Tag Archives: Renegades

Weekend Update: Renegades, Hot Pursuit, Variant Covers

I decided to take a little time this weekend (while I still had some!) to update a few items on Flash: Those Who Ride the Lightning. I’ve finally posted an article on the Renegades (a.k.a. the Reverse-Flash Task Force), and put up a placeholder for Hot Pursuit even though the story arc dealing with him won’t launch until at least January. I also updated the cover variants list with Flash #6 and the preview art we’ve seen for Flash #7 & #8.

I wasn’t really sure where to file the Renegades. They play the role of villains, or at least antagonists, in “The Dastardly Death of the Rogues,” but from what we can see, they do appear to be the “good guys” of their era, acting on what they thought was solid information. I finally ended up putting them in the Heroes category, figuring that if they show up again, they’re more likely to play that role.

Review: The Flash #6

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Francis Manapul

The long-awaited conclusion of “The Dastardly Death of the Rogues” is here! And while it doesn’t exactly end with a bang, it does race to a satisfying finish. Mysteries are revealed, conflicts are resolved, and events that seemed unrelated turn out to be connected, with teases for upcoming events.

It’s been a fun story, one I really didn’t expect going into this series. I do think it could have been told just as effectively in less time — maybe 4 parts instead of 6. This storytelling style isn’t going to lose much when DC drops the page count from 22 to 20 next year.

Francis Manapul’s artwork is amazing, as always. I really can’t add more to what I’ve already said about it, so I’ll focus on the story, and since this is the conclusion, it’ll be hard to say much without spoilers…

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Review: The Flash #4

I’ve been really enjoying the ongoing Flash series despite the frustration and disappointment of Flash: Rebirth. It’s as if “The Dastardly Death of the Rogues” is being written by Geoff Johns, and Flash: Rebirth was written by the mirror Geoff. Or in a multiverse context, the Geoff Johns of Earth-3.

Also surprising: Johns seems to have remembered an old saying about writing comic books: Every issue is somebody’s first. A few deftly placed lines of dialogue spell out the key details of the story so far: Boomerang’s status and new abilities, who the Renegades are, what file is missing and why, etc. Considering this is part 4 of a 6-part story, I suspect most writers today wouldn’t have bothered.

Francis Manapul’s artwork continues to be the highlight of this book. The Flash stands or falls (runs or stumbles?) on pacing and the reader’s perception of speed, and Manapul delivers. This time around, the stand-out panels are splash pages in an effort to rescue pilots from a damaged helicopter. (One nice easter egg: in the background of that double-page spread, we see the bridge that Wally West rebuilt back in “Crossfire.”)

I’m neutral on the “Flash Facts” pages, though if they’re going to keep using them to spotlight the villains, I like the way they link the real tech with the comic-book tech. Last month it was “How Boomerangs Work” and “How Captain Boomerang’s Boomerangs Work.” This month it’s mirrors and Mirror Master’s mirrors.

Some of the luster is beginning to fade, though. The structure is starting to feel formulaic: Barry Allen keeps fighting the Renegades, and every battle gets cut short one way or another. Every issue has a major super-speed feat, which individually manages to be extremely cool, but gets repetitive four issues on.

I think the main thing that disappointed me about this issue was the revelation behind the murder mystery. Sure, it’s one of the few explanations that fits Barry Allen’s character, but it also violates the expectations set up in the first half of the story. To say any more, I’ll have to break into….


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Review: The Flash #3 – “The Dastardly Death Of The Rogues Part 3” *SPOILERS*

First off I know the reviews are usually Kelson’s thing (and you can expect to see his later in the week) but I decided to share my two cents and take a shot at it. This is my first time reviewing a comic book online so all feedback is most assuredly appreciated. Now on to the review:

Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Francis Manapul & Scott Kolins
Color: Brian Buccellato
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Cover: Manapul w/Buccellato
Variant Cover: Greg Horn
Assoc. Editor: Adam Schlagman
Editor: Eddie Berganza

Ok, this is the way a Flash relaunch needs to be done; Fast and Furiously. Through the last two issues we’ve been on a nonstop action-packed, roller coaster ride that shows no signs of letting up with Part 3 of The Dastardly Death of The Rogues.

As many of you may be aware I was not the biggest fan of Barry’s return. I love Wally and he has been a character that I loved reading about and identified with for years. He was the Flash that I got into and despite the once off story featuring Barry (JLA Year One, The Secret of Barry Allen, and Rogue War), he seemed like a distant memory of a character that died an awesome memorable death. I’m also a huge fan of legacy characters in general. It’s what made DC kind of stand out on it’s own. They had characters that got older, retired, or died and then a new hero would take their place. When Barry died and Wally took his place as The Flash this was huge. It was the first time we had seen a character developed as a sidekick take on the role of their mentor, the first time the inherent promise had been fulfilled. In other words this was ground breaking and it stands out as one of DC’s defining traits. Allowing their heroes to age and move on (quasi) organically while still allowing the character’s previous developments to shine is what DC has been doing pretty well for years.

Just one reason why I don’t like all the back tracking. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve done some great stuff with Barry Allen and Hal Jordan since their returns but I feel like nothing is making them that unique other than that they are older heroes returning to take back their mantles from their previous sidekicks (or letting them co-exist like the superhero equivalent of Gallagher Too). I loved the steady progression we were seeing in the DC Universe and it really made me feel like I was growing up alongside these characters. I wouldn’t be disappointed if a newer younger version would take his place, I would expect it. It needs to happen in order for others to have that feeling as well. Of course as I said, it needs to happen organically; when a character has without a doubt outlived their usefulness and needs a shake-up. The problem is that this is mostly subjective, but certain things like sales, the ability to hold a solo title, etc, etc can (and should) be factors in whether a character is worth keeping around.
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Retro Review: Flash #2

Sorry this review is so late. Things just kept coming up, and I pushed it further and further back. Then my local comic store didn’t receive their order of The Flash #3 on time (Diamond sent them extra copies of Deadpool Team-Up instead), so I haven’t had a chance to read the new issue…and it occurs to me that this is my last chance to review The Flash #2 before reading issue #3!

So, on to the review!

I’m still enjoying this series a lot more than I did Flash: Rebirth. Francis Manapul’s artwork has a lot to do with that, but also the fact that they’re just telling stories about a guy with super-speed instead of trying so hard to justify why they’re telling stories about this guy with super-speed.

Admittedly not a whole lot happens in this issue, but it continues to move as quickly as the previous chapter did. I expect that when “The Dastardly Death of the Rogues” is finished, pairing it with a collection of Silver-Age stories like Flash vs. The Rogues will provide a great example of the change in comic-book storytelling styles from 1960 to 2010.

The expected confrontation with the Renegades is cut short, leaving the rest of the issue divided between the mystery aspects (presented through Barry Allen’s civilian life) and a visit with Captain Boomerang, providing the Brightest Day connection advertised on the cover. Also: the Flash evacuates, then rebuilds an apartment building at super-speed. Once again, the issue ends on a cliffhanger, only this time it has to do with Barry Allen, rather than the Flash.

Francis Manapul’s artwork continues to stand out, especially in sequences like the apartment evacuation, though there are some places where it seems a bit more static than last issue. Last issue I thought his faces seemed a bit off, but this time I started noticing the way he handles expressions. There are a couple of sequences where he really makes use of changing expressions with similar panel layouts. The last two pages stand out, as does a sequence earlier in which a girl complains that she lost her doll in the building collapse. (His attention to detail holds as well. If you flip back a few pages, there she is…and there’s her doll.)

Okay, spoiler time!




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