Review by: dix

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Avg Rating: 4.4
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Art and cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
Variant cover by MIKE CHOI
B&W Variant cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL

Size: 32 pages
Price: 2.99

I see two ways this can go.

Flash is a gimmick hero. That’s not a bad thing by itself, but it does mean that, after a while, stories can get difficult to tell. It’s just easy to run out, especially with characters as old as the major DC heroes.

So the logical thing to keep stuff interesting is to up the ante somehow. Take the gimmick to an exreme. That, I think, has always been the real point of the Flash’s time travel abilities whenever they appear. Time travel is, perhaps, a more flexible gimmick than super speed, but it is also a much, much more often-used one: it’s pretty difficult to do a really really good time travel story for a variety of reasons.

But anyway…this issue. With the Mob Rule arc behind us – an arc that could have been much shorter, I think, but had decent ideas here and there – Barry comes face to face with his greatest villain, Captain Cold. This isn’t the first time they’ve fought in the post-reboot world, and Cold is out with a vengeance – and new powers.

An aside: gimmick heroes get gimmick villains, usually. Cold definitely is a gimmick villain. What happens when the gimmick hero gets a power boost? His villains become X-Men characters.

I know. Surprised me, too.

Anyway, there’s some non-linear storytelling and things and what feels like a lot of exposition to make up for the fact that this is Cold’s first appearance as an active villain in this continuity but his first outing, not to mention that things have changed since last they met. It seems like this story – indeed, many of the stories in this series, including those regarding Barry’s powers – could have been made sleeker and more interesting, frankly, if we just started closer to the beginning of his super-heroing career.

The supporting cast, by the way, is consistently forgettable. Consistently. And that’s a problem, because with a character like the Flash, you really can’t rely on plot driven stories for long because of the gimmick powers; a solid character-driven core makes or breaks this kind of story. And it’s not there. The writing is bogged down in these power-developing plots at the expense of any real character development or particularly effective moments for them.

So the two ways I can see this going: one, this builds to some kind of time travel/alternate universe kind of plot, which we’ve seen before, and this series will have to work very, very hard to make that story particularly memorable; or two, these “wormholes” from the past into the present could bring some exciting and new stuff for the Flash to face. Reverse time travel, really: things coming to OUR time.

I will make token mention of the art, just to be fair: it’s excellent, as always.

Story: 3 - Good
Art: 5 - Excellent


  1. “What happens when the gimmick hero gets a power boost? His villains become X-Men characters” … made me lol, thanks! Its funny ’cause its true.

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