“Black Hole Rising” Review of THE FLASH #34

Before last issue’s turn into the “METAL” storyline, we were left with a HUGE surprise with the return of Meena! What could have brought her back? And, what about that quote on the cover, “My Lover…My Enemy”??? There are a lot of big things going on for Barry in a very good issue of THE FLASH – want to know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Meena tells Barry about her being trapped in the Speed Force, escaping somehow to save Barry from himself…or rather, to save him from the effects of the Negative Speed Force. It’s tearing him apart, and Barry has to agree that’s what it seems to be doing.

During their talk, young Wally arrives and is thrilled to see that his friend and one time mentor is still alive, and together this trio goes to do some quick research on the Negative Speed Force at an arena set up for a demolition derby. The research helps…

…rather, it helps Meena and Black Hole!

Yep, the whole thing was a set up from the beginning! Meena wanted the research so that she could learn to take the Negative Speed Force all for herself! That gives us the latest addition to the pantheon of evil speedsters in the DCU…the Negative Flash!

NOTES:

  • There is a side plot where Kristen is out on the town with her friends from the old CSI lab, complaining about her current assignment at Iron Heights with Barry. There is a mystery that she is going to help the team dig into…and I’m sure we’ll see more of that in upcoming issues.
  • The main thrust, though, is bringing back Meena as a villain, and it works for me. (my only hesitation to use the term “Rogue” is that she hasn’t joined the group, at least not yet). Barry and Meena’s prior relationship complicates this from the usual “let’s just beat up the bad guys” type of superhero battle.  Meena’s unique abilities granted by the Speed Force, added to the Negative Speed Force as well, could make her one of the most powerful villains the Flash has yet to face. In other words, this is a great heel turn.
  • The script was co-written by Joshua Williamson and Michael Moreci – stellar job this issue and kudos to both!
  • WOW the artwork was great! Amazing action matched by wonderful expression throughout the issue. There were so may little things that were done well, It’s not just Wally’s bursting on the scene, but in the inset panel his expression upon realizing Meena was there is outstanding. On the first page of  Kristen’s scene in the bar, look at the bottom panel at her co-worker’s expression. The way the eyes are cut to the side and the way the mouth is drawn give the perfect expression in reaction to Kristen’s “gggrrrrrrrr”.  It’s all good, thanks to Pop Mhan on art with Ivan Plascencia on colors.
  • One last note – apologies for the late posting of this review. I was out of pocket due to work-related conferences and am just back at the old laptop. I will get back on schedule now.

I’ll give this one a 9/10 – what do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

 

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