FLASH #38 & #39

Do you want to see a fight where each of the contestants wear fancy clothing, say fancy speeches, and smell of fancy sh#t? If so, then if I was you I’d check out the following adventure created by Joshua Williamson, Scott Kolins, Carmine Di Giandomenico, and published by DC Comics in February, 2018. Sniff-Sniff! Can you smell eggs?

TO QUOTE Eddie Cantor: 'You don’t only miss the scenery by going too fast, you also miss the sense of where you are going and what for'.

At the end of last month's episode we saw Captain Cold getting himself ready to beat the living daylights out of the Flash. Which he does, in part, until August Heart swiftly intercepts this fist-fight by deactivating a machine that prohibits the fastest man alive from using his powers. As soon as that happens, the Flash then quickly recharges his battery's, gets back onto his feet again, and does his best to resolve as many issues as he possibly can. 

Now this includes him capturing the Rogues, saving Cooperhead and Kid Flash from a highly frigid explosion, plus he even has some time to change into his civilian guise and figure out who killed Turbine. To top it all off, he also manages to speak to the love of his life, Iris West! After all, given half a chance he desperately wants to patch things up with her and make some sort of amends.

But can he do this, and if he can, will Iris even consider allowing him back in? Saying so while taking into account that another adventure will soon be looming upon the horizon, an adventure which features Kid Flash, Avery, Doctor Karver, Meena, Multiplex, the Black Hole gang, Raijin: the Master of Lightning, a big hairy brute who smells of bananas, plus a mysterious power source which stretches right back to the dawn of time! Want to know more? Then please pick up issues 38 and 39 of the Flash today. But before you do that, here, check this out...

Part One) RUSHED ON THE RUN:   There's a part of me that really wants to praise issue 38 because it managed to do so much stuff within one single episode. Not only did it resolve one story-line and set up a couple of others, but in addition to this, it was also fun, enjoyable, and pretty easy to read.

That said, however, the only thing I wasn’t too keen on was how Barry’s problems were presented to him, one, by one, by one, and more or less were quickly defined, instantly resolved, and then hastily thrown away. Unfortunately this happened at least three times in total and made the overall conclusion feel a little bit superficial, bordering on the shallow. In all honesty I think it would have been a lot better if an extra chapter was added so some more time could have been spent beefing-up certain plot-points, such as that whole Copperhead situation as well as August’s change of heart. It almost seemed as if someone held a gun at Joshua Williamson’s head and told him to, ‘Finish writing this b@tch now’! Ha! 

Apart from that, though, the adventure itself wasn’t all that bad plus it did have some redeeming features. After all, it was nicely illustrated, suspenseful to follow, and tonally it was very poignant to read, especially the last part. In addition to this, it also managed to set up a number of very intriguing scenarios I’d like to see more of! 

Well, let’s face it: Who is Copperhead secretly working for? What are Kristen Kramer and Director Singh planning for Warden Wolfe? How will Captain Cold cope with his transfer to the Suicide Squad? And last, but not least, August Heart, is he a villain or is he a savior in disguise? What do you think, dear reader? Let me know by leaving a message in the comment section below.

Part Two) SORRY TO BE SORRY:   Now with all due respect, can anyone really sympathize with some of the emotional problems our heroes have to face on a daily basis? I don’t think I can, not totally, because on occasion I find some of them to be pretty far fetched and overly dramatic.

Take the situation Barry and Iris are currently dealing with. Their split, so to speak. I mean, can any of us truly understand what it feels like to have our partner kill the person who murdered one of our parents? For all our sake's I hope not, and goes to show that this particular plot-point isn’t completely relatable, at least not on a totally realistic level.  

Having said that though, I do like Barry and I do like Iris, both of them, together, and to a certain degree I can partly -- I repeat, partly -- understand where they’re each coming from. On the one hand I can marginally empathize with Barry because he was trying to protect Iris from his double-life, while on the other, I can also connect with Iris for being annoyed with Barry because he put her in a situation that was way beyond her control. Even so, I still hope the two of them can work something out, and from the looks of it, issue 39 appears to be a pretty good place to start. So good in fact, that I’m not entirely sure what Barry did to turn Iris around so quickly! 

Did the sight of his dead mother’s grave touch her so deeply she started to miss what she once had? Or alternatively, did their brief trip to the Watchtower impress her so much that she became enamored by his status in the League? Or could it have been something completely different? Like something he said, or the ample time they both spent apart? 

Well, whatever the case may be, the first step to their mutual resolution wasn’t made quite clear in this issue. But then again, resolutions never are, so I suppose it only seems fitting, ha!

Part Three) BANANA-SPLIT:   One of the main reasons Barry and Iris weren’t able to resolve their differences was because the rest of issue 39 was interrupted by another story-line. Or to be more specific about it, another adventure, one that will hopefully explain to us what caused the Speed Force Storm and how it’s connected to the Black Hole gang. 

I presume from what we’ve seen so far that it’s somehow linked to the power source which spurned Gorilla City, and through this, he who must not be named, Gr@dd, then somehow tapped into it with a modicum of help from Raijin, the Master of Lightning

Obviously their motivation's for committing such a deed hasn't yet been fully revealed. But at a guess, I think it must be something to do with them wanting to get their revenge on Barry! Or, you know, the usual plan for world domination. Either way, whatever these details are, I would still like to know if the storm was a deliberate act of violence, one part of a much larger plan, or something else connected with the main characters. Come to think of it, if Bonga-Bonga is somehow involved, what about the rest of the primates in Ape City? Like Solovar for instance: The last time I saw him he had his ass handed to him by one of his old adversaries! What’s more, how does any of this mess fit in with the Black Hole gang, and is that why they snuffed out Doctor Karver? Interesting points, don’t you agree? 

Part Four) DON'T FART ON ART:   A few weeks ago I saw a message on Instagram asking people if they 'liked Scott Kolins’s artwork?'. And do you know what? I wasn’t quite sure what to reply!

Well, even though I’ve enjoyed his illustrative style for quite a few years, in the same breath, I’m not a hundred percent certain why I actually like it! One part of me feels that it can be a bit too minimal at times, scratchy even, whereas another part enjoys the way he composes his characters and gives them life, gives them emotion, and gives them a certain amount of vitality.

Just take a look at some of the images provided (as seen in issue 38) and I’m sure you will know where I’m coming from. Scott is good, real good, but sometimes I find his work fairly inconsistent, and that's where he lets himself down. Not completely, mind you. Or otherwise he wouldn’t be working for one of the big three. Plus I would also like to mention that one of his biggest assets would have to be how he can vary his style to suit the needs of the story, be it in an action scene, a slow paced melodramatic moment, or even a stylish splash-page or double-page spread. 

Now to some extent I can say exactly the same thing about Carmine Di Giandomenico’s artwork for issue 39. Although, in his case, Carmine’s style of art seems slightly more consistent and less busy in comparison, especially when it’s being colored by Ivan Plascencia, who does a really good job at adding a very dramatic tone to these proceedings. Dramatic and vibrant in fact, bordering on the cinematic! 

For this month’s musical match-up I’d like to select the Bob Marley classic, ‘Redemption Song’, mainly because of those sequences where August Heart and Barry Allen talk about trying to redeem themselves. It’s a very appropriate song, don’t you think?

Yes. That’s correct. I’m now going to compare these two episodes to a banana. And do you want to know why? It’s because a banana can make you go very fast if you accidentally slip on it, plus I have a sneaking suspicion that at least one of the villains featured may enjoy eating them, wink-wink, and I’m not talking about Meena. 

At the end of issue 39, Barry finally comes face to face with the person behind the Speed Force Storm. So, out of the following eight candidates, let’s see if you can guess who this person is? Could it be... 

  • Arion: The Sorcerer from Atlantis.
  • Meena: The Mistress of Menopause.
  • Zod: The Killer from Krypton.
  • Ass-Face: The Butt of All Jokes. 
  • Larry: The Looser of Leisure.
  • Raijin: The Master of Lightning.
  • Zoom: The Sod of Speed.
  • Grodd: The King of Kong.
Nuff said.

FLASH #38 & #39 FLASH #38 & #39 Reviewed by David Andrews on February 07, 2018 Rating: 5

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