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FLASH #72 & #73

[ A SALE TO DIE FOR
There once was a very slow foe, who’d take ages to dispense a low blow. Until, one day, he knelt down, to pray, in order to find out how much he could grow. Want to know more? Then please ignore the following adventure created by Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter, and published by DC Comics in July, 2019.

TO QUOTE Nick Nolte: 'Birth is violent, and out of that violence is our only chance of rebirth'.

THE STORY:
Ever since he came back from the future, Barry Allen has been in fairly good spirits because he’s been able to steer his life in a more positive direction. Well, not only did he vanquish The Turtle and strike up a friendship with Iris West, but in addition to this, he’s also learned how to master his new super fast abilities.

Although, on second thoughts, maybe the words ‘master’ and ‘vanquish’ aren’t exactly the correct words to use, especially since Barry gets shot by a crook and The Turtle is still ready for some action (albeit in a less conventional capacity). Want to know more? Then please pick up issue 72 and 73 of The Flash today. In the meantime though, here, have a look at this…

THE REVIEW:
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading chapters three and four of ‘Flash: Year One’, because both installments were nicely constructed and paid homage to the original source material. Well, this story is a reboot, and as such, you can expect it to feature some of the things you normally see within this brand of rehashed adventure. Things like updated character designs, the use of modern technology, as well as how the overall narrative tries its best to mix the young with the old. Now, to see what I mean, please check out the following five points which expand upon some of the pros and some of the cons

1) The Turtle: If truth be told, I didn’t really know too much about The Turtle prior to reading this multi-part adventure. In fact, the only thing I knew about him is that he appeared in the first Flash comic book and is a very slow and underused villain. But now, thanks to Joshua Williamson, all of that’s going to change because he’s managed to transform The Turtle into a far more complicated character with a far more nuanced backstory. In many ways, his updated origin mirrors Barry’s origin. Although, in his case, he was a scientist with a family that gets into an accident which ultimately ruins his life. And trust me, when I say ruin, I do mean ruin, with a capital ‘R’, as it involves him killing his family and turning into an immortal with a deranged mind.

2) The Girlfriend: Unlike The Turtle, I’m far more familiar with Iris West because I’ve seen how she’s developed throughout the years. Initially, way back in the Silver Age, she was nothing more than a second rate Lois Lane. But as time ticked on, she gradually evolved from a girlfriend into a wife and now a very randy geek. Seriously, folks, I laughed my ass off when she came onto Barry during issue 72! Plus I also appreciated the amount of trust and compassion she showed him amidst the following episode. With a little luck, fingers crossed, Joshua will take this quirky personality trait and briskly run with it. Although, having said that, I must ask, what’s happened to Patty Spivot? (Barry’s New 52 girlfriend) I mean, is she still around or has she been rubbed out of continuity come Rebirth? Not that this is a bad thing, mind you, but some clarification would be nice.

3) The Bad: The one thing about this adventure I wasn’t too keen on was how quickly Barry resolved his two cliffhanger-inspired-obstacles. After all, it only took him five pages to take down The Turtle at the start of issue 72. And along similar lines, it only took him five pages to heal from his injuries at the start of issue 73. Thematically, both of these resolutions felt rather anticlimactic, so to speak, particularly when you take into account that The Turtle’s capabilities were enhanced during issue 71, and that Barry looked half-dead at the end of issue 72. So, in either scenario, the set up was very exciting, but the conclusion wasn’t. 

4) The Art: Last month, I suggested that DC Comics should legally kidnap Howard Porter because he’s a really magnificent artist. This month, however, I still think they should kidnap him, but do so in a less legal capacity, ha! Seriously, though, Howard’s art was very vibrant and dynamic on the page, and visually, he was able to elevate Joshua’s script with a nice Silver Age charm. Although, if I did have one thing to complain about, that would be how sometimes his smaller images seem slightly cluttered compared to his larger single or double page spreads. Cluttered, in the way that his line work seems more dense and heavy due to the constraints of it being housed within a much smaller frame. Apart from that, though, on the whole, there wasn’t much to complain about, plus I did enjoy the home-made look he gave to Barry's transitional costume (the one with red goggles and a red t-shirt).

5) The References: If you’re the type of person who loves spotting comic book references, then I’m sure you’re going to love spotting those attached to ‘Year One’. This includes things like Barry’s Batman and Superman action figures, Iris’s ‘Creeper’ inspired t-shirt, as well as the mention of such names as ‘Zoom’, ‘Wally’, ‘Cold’, plus much, much, more. Essentially, these additional references made things fun and far more enjoyable to follow, even if they didn’t have any real relevance to the story currently being told. They also add a sense of world-building too, especially in regards to dating when these events take place within the DCU.

So in conclusion, I would just like to say that I loved the positive direction this series is starting to take. Not only because it’s made things fun, light, and rather entertaining to read, but on top of that, it also showed respect to the original while adding something new at the same time. 

THE MUSIC:
As this story is a reboot of sorts, I thought it would be a pretty good idea to musically match it up with another reboot, ‘Let’s Go Round Again’, which was initially sung by the Average White Band, only to then be followed by many other musicians.




THE COMPARISON: 
Have you ever eaten a deconstructed cheesecake? If you have, then you most probably know that it smells like a cheesecake and tastes like a cheesecake, but visually and textually it seems very, very different. Similar, in fact, to these two issues of The Flash! So comparison made, Burp, and food digested, Yum-Yum!

THE CONCLUSION:
At the end of issue 73, Barry Allen is shocked to see one of his enemies parading one of his allies through the streets of Central City. So, out of the following eight options, let’s see if you can guess which villain is exhibiting which hero? I mean, could it be…

  1. Captain Cold with Commander Cold.
  2. Godspeed with Superman.
  3. Heat Wave with Batman.
  4. Golden Glider with Green Lantern.
  5. Mirror Master with Captain Singh.
  6. The Turtle with Future-Barry.
  7. Captain Boomerang with Green Arrow.
  8. Professor Zoom with Iris West.

Nuff said.

FLASH #72 & #73 FLASH #72 & #73 Reviewed by David Andrews on July 16, 2019 Rating: 5

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