The Flash #39 is the beginning to the Perfect Storm arc that leads up to the beginning of Flash War in May of 2018. Within the issue Joshua Williamson does a great job building up to the last page before finally pulling through, and it ends up one of the best issues of his run so far. The art by Carmine DiGiandomenico is by far the best he’s done on the series.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“The Perfect Storm” part one! In the 700th tale of THE FLASH, Barry Allen wants to make amends to the people he’s hurt, but Gorilla Grodd has other plans! If Grodd’s shocking attack on Central City wasn’t enough, the reason why–and how it connects to everything The Flash has faced since the Speed Force Storm–will rock our hero to his core…and change everything he thought he knew!
Why does this matter?
Throughout the issue Williamson works in everything he’s set up so far in the run, from Black Hole and the mysterious master of lightning Raijin to Avery, the Justice League of China’s Flash, and Barry’s tenuous relationship with Iris. The subtle build up throughout the issue to the finale is great and really builds a dramatic sense that something is wrong and someone powerful is behind everything. The entire issue feels like the opening to a movie with how it’s paced, including pages that say “DC Comics proudly presents the 700th issue of The Flash” which gives the book an almost cinematic level of build up.
The final few pages from when time stops have a very video game like feel, which is absolutely a good thing as it feels ready to just let loose on a large scale arc. The reveal that Grodd has been hearing every caption box of Barry talking and stating he’s the Flash is spine-tingling, from how it’s used as the build up to the final reveal that Grodd is the mastermind behind everything. The issue also curiously has a Max Mercury reference with the Native American panel. This is noteworthy as Max has been missing for a while and is also the mentor of Bart Allen who has references in the Flash Annual next week, as shown by previews by Howard Porter.
And the art?
The art in the issue is fantastic and is a step above everything else Carmine has done throughout his time on The Flash. It feels less jagged around the edges while also having great images such as the panel of Raijin and the panel of the Watchtower in space.
From top to bottom, the historic 700th issue of The Flash is a success. The cinematic feel gives an already great story an extra boost, and it’s all complemented by Carmine DiGiandomenico’s artwork, which seems to be getting even better.