“With This Ring” Finale – Review of THE FLASH 766

As we come to the end of Kevin Shinick’s first arc with THE FLASH, a few things are becoming clearer about his take on Barry Allen and his super-speed alter ego. Flash has been up against a near-omnipotent version of Dr. Alchemy, and things are looking very bad as this chapter begins. We know the good guy will win the day, but how that happens is important for the storytelling we may expect as we move forward. This has been an excellent story so far, and this issue does not disappoint. You wanna know more? Just follow us after the jump!

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!

Kevin Shinick is establshing a take on Barry Allen that I hope we’ll see more of as we move through upcoming issues. Before Barry Allen became The Flash, he was (and still is) a scientist at heart. He’s the science nerd made good, and that’s what caused me to admire this character decades ago. In fighting Dr. Alchemy, it’s scientist against scientist…or rather scientist against alchemist, with a touch of Silver Age science thrown in for good measure. 

This new element invented by Barry Allen, Lighzinium, plays heavily into the finale. Barry found that by adding this element to a new Philosopher’s Stone (one Barry put together), that it could protect the user from the effects on his mind. In the end, that’s what actually saves Barry in his battle with Dr. Alchemy. I don’t want to give more of the actual plot away, since this is a story you really should read for yourself. I will just go to…

NOTES:

  • We see Barry Allen, police scientist, take the lead in this arc. Even though he is in costume more than not, we are constantly reminded of what makes Barry who he is, and that’s something we can hope to see more of in future arcs.
  • We also see an Iris West who is much more than the “you’re late, Barry” of the Silver Age. She is much more partner and a rock for Barry, and I like how she is portrayed here.
  • We see a classic element return in a friendship between The Flash and a Green Lantern (not Hal as in the Silver Age but with a well-loved John Stewart). It’s great to see that facet of Flash lore here.
  • I find it interesting to tie this arc even loosely to the Responsometers of the Metal Men. It’s a neat way of tying different parts of the DCU together…and it even makes a strange kind of sense here.
  • Yes, Lighzinium is very Silver-Agey science. Even the way to dissolve the element was a little Silver-Agey. And yes, the “liquid arms” brought back some Silver-Age tones here. But, I grew up in the Silver Age and didn’t mind a little comic-book-science taking place here.
  • The important thing is that the story itself is well-crafted for today’s readers. It does not feel silly like some of the old Silver-Age tales. This is a fresh take, even with those bits of classic Flash thrown in. 
  • The ultimate fate of Dr. Alchemy here reminded me a bit of a pre-FLASHPOINT Inertia’s fate. Again, that works here – and leaves the door open to a return of this character sometime in the future if need be.
  • Will Conrad (pencils and inks, with Hi-Fi on colors and Steve Wands with lettering) has given us some excellent artwork again here. The illustrations just pop off the page in so many places. Great artwork!
  • PERSONAL NOTE – this review was delayed a bit by preparation for Thanksgiving in the United States. My apologies for the delay. 

SUMMARY:

This has been a solid start to Kevin Shinick’s time with THE FLASH. We already see how he handles Barry’s voice and his relationships with Iris, with at least part of the Justice League…and it looks great. I’ll give this finale a 9/10. Of course, that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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1 thought on ““With This Ring” Finale – Review of THE FLASH 766

  1. Daniel T

    Very, very pleasantly surprised by Shinick. Kind of reminds me of the 3-4 years of Cary Bates’ run pre-Death of Iris Allen but updated for modern sensibilities. I hope he’s still on post-Future State.

    Reply

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