November 21, 2010

Review: The Flash #6

Category: Reviews — By @ 10:37 am

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Francis Manapul

The long-awaited conclusion of “The Dastardly Death of the Rogues” is here! And while it doesn’t exactly end with a bang, it does race to a satisfying finish. Mysteries are revealed, conflicts are resolved, and events that seemed unrelated turn out to be connected, with teases for upcoming events.

It’s been a fun story, one I really didn’t expect going into this series. I do think it could have been told just as effectively in less time — maybe 4 parts instead of 6. This storytelling style isn’t going to lose much when DC drops the page count from 22 to 20 next year.

Francis Manapul’s artwork is amazing, as always. I really can’t add more to what I’ve already said about it, so I’ll focus on the story, and since this is the conclusion, it’ll be hard to say much without spoilers…

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SPOILERS!

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Super-heroes usually keep their real identities secret so that the enemies they make in their heroic persona don’t go after them in their personal lives. It’s interesting that the future Top was motivated by Barry Allen’s actions, and struck at the Flash because of his civilian identity. It goes along with the whole pattern of reversals established from the moment the Renegades showed up as heroic versions of the Rogues.

Speaking of the Rogues, I kind of agree with Trickster: I really was expecting something more spectacular from the giant “In case of Flash break glass” mirror.

The Judge seems a bit…obsessive. Given his thoroughly masked face, and the fact that he seems to be investigating our time period and the temporal fissure, I’m guessing that we’ll see more of him down the line leading into Flashpoint…and that his identity will turn out to be significant in some way. (Does anyone else think his gavel looks Kirby-ish?)

I liked the fact that everything in this story turned out to be connected. When Barry first reopened the Hicks case, it seemed like a simple character beat: show that the police are rushed and careless, show that Barry is methodical and wants to make sure justice is actually just. It turned out to be the motivation for the whole story. (That motivation, and in fact the whole portrayal of time travel, veers seriously into Timey Wimey Ball territory, but that’s a topic for another post.)

On the other hand, the reveal (after two issues) of what Iris found in Barry’s files doesn’t quite live up to the expectations set up by her reaction. Sure, evidence of police negligence leading to a wrongful conviction is a significant discovery, but it seems to be well-known that Central City’s cops are more interested in getting a conviction, any conviction, than in getting the right conviction. Her reaction made me expect some sort of active corruption.

That said, it was kind of refreshing to see that Director Singh, while still a jerk who wants things done his way or the highway, is at least the kind of jerk who recognizes when he’s been wrong and corrects for it. It just takes a lot to convince him.

All in all, a good first story for the new series.