March Madness is on its way, ladies and gentleman, and these days there are a few places madder than Central City! The Rogues are the cops, The Flash is an outlaw, and a new player has his sights set on making The Flash look like the bad guy! Jesus Merino, Van Jensen, and Robert Venditti have put together a wild ride, so strap yourselves in and get comfortable! It’s March, 2016, and it’s DC Comics, The Flash!

TO QUOTE Charlie Kelly: “Because I cut the breaks! Wild Card, bitches! YEEEEEEEEHAW!”

During my last review, I mentioned how refreshingly traditional it is to see The Flash going up against his trademark enemies, The Rogues. In this month’s issue of The Flash, Robert Venditti and Van Jensen have also thrown an interesting wrinkle into the mix, and I say this simply because The Trickster seems to have his own game in play, along with a mysterious new player who is keeping Heat Wave captive. Now for those of you keeping up with solicits, you probably know who this is, but for now, let’s keep things under wraps, OK?

Meanwhile, our favorite Forensic CSI is having at it with Captain Cold and The Rogues, laying down some “cold” hard facts about the team and their history with The Flash and Central City. While The Rogues are less than happy with Barry’s attitude, Captain Frye can only state the fact that it’s their job to capture The Flash, yet does a job of reminding The Rogues of Barry’s skill and the faith he has in his adopted son.

And as far as attitudes go, The Rogues aren’t too keen with The Trickster’s apparent lack of concern for their job. A reality that I’m enjoying seeing, actually, as to me, The Trickster’s place as an outsider amongst even The Rogues is something I’ve always thought of as making him quite a dangerous and unpredictable opponent, as well as giving him more options for storytelling.

At which point, we come to the part of the story I’m beginning to look forward to each month: The interactions between Barry and Henry, as there have been some really nice moments to see. Henry adapting to a world he hasn’t been a part of in two decades, while also trying to help his son out with things he probably never imagined he’d be questioned on, make for some humorous and touching moments that I feel the cast of The Flash have a lot of room for. Van Jensen and Robert Venditti do a fine job portraying how one would imagine someone would be, having to adjust to a world that’s changed so much while they’ve been away.

Barry’s uncertainty is also something I enjoyed getting to see unfold, as he himself questioned his oath to the Central City Police Department as well as his responsibilities as The Flash. Seeing Barry come to his father with these questions, and seeing Henry’s reaction and Barry’s subsequent choice, offer a family dynamic that I think a lot of DC’s books could benefit from.

The bonding experience is cut short though, as a mysterious form of super speed is detected at Marshall Fletcher Middle School, where, shock-horror, Wally West is in attendance. At this point, I feel like a lot of people are going to start smiling as one can only imagine what Super Speed antics could cause The Rogues to appear when Barry is with his father, but that’s talk for another time.

Needless to say, Barry isn’t too happy with The Rogues busting into a school building, and though he manages a momentary advantage, arguably the best thing about The Rogues finally comes into play: the teamwork that makes them a match for The Flash. Jesus Merino does a fantastic job of drawing out the combination attack from The Rogues. His illustration of Mirror Master’s input is especially well done, what with the aftermath of a bloodied and punctured Flash.

The Trickster manages to show his own worth here, as he displays his role as “The Wild Card”. So wild in fact, The Rogues don’t even know what he’s planning as he sends his robotic arm flying at the assembled children with a bomb timer counting down. The Flash though, true to his title as The Fastest Man Alive, is able to intercept the supposed bomb, only to be caught in The Trickster’s Trap. BANG! BOING!

Admitting that the arm wasn’t a bomb, and that it was all just a ruse, we’re greeted with a sight I’m sure nobody thought we’d be seeing... The Flash is under arrest, courtesy of The Rogues. I think we’ll be in for quite the issue, come April, especially with Rebirth on the horizon. Plus, the truth behind The Trickster’s benefactor and possibly the situation involving Wally West will all likely be key points in the coming months.

Be sure to keep us as a favorite on your browser of choice, and pop by next month to see just how The Flash handles Iron Heights from the other side of the bars!

This story was refreshingly / surprisingly pretty heavy on The Trickster, despite the fact that he didn’t appear in the majority of it. Everything seemed to be setting up for his big payoff, and it was kind of cool to see the Wild Card come through the way he did. Initially it made me think of a particular music video, and then of course, the song it’s tied to, which is: 'Neverender' by The Fold. The story of the kid who gets picked on and bullied, but makes it big in the end with a cool showing? If I do say so myself, it fit's pretty well.

The best comparison that I could come up with for this issue would have to be Fun Dip! 'Why', you ask? Well, here we have an awesome story, but it’s split up into three little bits. We got our Barry Allen (Cherry flavored), our Trickster (Raspberry/Apple flavored) and our Wally West (Grape flavored) stories. Each one just a little bit of the whole package of candy, and each is enjoyable and cool in its own way, even though I think we all have our personal favorite flavors.

With all these concepts flying around, I think it’s interesting to see where Trickster lands up at the end of all of this. So with that in mind, let’s see if you can guess who is visiting Central City to mess with The Flash? Could it be...
  • The Riddler 
  • Parasite 
  • Livewire 
  • Bronze Tiger 
  • Mob Rule 
  • Catman 
  • Scandal Savage 
  • The Alchemist
*** This article was brought to you by Tyson V. Jones: Don't wake me up just yet, I'm not done working.

FLASH #49 FLASH #49 Reviewed by David Andrews on March 21, 2016 Rating: 5

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