Barry and Bart…Anything More You Need Here? (Review of Flash #21)

Flash 21 coverThis 21st issue of The Flash is easily the fastest paced story of Barry in the New 52 – in more ways than one!  This is one of the top meetings we’ve been looking forward to in the New 52, and the payoff is exceptional here.  Barry meets Bart…and there’s a lot more to THIS story, so let’s get straight to the review of this excellent installment of The Flash.


Barry has been tracking down the Speed Force Killer, still without a clue as to who the killer is except for two things: all the killings have a connection to the Speed Force, and the killer is using a form of Barry’s insignia!  He is tracking down Kid Flash…not as a suspect, but as his only lead for the trail of this ruthless murderer.  The story makes liberal use of splash pages as we see the REAL race-of-the-century with Flash vs Kid Flash across the globe!  When they do meet we get some additional glimpses into Kid Flash’s (future) history and the nature of his powers. And, we see some great side stories between Iris and Daniel West, between Patty and Barry…and we get one more glimpse of the true Speed Force Killer…the Reverse Flash!

Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato deliver another excellent chapter in the New 52 history of the Flash.  Their use of splash pages makes perfect sense here, adding to the impact of super speed times two.  The additional glimpses into Kid Flash are tantalizing, giving us important new information without spilling too much too early.  And, I really loved the nod-with-a-twist given to the old “Barry’s late again” trope, in doing so highlighting the difference between the New 52 Patty and the Silver Age Iris in how they each deal with this situation.  I truly enjoyed this issue of The Flash – whether you are a Barry or Bart fan (or both) this is a great issue to grab!



8 thoughts on “Barry and Bart…Anything More You Need Here? (Review of Flash #21)

  1. Kyer

    After discovering that CBR did not have a review went googling for one before coming here. The review I read was not nearly as glowing as yours….maybe a 5 out of 10?

    Disappointing to learn that Bart and Barry do not share a certain power source. Also…

    Is the Nu52 Bart Allen always such a little pain in the patookus? From the one page I saw (and I really haven’t seen that many scan pages of him from Teen Titans) this Bart is a brat and not the character I loved in Impulse and Young Justice. Apparently, not even as good as Bart as Kid Flash when in the older Teen Titans.

    On another slightly related topic: Has anyone read the Marvel AI book by Mark Waid? I saw the preview scans and Hank Pym’s parents immediately brought to mind Wally’s upbringing (also by Waid.) Is this a Waid thing for a character to have practical parents who try to stifle imagination?

  2. Scott Timms

    Bart kinda was a brat at the beginning as impulse…not for long. It faded to an endearing quaility. Havent read much teen titan of new52 (by not much i mean none), but just recently passed through impluse first apperence (making my way through Wally series a bit ago preping for his return…still think it will happen) and he is def got a brat impulse to pun 🙂

    1. Kyer

      I’m getting a different vibe here. In classic Impulse Bart was more cocky than an outright brat. When they met, Wally saved his life though Bart didn’t know this at the tiem. Here, nuBart KNOWS Barry saved his life in the preview and his response was…less than appreciative. This kid seems definite ‘punk’ material to me: major chip on his shoulder. I shudder to think what this means for his mysterious background. (Am also afraid that part of it is because he’s still related to Iris and that she gets murdered in the future.)
      Wait…is Bart’s future/past the same timeline as this JL3000? Please, if that is Wally I hope he’s not Bart’s dad or uncle. My ability to keep continuities straight is getting corkscrewed as it is!

    1. Kyer

      Since Barry is not a murderer you’d have to saddle him with some pretty intense subconscious demons. That smacks of Cobalt Blue: The Mental Edition and I doubt anyone wants to go there.

  3. MisterNefarious

    This issue was sort of a waste of time. For the most part I’ve been loving the new 52 run of the Flash, but this issue was so out of place.
    It took a complete departure from the core plot of Reverse Flash just to show what a brat Bart is and then say “Well I always knew it wasn’t you. Bye!”

    I was supremely disappointed, and would have preferred they just take the 2 pages that feature Reverse Flash and put those at the beginning of the next book, so we don’t have this speed bump in the storytelling.


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