GENERAL REVIEW: The Flash #14
"Like Mom said, there is no courage without fear. I guess that makes me courageous right about now."
WARNING: this review contains potential SPOILERS!
That’s really all I can say at the moment. Wow.
Don’t worry, though, because it’s a good wow.
I’ll be totally honest, I’m not the biggest Flash fan. I like the character, but I was never all that attracted to the comic book. That is, until I picked up the New 52 series by Francis Manapul and Brain Buccellato. I figured it was a good jumping-on point for someone who’s relatively unfamiliar with the character beyond the Justice League Unlimited cartoon.
Turns out I was right. The Flash has been consistently entertaining from issue #1, and the series has only gotten better since. #14 is certainly no exception.
The highlight of this entire series has been the art, and it’s just as fantastic as ever. I had noticed a dip in art quality in the Annual issue, largely due to Manapul and Buccellato handing the reigns over to Marcus To, Ian Herring, and other artists -- luckily though, the book has returned to its former beauty since September’s #0 issue.
And by beauty, I do mean beauty. Manapul’s splash pages are absolutely gorgeous, even given the brutality of some of the violence. My favorite image this issue had to be of Barry's mask being shattered by a blow from Grodd. Brilliant work, as always.
The story and writing in The Flash may not be as complex as Scott Snyder’s Batman, but who ever asked for it to be? All I ask for is to be entertained, and this issue delivered.
Grodd’s siege on Central City is now in full swing, with both Flash and the Rogues fighting desperately for their lives. While you’ve got to know that things are going to be alright in the long run, the plot takes a few unexpected turns that let you know Barry won’t come out of this battle unscathed. I assumed the revelation on the final two pages would emerge at some point, it still took me by surprise.
There’s an interesting twist in this issue related to the story’s mysterious narrator -- I don’t want to give away too much, but I’m curious to see how it effects the outcome of the Gorilla Warfare story arc.
I was happy to revisit the Wests’ subplot as well. Iris has been absent since her disappearance into the Speed Force, and I’m very interested to see how Daniel West’s return to Central City plays out.
Whatever problems I had with this issue were few and relatively insignificant. I would have liked to find out how Grodd became charged up with Speed Force energy, but I assume that revelation will come later. I also noticed a minor continuity error: the last time we saw Daniel, he and several other people are being chased by a pack of Grodd’s gorillas. When he appears in #14 he’s alone and unharmed. It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine that he got away, but still.
Overall, Flash #14 was another great addition to this series. If you haven’t picked it up already, I’d highly recommend it.
Here’s to next month’s issue.
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