Wally West will be making his return so to speak soon, but Flash must first take on The Riddler. First off, why is he not in Gotham? Second, does Flash need backup? Third, is it good?
The Flash #51 (DC Comics)
The 50th issue was able to bring in a bunch of Flash’s rogues gallery, set up Wally West and even deliver the Riddler cliffhanger effectively. This issue opens with Flash standing in front of The Riddler not knowing what to do.
Why does this book matter?
Ven Jensen wrote one hell of a 50th issue. On top of that Wally West is being developed–that’s the new teenage Flash for those of you keeping score–so you best keep your eyes on this title.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
I rather enjoy the art in this book by Gus Vazquez and Joe Eisma. Flash has a leaner look (really, everyone does) and the costume looks fantastic. There’s a cel shading used that makes the characters pop too, and the entire issue is not unlike a cartoon because of it. There’s a nice energy throughout the title and whenever Jensen checks in with Wally it’s a good moment.
This might be the slowest I’ve ever seen Flash take apart robots.
It can’t be perfect can it?
There’s a lot wrong with this issue, starting with the premise. Basically The Riddler is holding Flash and the entire city hostage because he controls drones. He’s got them pointed at Flash’s friends and family. Not knowing what to do, Flash just lets The Riddler punch him in the face. A couple of times. It’s an odd scene since we’ve seen Flash dodge punches from characters who are much more threatening. It’s simply out of character to see Flash so dumbfounded. To make matters worse he’s rescued by a character on a motorcycle. Trying to avoid spoilers as to who it is here, but why doesn’t Flash just run away? He still has his powers! Later, when said motorcycle character claims he saved Flash’s life you’ll roll your eyes. Essentially Flash does a lot of things in this issue that make no sense at all. To make matters even worse it all ends with a reveal that should be a huge deal, but it’s so incredibly underwhelming you’ll be in shock.
The Riddler’s plan also makes little sense. Again, all he has is drones floating around with guns, yet the entire city gives in to him without a second thought. Last I checked there were a dozen heroes nearby who could end this in a heartbeat. Perplexing to say the least.
Now that is a badass full page spread worth framing.
Is It Good?
What the hell did I just read? Flash comes off as weak and helpless for really stupid reasons. The Riddler’s plan doesn’t have enough teeth to make any sense either and it make it even worse it all ends with a shockingly melodramatic reveal.