Have you ever wondered what a parallel version of yours truly would be like? Would he have the same job as you – would he have the same appearance as you – would he have the same perspective, temperament, physiognomy, and iron clad robot monkey locked in a cellar? Intriguing idea, huh? Just as intriguing as this issue, Written by Geoff Jones; Drawn by Francis Manapul; and Published by DC Comics in April 2011.  

Barry (The Flash) Allen comes face to face with Barry (Hot Pursuit) Allen. Now this Allen by another name, has come from an alternate earth to warn our Barry that there is an impending doom coming, one that will effect the multivierse. And stranger still, is that he also warns our Barry to keep out of his way, before he zooms off into the distance. Bart (Kid Flash) Allen – who has been present for this conversation – does not really believe alternate-Barry’s words. But our-Barry – who is as prudent as ever – does not take any notice of Bart’s missive, and he goes in hot pursuit of ‘Hot Pursuit’. And how does endeavour turn out? 50-50 – because alternate-Barry does get away, but our-Barry snatches some DNA from him, and looks into this matter – without Bart – sometime later back at his lab. What then transpires all relates to the case that Barry was working on just prior to Hot Pursuits arrival– or does it? Well, I suppose that one of Barry’s old work college showing up has nothing to do with Hot Pursuit – but the murder he is asked to – and then continues to – investigate, is... and there is a witness too.    

Now I do like the sub-heading for this transitional Flash story arch ‘The Road to Flashpoint’ – because in a blatant way, it reminds me of that comic book film adaptation ‘The Road to Perdition’. Well, it does, doesn’t it! However, it is only in the similar titled heading, that these two forms of entertainment are in any way connected with each other – as in all other ways, they aren’t. Come on – one of them is set in the past, in Chicago, and is about gangsters, where as the other one is set in the present, in Keystone, and is about... hmmm... impending doom? And it is precisely all to do with this latter issue – doom – that makes this issue rather irritating. It’s nothing to do with ‘Hot Pursuits’ looking like a ‘Hot Rod’ toy from the eighties, it’s the fact that the ‘Flashpont segment’ of this yarn is rather fleeting, and almost teases you that ‘something bad’ is going to happen next. Personally, I would have much preferred this issue to concentrate on the ‘aged mystery’ or Barry’s ‘Bart dilemma’ – as both of these sub-strands are more engaging to read. OK, I presume by the way that this issue concludes; that the ‘aged mystery’ is something to do with Hot Pursuit. But as for Barry’s ‘Bart dilemma’... well... this is just something that is much more captivating to the fanboy. In a round about way, this is uncharted territory for Barry; also, it poses the question of age and time in comic book lore. Because how old is Barry Allen to have a Grandson of Bart’s age? OK, I know that Bart was ‘increased in age’ due to the speed force – but how can you explain that away to your average Joe on the street? You can’t – not without raising a few eye brows that is. Overall, I found this issue a fairly good read, and even thoe appearing forced at times, in essence, what is on display is both intriguing, captivating, and on occasion, somewhat irritating.