A new villain shows up and Barry needs to save his job after he puts it on the line himself.
Given the cover it looks like an origin story is in the works for this issue as Flash faces off against Bloodwork. A reasonable answer: Who? We break this issue down!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“BLOODWORK” part one! Barry Allen’s personal life is in shambles, his new Negative-Flash powers aren’t working properly, and someone has been tampering with evidence at the Central City Police Department. The Flash is not having a good day, and it’s going to get worse when he comes face to face with Bloodwork, a terrifying new villain with secret ties to Barry Allen.
Why does this matter?
Joshua Williamson has been writing a consistently great Flash series for some time now and recently introduced Barry Allen to some new powers. These powers are making him irritable and the powers themselves erratic. Just his luck, a new villain enters the fray.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Hold it together Barry.
Neil Googe draws this issue with colors by Ivan Plascencia and the style suits the out-of-costume scenes. Barry loses it at one point and you can see his empathy and rage very clearly. These scenes set up the stakes well as Barry puts his job on the line and needs a win in his court. Later in the issue, we get some cool Flash action and there’s some cool blur effects used to help show Flash’s speed. The style is reminiscent of Rob Guillory with a cartoony flair here and there. In an excellent full page flashback, Googe draws blood dripping down the page seemingly out of a sink with the panels expertly weaving in and out amongst the blood. It not only ties well with the villain’s powers, but gives the caption boxes a pretty river to travel down.
Speaking of the origin, Williamson nails it with this villain’s backstory. While the name is certainly on the nose, since his powers are based on his blood, it actually makes some sense as to how this villain started. He has an interesting tie to Barry–no spoilers–and it’s fun to see how even he isn’t sure what he’s capable of. That should be fun to explore next issue seeing as Barry is unsure of his own powers as well.
Outside of the villain, Williamson sets up the stakes for Barry’s job being on the line and has the detective work in the previous issues pay off here. The case is nearly cracked after this issue with a suitable explanation as to why blood is being stolen and why Barry was knocked out last issue.
You can do better than that Barry!
It can’t be perfect can it?
My only gripe with this issue is the design of Bloodwork’s costume (if you can call it that). The cover suggests maybe his look will be different in the future, but when he suits up on the last page he looks rather basic and boring. His ability to control blood in the air is neat and looks cool, but gimme something more!
Is It Good?
Flash faces off against a new villain, who has an intriguing backstory revealed here.