“Agent of Black Hole” Review of THE FLASH #20

Someone is digging up the bodies of Godspeed’s victims…but for what? Who would do something so horrific, and for what reason? And, what’s with this cover tease of Iris West wearing a uniform that associates her with the Black Hole organization? Before we get to next issue’s meeting with the Dark Knight, we have a completely different mystery to solve in this issue of THE FLASH. Want to know more? Follow us after the jump?

SPOILERS AHEAD!

This issue gives us a great look at the investigative journalistic chops of Iris West. She is looking for answers after hearing from some of the family members of Godspeed’s victims, and she is determined to get to the bottom of this story no matter what it takes. This includes that cup of coffee for Barry…that he knows is a sign she wants some inside info from him. It also means bringing up one of his exes…Meena Dhawan, whose body was never found after Godspeed’s attacks. It’s awkward but not devastating…only foreshadowing (just wait).

Iris finds where Black Hole is keeping the recovered bodies and infiltrates their operation, knocking out a worker who tried to attack her and putting on one of their uniforms. She is eventually found out…but just then the Flash arrives to…

Not do so well…

Black Hole was ready for him and use a device to disable him. Iris (in disguise) is ordered to kill the Flash, but she turns the weapon on the bad guys and lets Flash get out of the trap. He quickly wraps up the bad guys…but this leads to a theme that truly needs to be revisited and cleared up.

Iris has no idea that Barry is the Flash, and his hiding that fact is going to quickly bring their relationship to a tipping point. She doesn’t know his secret…but she does realize he is hiding something important from her. Wally has already lost respect for Barry for not telling Iris…and if he doesn’t come clean soon this could be disastrous for their relationship.

This works as a story device, and I’m glad writer Josh Williamson has avoided the quick reveal that would have been far too easy. That said, I’m hoping we will see Barry come clean soon…it’s time.

By the way, there IS a big reveal at the end, and there IS someone surprising who is a part of Black Hole, but I’ll leave that to you to read the issue and find out. I will say that the character design with the new uni is excellent. Neil Googe does a great job with the pencils/inks, and Ivan Plascencia is once again excellent with the color work.

I have only one real gripe (besides Barry not coming clean about his identity with Iris)…and that is the cover. Not the artwork…it’s great. But, this takes me back to the Silver Age, and not necessarily in a good way. Iconic FLASH artist Carmine Infantino was among several who were given covers to draw back in the day without having any idea whatsoever about the plot of the book. They were given bare info and just put something together. The covers were great (as is this one)…but they often had little to do with the actual story. In fact, at times they were downright misleading. Now, I realize they didn’t want to give away who really joined Black Hole on the cover, but the “Iris-goes-bad” implication of the cover really doesn’t do the story inside the covers justice.

All that said, it’s still a good issue of THE FLASH. I’ll give it an 8/10. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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