This issue of THE FLASH gives us the origin story for a new Flash villain, one that present a serious threat to our Negative Speed Force-powered hero. The story has a bit of a Silver Age flair, tucked neatly into a story well worthy of the REBIRTH era. Just who is Bloodwork? And, what’s his connection to all those blood samples that are missing from the crime lab? Follow us after the jump to learn more!
After the disaster in the evidence room, Singh has had enough. He’s chewing out Barry…but Barry is no longer taking it. The formerly hopeful guy is now bitter and cynical, and Barry verbally lets loose on the whole lab. (Favorite line…“There is no boat, Forrest. No Boat.”). Barry is walking away from his career, but is stopped by Kristen, who sets him back on this unusual case of the missing blood samples.
That leads Barry, as the Flash, to the coroner’s lab. It’s the Coroner, Ramsey, who is the bad guy…and we learn how he got to be both powerful and evil. He’s now a meta – nearly invulnerable, and able to control not only his own blood but the blood of others. He can attack, even kill, with his powers. When Ramsey threatens to kill everyone in the CCPD, Barry’s Negative Speed Force abilities kick in, with devastating effect. But, Ramsey is unharmed! He names himself as a new Rogue…taking on the name Bloodwork!
NOTES: The origin story takes on a lot of this issue. It is very well written, no surprise for a scrit by Josh Williamson – still, it took me back to the comics I read as a kid in the Silver Age (in a very good way). That Silver Age flair shows up in the way Ramsey gives his life story, and the way his powers appear. That being said, the artwork is a more modern feel, with much more blood than the old Comics Code Authority would have allowed…and it balances that vintage story flair exceptionally well. That’s thanks to Neil Googe, with colors by Ivan Plascencia. Bloodwork makes for an excellent antagonist – someone who can counter Flash’s speed by controlling the very blood coursing through Barry Allen’s veins. One additional note about the excellent artwork – there is a little detail that I love to see when the Negative Speed Force kicks in. It’s in Barry’s eyes. They don’t just go black…it’s the pattern in the eyes that makes the effect so powerful. The color of the Flash’s Negative Speed Force uniform really gets the point across as well.
BOTTOM LINE: This is a solid introduction to Bloodwork – and an interesting addition to the Rogues (even if he never actually joins the iconic group). I’ll give is an 8/10. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!