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Subj: The Flash #24 - The Color of Fear.
Posted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 at 04:54:46 pm BST (Viewed 464 times)
Never previously one to be expectant of great things from The Flash these last five years the joy of watching the steady growth of current writer Joshua Williamson as he gradually adapts to the task of writing perhaps the most difficult of characters in the Superhero mileu to write for has been one of the few real pleasures in my modern comicbook experience. And with issue #24 even the normally flat art of Carmine Di Giandomenico seems to have been similarly galvanised as in response to a packed and varied scripting requirement the choice in page layout and the contribution of the colourist raises The Flash a step above most other Superhero offerings this month.
Insecurity is very much the theme that ties together the varied events of this issue, from the opening self-blame of Barry Allen while reflecting on his awkward birthday party to the self doubts of minor villain Multiplex over his own identity, these are contrasted to the simultaneously occurring threat to Iris West and Wally West as the unexpected arrival of the sadistic Reverse-Flash threatens to be the death of both, if only after he has sated his usual tormenting of the two. But the success of the piece as a whole lies solely in the deft scripting of Joshua Williamson, carefully these various events to coincide with the other what begins as familiar team ups against Super-Villain-of-the-month develops itself into an absorbing look into the troubled psyche of Barry Allen and shows us why it is that Hal Jordan was, and is, his closest of friends in the Superhero community. Hal, as he readily admits, is no fine expert on relationship dilemma's. But advice comes in many forms and what Barry needs isn't necessarily a lesson in what to do, but why he should do so. That it turns out his fears have become a reality thanks to the attack of the Reverse-Flash on Iris adds impetus and gravity to his decision, though whether the actions of his yellow clad opposite are based on selfish corrupted lust over his longstanding obsession over Iris West or some more broad-spanning scheme against Barry remain to be seen.
The emotional angst which Barry starts the issue isn't entirely plausible certainly, indeed it might be said to be an artificial construct designed to move the plot with The Reverse-Flash along. But there is an undercurrent simmering here of which Williamson has yet to fully address -just how much does Barry remember of his forgotten history thanks to the events in 'rebirth'. and how much of it s he suppressing? The question regains its merit as Williamson shows off his own awareness of Flash-Lore in his teasing by the Reverse-Flash over the original fate of Iris Allen as seen back in The Flash #275 so long ago, the point might seem a futile baseless element to bring up in today's canon and yet as a significant event in all three characters history the original murder of Iris by the Flash's opposite number is as important a point as the death of The Flash himself come 1985... to re-raise the longdead past like this must surely point to some further development to the story at hand and a particular reasoning for resurrecting this incarnation of The Reverse-Flash at all.
But questions over continuity are minor things compared to the pleasures within this issue. Whether it be the quiet bond of understanding between Hal and Barry or the scenes of Iris arriving in the strange alien world of the 25th century The Flash #24 contains much that is well judged and executed with superb confidence.
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