The Flash (2011- ) #24 (2011- ) #24 (New 52 The Flash, #24)

PDF EBook by Francis Manapul

EBook Description

You can read the full review over at my blog:

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Much as with John Layman and Jason Fabok’s run on Detective Comics, I started reading Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul’s run on The Flash due to fellow TFF reviewer Bane of Kings’ recommendation. This is something that I’ve mentioned before, and the reason I repeat is because I consider The Flash to be one of DC’s best titles right now. Again, this is also something that I’ve mentioned before, and the reason I repeat is because I truly am in love in with this series. Its not as intense a series as some of the other DC titles like Batman, Batgirl or Justice League. Its very down to earth and it always knows how to have fun with itself.

Writers and artists Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato have had an incredible run on the series in recent months and I’m really glad that I gave the series a chance after not liking the first three issues last year. This fourth volume collects together the six issues of the Reverse arc, which features Flash’s antithesis, the Reverse-Flash, and his killing spree which targets Barry’s closest friends. These issues, and the Annual (review) issue this August made me fall in love with both the character and the series, giving me another Flash to care about besides Barry Allen.

Issue #23.2 is one of the three issues that were put out during September’s Villain’s Month initiative and it like those for the rest of the titles released in that month, this one focused on the villain: Reverse-Flash. It gave the origins of the character, and told us how he came to be what he is. The amazing thing about this issue is that as it is written, it is a story that goes back in time. We see events from the character’s perspective at some point in his past, and then we go to a few years back when he is at a different stage of his life. Eventually we go back to the defining moment of this issue, a most unexpected cliffhanger if there ever was one. His name, Reverse-Flash, should be a good enough hint as to why Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul chose to use this approach for this issue.

Instead of Manapul on the art for this issue, we have Scott Hepburn instead. None of the books that were put out for any of the series for Villain’s Month were drawn (in the least) by their usual teams, except for a few exceptions. The Flash #23.1: Reverse-Flash #1 is an issue where a guest artist was brought on-board, and I gotta say that the decision was a good one. Hepburn’s storytelling is very traditional in places with the panel layouts but he goes the extra mile to emulate some of Manapul’s choices as well and the result is pretty damn good. Cascading panels or panels within panels, or lightning panels can all be seen here in this issue.

For my money’s worth, all of the three Villain’s Month issues for The Flash were the best in the month. None of the other series put out good issues with this kind of a consistency, and it worked wonders here. Buccellato and Manapul did well to continue their arc from the regular series on this issue, unlike any of the other series for the month, and since I didn’t have to wait an extra month for this story to move forward, I was quite pleased. The writers made this issue a fairly decent stand-alone and also an integral part of the entire Reverse arc.

The final issue of the arc, #24, brings things down to an epic conclusion. In issue #23 we finally learned who the Reverse-Flash was, that is, who is the man behind the mask and #23.2 gave us the reasons for how and why he became a supervillain and what his killings of Barry’s friends were all really about. First off, the guy is most definitely a nutcase. Second, I loved the big reveal about him, and how it was handled in the #23. Not to mention, Iris was on her best in that issue and this continued in this issue as well.

What it all comes down to is a matter of family and how far you are willing to go to keep them safe and what you can go do to keep their love. For Barry it manifests in wanting to learn who truly killed his mother all those years ago so he can finally exonerate his father. He makes the big decision to tell Patty about it and let’s go of it so that he can move on with his life that he building with her (an interesting narrative decision given that the story arc is called Reverse). For Iris it means continuing to convince her errant brother that he should finally make things up with their estranged father. For Reverse-Flash, it means something else of course.

Manapul’s love of creative panel layouts is most exemplary in this issue and one of the reasons why I consider this issue to be one of the absolute best issues of the series, based on what on what I’ve read. Towards the end, in the second-half, he goes for more traditional layouts, but he balances that out by drawing all his characters even better. Which is awesome. And as always, Buccellato’s colours continue to impress. I loved Barry and Patty in this issue and the artists did well in ending the issue as they did.

Overall, I have to say that this entire arc was pretty damn awesome, and that I will most definitely be going back to catch-up with the entire series, reading the previous three volumes of the series. I particularly want to read the first volume with the Rogues and the third volume with Gorilla Grodd’s invasion of the Gem Cities.

Rating: 9.5/10 Like this book? Read online this: Flash in the Attic (Flash in the Attic Flash Fiction Atnhology) (Volume 1), The Flash (2011- ) #11.

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