DC Comics’ 25th-anniversary issue celebration continues this week and this time it’s for The Flash. Leading up to this issue, Flash has been unaware Reverse-Flash is back and he’s ready to take it directly to Barry Allen.
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Carmine DiGiandomenico, Neil Googe and Ryan Sook
Publisher: DC Comics
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“RUNNING SCARED” part one! When Eobard Thawne murdered Barry Allen’s mother, he killed a piece of The Flash’s past. Now, Reverse-Flash is back to kill Barry’s future! The Flash’s biggest storyline yet begins as he is pushed to his limits and his secrets are laid bare in a chase through time itself! Don’t miss the extra-sized anniversary issue!
Why does this book matter?
Joshua Williamson has been building towards this confrontation for a few issues now, each issue opening with a quiet shot on a Flash Museum. If you’ve been reading along you should know we get a full explanation for what that has all meant in this issue. This story arc has also been incredibly scary as Reverse-Flash is a true psycho who has no limits.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
If you ever wanted to learn more about Reverse-Flash, this is the issue for you. Williamson uses the extra-sized issue to his advantage by taking his time with key Reverse-Flash flashbacks that flesh out the character well. After a full recap of how Barry remembers meeting Reverse-Flash (read: he was a nice kid who idolized him) we’re sent to a new future that’s dark and not so friendly. Williamson places the museum we keep seeing in this world, which will instantly make you ask quite a few questions. This adds a layer of mystery that’ll drive you to keep reading.
Oh, and there’s the whole Reverse-Flash kidnapping Iris thing. Williamson plays around with how time has changed since “Flashpoint,” and should get folks talking as Reverse-Flash explains in this issue. As he explains things he totally annihilates Barry; he truly is much faster. It’s not often a superhero seems so powerless, but here we are.
His brutality continues to shock and Carmine DiGiandomenico draws some wicked shots of Flash getting his butt kicked. The blood spraying out of his mouth is quite unnerving and it’s hard to see Flash take such a beating. Neil Googe and Ryan Sook join in on the art serving to add a bit of a positive vibe in the “good times” flashback and some slightly unnerving vibes when we get Reverse-Flash’s flashback. Overall the art supports what the story is trying to do and it’s hard to fault a single panel.
It can’t be perfect can it?
With all the flashbacks the plot doesn’t push forward all that much. There’s certainly information given, but by the end of the issue not much actually happens to Flash. The cliffhanger certainly changes things though it’s a superhero trope we’ve seen a thousand times.
Is It Good?
This is an enlightening issue as it reveals key details of Flash and Reverse-Flash’s pasts. It also reveals how things have changed ever so slightly due to “Flashpoint” which should have folks talking.