The Flash #16

by JohnP on February 07, 2013

If you've read any reviews of this Flash series there's two things you hear over and over again: 1. The art is unbelievably amazing every single issue. 2. The story is not. No one disagrees with the first part, but the second commonly held opinion is one I have largely disagreed with. Ok sure, the plot has had numerous threads that don't exactly end before new ones are added in. Yes, it is kind of like the whole thing has been one long, super extended story arc. But I have been of the opinion that each issue was satisfying in some respect, even though they were part of a much larger whole. I have been unshaking in my confidence that Brian and Francis have a plan that is going to pay off in spades, with all the storylines converging and exploding in a fantastic climax that is going to blow my mind. I have been unwavering in that opinion...up until now.

With the latest issue of Flash, I have, for the first time, set it down and thought it was unfulfilling. It left me wanting more, but not in the good, "I can't wait to see what happens next!" way. This issue isn't necessarily worse than any of the other issues. It has a lot going for it. From the start, we finally get a look into Barry and Iris's relationship in a flashback to 5 years ago. This was the most interesting part of the issue to me. From there we go back to the future with Flash heading off to confront Grodd. Only we don't get to see the two face off, which would be ok, but the issue is called "Battle in the Speed Force!" It's right there on the cover! I was expecting to see some fur flying before the end, but before that can happen we get a cliffhanger and another four week wait to see what happens.

I don't want to make this out to be a horrible issue, because it's not, and I can't stress that enough. It adds a new layer to the love triangle going on with Party, Barry, and Iris which fascinates me, we see the Rogue's basically acting as city-saving heroes, and we finally return to the Speed Force. I just feel this issue is not as strong of a single issue as others have been. It is the first time I'm considering possibly trade waiting. I love the idea of a long, sprawling Flash epic that rebuilds Barry's whole world basically, but I'm beginning to see that the critics of the series have a valid point.

I'd be remiss to not say that the art in this issue is of course, spectacular. Once again, we get an amazing, creative title page. Here's hoping that next month we also see an end to Grodd.

Our Score:


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