“Bats Out of Hell” Review of THE FLASH #33

“Bats Out of Hell” starts here – the beginning of the Justice League’s big battle against the Dark Knights of the Dark Multiverse! Joshua Williamson writes the script, Howard Porter gives us the artwork, and we get the first of the connecting covers by Ethan Van Sciver and Jason Wright! Seriously, is there anything else you want here? Oh, you want to know more? Follow us after the jump!


We start with one of my favorite story elements of all time…but with a new twist. Flash and Superman are racing, but not truly against each other. They are building up speed so that Barry can give Supes a boost into the Dark Multiverse to try and find our world’s Bruce Wayne.  As Steel and Flash check out the cosmic tuning tower made from pieces of the old Anti-Monitor, Barry recognizes…something in the vibrational pattern. Nothing more in this issue, but you can bet it will have serious repercussions as we move further into this REBIRTH era.

We also check in on the rest of the team – Wonder Woman with Doctor Fate, Hal Jordan with Mr. Terrific (and Plastic Man’s “egg”), Aquaman with Deathstroke, and Cyborg on his own. But…

Suddenly Boom Tubes appear…not Cyborg’s, and not the kind you can resist either. They separate the teams, except for Steel and Flash, who are attacked by Murder Machine and Devastator! Eventually Barry runs toward his own Boom Tube and finds himself in a nightmare version of Central City, followed by a fall into the trap set by the Batman Who Laughs.

The trap? More like plural…as in several versions of the Batcave, each constructed to kill another member of the Justice League! As JL each meets their Dark Bat Doppelgangers, we break away for now, to be continued in JL #32

NOTES: When you turn a solo title into a League-wide event, it present particular challenges…thankfully those challenges are well-met here. One challenge is keeping the focus on your main character even while bringing in so many other top names. Williamson handles that flawlessly. We get plenty of looks at the rest of the league without forgetting that this is a FLASH title. Another big challenge is the artwork, taking on so many different characters and making them work together. Howard Porter aces that assignment.  I also loved the page layouts throughout the book – really kept the pace and scope of this story on point. And, thanks to DC for Ethan Van Sciver on the covers – his Flash is one of the best, and it was great to see that again here. All around, a good story – I’ll give it a 9/10.

That’s just my opinion – what do YOU think? Leave your comments below!


2 thoughts on ““Bats Out of Hell” Review of THE FLASH #33

  1. Dallin Turner

    So are we to assume that Barry gained complete control of his “dark energy” problem between issues #32 and #33? Or has that matter just been set aside until issue #34?

    1. Ed Garrett Post author

      This happens all too often – a crossover comes in the middle of a major change in the status quo for the regular storyline…and it doesn’t get reflected in the crossover. My guess is the crossover is “officially” either before or after the Negative Flash storyline, sidestepping continuity issues. I really should have addressed that in my review, and you have a legitimate question here. Hopefully we will get resolution to the Negative Flash story arc at some point soon, though I have to say I am enjoying the story.


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