he essentially has to go Hulk, and that’s what defeats Zoom. This felt like a letdown. The dialogue from Zoom on the issue is great — I love villains monologuing and crying how it’s impossible that they’re being beaten, but when the villain goes down it had no punch. I expected the take down after the double-paged spread. The conclusion is good, but how the reader got there is empty. Also not helping is how similar this is to the events of the CW’s The Flash television series. It does suffer from “Been there, done that.” Overall grade: C

The art: This is something to rave about. The visuals by Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund are exceptional — or should I say “insane”? Readers absolutely know what happens with Barry’s mom, but to see it in a full paged splash on Page 2 is absolutely horrifying. Many of the panels in this issue are parallelograms, but when Zoom gives his narrative they become draped in the black lightning/energy that these artists use to show his abilities. Doing so makes everything that Zoom says look like it’s dripping with evil. It also provides an excellent counterpoint to the “normal” world when Thawne isn’t talking. The details in the art from Booth and Rapmund continue to be staggering: from the grain in wood floors, the rain pummeling the characters, to the speed lines and shock waves emanating from the speedsters. The best page in the book features Barry in a hero pose on Page 19. This is the page where anyone who gazes upon it will revert to being five years old and utter, “Cool!” But that’s the way this book has always looked with this duo: cool. Overall grade: A+

The colors: Complementing the art perfectly are Andrew Dalhouse and Jeromy Cox. It’s amazing to see that colorists can create such a natural looking reflective shine off the characters’ costumes. Just take a look on Page 1 at the Flash and Zoom — the work on their costumes and muscles is perfection. The initial flashbacks are given a red tint to show their time period, but in using red they assume evil undertones. Energy coming off the Flash is a gorgeous yellow (which is brilliantly strong on 17 and 18), which evolves into a different color entirely on 13. Page 21 has a brilliant sunrise coming just as the battle has ended and the villain defeated, and the cool grays in the final panel of the issue perfectly define the villain’s future. Dalhouse and Cox did an excellent job on this issue. Overall grade: A+ 

The letters: Pat Brosseau has created scene settings, dialogue, the story title, book’s credits, sounds, yells, whispers, and the tease for next issue. Normally I’m impressed with the sounds a letterer inserts into a title, and Brosseau does do a good job on them in this book, but the yells are really the highpoint of his contributions. Sometimes it seems as though characters are yelling in an over the top way, but not in this issue. Brosseau has the perfect font for every yell bellowed by every character. It’s his use of specific fonts that make each statement so strong, with 11 and 14 being the best. Overall grade: A+

The final line: The story was bit of a letdown, but the visuals are outstanding. Fans of the Flash should be satisfied. Overall grade: B+

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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