Barry Allen is in dire straights. He should never have stolen Bill Gates. I blame Iris West. She's always been a pest. Because she's never got on with the United States! Yeah. And neither have the super fast creative team of Brian Buccellato, Marcio Takara, Francis Manapul, or Publisher: DC Comics, in March, 2013.

Using GENERAL terms, answer the following 4 questions about this STORY entitled 'The Stuff of Heroes'.
  • WHAT'S THE MAIN THRUST OF THIS TALE: Whilst trapped inside Iron Heights Penitentiary, a powerless Barry Allen tries his best to prevent the Outlanders from breaking the Trickster out, aided and abetted by a bag full of rogue weaponry, and the sudden arrival of Albert.  
  • ARE THE MAIN OBJECTIVES ACHIEVED: Well, without giving too much away, let's just say that a not so moving time was had by one and all.
  • ANYTHING ELSE HAPPEN: DC find the opportunity to plug next months instalment of 'Dial H For Hero'.
  • HOW DOES THIS STORY END: With a new villain commencing his super-speed killing spree.

All in all, what is the most memorable SENTENCE OR CONVERSATION spoken in this issue?
Out of all the pieces of pithy prose scattered throughout this issue, I thought the best bit out of the bunch, was when Barry and Vic were talking to each other up in the Watchtower, and...

BARRY: Every time I step out there as the Flash, I do it with all of these powers at my disposal. But when guys like Batman and Green Arrow go out there, I don't know how they do it?
VIC: So you're saying that there's an upside to being a bullet-proof robot 24 / 7?
BARRY: Did you just tell a joke?
VIC: Maybe.

Ahhh! It's at times like these that I miss the old Wally, Dick, Vic and Gar magic.

What are the BEST bits about this issue?
(+) I did get a kick out of those scenes where Albert seemingly supercharged those weapons by accident. Honestly, I could almost hear the 'D'oh' moment reverberating around him. Ha!
(+) As much as I am a big fan of Francis Manapul's artwork, at the same time, I really did enjoy the art by Marcio Takara too. In many ways his renderings reminded me of Walt Simonson great stuff from back in day. Cool beans, baby. Cool-cool beans.
(+) Even though I found the concept very 'A-Team' in execution, that didn't stop me from enjoying the idea behind a powerless Barry Allen using a bag of rogue weaponry to defend himself with. I personally thought it was pretty neat in the way Barry stuck his hand in the bag and pulled out God knows what whenever he needed. Very... errr... homage.
(+) The Reverse-Flash looks like a pretty cool villain to me. More details below.

What are the WORST bits about this issue?
(-) Personally speaking, I felt a bit duped by DC, because the cover on this book implies that the Reverse-Flash is a large part of it, when he's not. Tut-Tut-Tut! Naughty DC. Stop being a greedy money grabbing b*stard.
(-) I found the resolution to the main brunt of this tale kind of rushed in hindsight. It came across like, 'Oh no! **** has super powers. That must mean **** is the main culprit behind these crime. Case closed. Let's go home now'. Know what I mean?

Choose TWO CHARACTERS out of this comic book, and then compare them to two WELL KNOWN MOVIE STARS.
NADINE VELAZQUEZ AS MARISSA: Can't you tell Nadine (My Name Is Earl) Velazquez has a special power from that look in her eyes? The eyes on her head, silly. Not the other more... ahem...  not so discrete ones.   

NOAH CRAWFORD AS ALBERT: I kid you not; Noah (My Name Is Young Earl) Crawford once said to me that he can make things enlarge just by touching them. Granted, he was naked in the shower at the time, whilst I was many-many miles away on... errr... ahem... next!

What QUOTE would be appropriate to sum-up this story?
'Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength' -- Arnold Schwarzenegger

What SONG, THEME-TUNE, or MELODY, would complement this tale, as well as add and extra dimension to it by default?
THE THEME TUNE TO THE 'A-TEAM' TELEVISION SHOW: Well, mainly because of the way Barry used the rogue's weapons in this issue, how can I not compare this tale to this tune?

Now have you wondered who this new Reverse-Flash might be? Huh? What do you mean 'no'? Oh! OK then. Me neither. Still, that doesn't stop me from taking a couple of guesses, huh?

  • Although Brian and Frances did deny that Wally West is the Reverse-Flash, what they didn't deny is that it's Wally's second cousin from his father-side. Willy West: One part Whale, one part sex-pest.
  • He's some poor schmuck who cut himself rather badly whilst shaving, before falling into a vat of electro-fied chemicals by the side of his bed. What a yutz!
  • The Reverse-Flash is in actual fact Vince Vaughn. He's trying to 'De Niro' himself up for his next acting gig in an episode of 'ER: Baghdad'.
  • One day Dan Dididididido decided to paint the side of 1700 Broadway with some sparkly red-paint, and by accident, the rest of the staff wired his external scaffolding to an electrified pylon twelve miles away. As you do.
  • The Reverse-Flash is a space monkey from the future, who has come back in time to help DC boost their sales.

OK. I must confess. I didn't take a proper stab at this guessing-malarkey. But then again I suppose what I was trying to demonstrate with this, folks, is that I'm fairly confident both Brian and Francis can pull something special out of the bag, so to speak, thus making this new Reverse Flash a villain that is as pertinent and relevant as the one old.

Fingers crossed. And a fairly good issue too.

GIVE IT, IT'S DUES: If This Comic Book Was a Well Known Television Series From The Eighties, It Would Be A Slightly More Deadlier Version Of The 'A-Team' and 'Knots Landing'.

FLASH #19 FLASH #19 Reviewed by David Andrews on May 20, 2013 Rating: 5
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