The Flash Reverse Review By Deffinition
The Flash Reverse continues the stellar New 52 run centred around the Scarlett Speedster. After his death in Flashpoint, the Reverse Flash persona has been missing from rebooted universe but it is time for his return.
Following on from his incredible entrance in The Heroes Journey it will be interesting to see how the Flash’s greatest enemy fits in with this new aesthetic.
I am very excited to read Reverse due to the history that has been built thus far. Every time the Nemesis has appeared within an arc he is arguably it’s highlight and I can’t wait to see how the New 52 version is handled in Manapul‘s hands.
So with that out the way let’s dive in to The Flash: Reverse!
The book opens on Barry and Patty finally moving in together. Their relationship has went from strength to strength over the previous arcs and it’s great to see it finally cemented here officially. Barry Allen has always been a character that has the potential to be as interesting out of the costume as he is in it and it’s great that the writer realises this. Delivering on the human aspect, early on, we are able to connect with him more than ever before.
It’s this heart that really puts the book on a pedestal. The psychologically undertones continue throughout the story and it really feels like a mature tale that shows the ups and downs of life.
No more Heroes
Picking up from the last arc, Reverse Flash has begun murdering the newly created speedsters that Flash saved from The Speedforce. If you’ve read my previous review of The Heroes Journey then you’ll know that this was a welcome development for me. The new speedsters overshadowed a lot of the narrative and due to this I lost interest. I assume this was the case for many readers as Manapul has removed them out of the plot just as quickly as they were introduced.
It’s brilliant to see a reactive writer who cares about fan opinion and creates around this and Reverse is a testament of just how great a story can be when geared towards the audiences tastes.
Brian Buccellato has managed to craft his masterpiece with Reverse. If you are a fan of innovative panelling and stand out splash pages and centre pieces then this book might be worth picking up for it’s depictions alone.
Every issue has it’s own signature, enveloped within each page, that allows the art to really stand out in a way that several main stream comics are unable to. The work really feels like it has expressionistic elements to it whilst still managing to maintain purpose and determination to continue the story in an orthodox way. This is Buccellato’s stand out story and a key example of just how beautiful the artist’s work can be.
The entire book is boosted just by how well the narrative and illustrations intertwine and work cohesively.
There are some outstanding moments that really grab your attention. Barry gifts Iris with a Speedster costume in a scene that is very similar to Lois and Clark’s flight in Superman The Motion Picture. Dr. Elias similarly to Dr. Frankenstein Maniacally works in his laboratory as lighting strikes the transmitters granting life to his wicked creations. Reverse Flash and The Flash battle across the city as bolts of light fly past striking the environment around them, similar to the lightsabre duel in The Empire Strikes back.
From start to finish the work feels very cinematic and it really grips your attention on every page from beginning to end.
Reverse Flash VS The Flash
The new Reverse Flash’s appearance is terrifying. Demonic in look he definitely feels like the evil within has finally risen to the surface. When the two speedsters eventually meet and duke it out you really fear for our hero due to the twisted monster that stands in front of him.
The reveal that he is Iris West‘s brother is a huge game changer that shakes the Flash universe to it’s core. With Iris now granted powers in a similar manner it progresses the story in an uncliched manner.
It really came as a shock upon learning the villains new identity and felt like a well deserved payoff.
Daniel West has been drip fed into the New 52 thus far. Rarely seeming important to the point that you would be forgiven for not noticing him at all. This slow paced setup allows Manapul to pull the rug out from under you and I doubt that many would have seen the twist before picking up this book
End Of Spoilers
During the climactic battle we learn the new Reverse Flash‘s origin story and it certainly allows you to be sympathetic towards the villain. His time travelling abilities enable the reader to traverse his tragic back story in a way that is thrilling whilst harrowing in the same breath. As with all good villains he has a dark history and the human element that Manapul has developed in this story thus far comes full circle.
It’s a shining example of how love can impact someone’s life. In the same way the care that was given to Barry as a child impacted his personality, turning him into a kind hearted hero, the Reverse Flash suffered from well…the reverse.
The abuse he endured made him into a monster and the climax of the book centres around his realisation that changing the past has it’s repercussions.
It’s a victorious finale that really feels like it deals as much impact philosophically as it does in action.
Reverse is a brilliant psychological human story disguised as a comic book arc. It’s adds upon prior elements whilst also working as a standalone tale that showcases all the characteristics of a great Flash book.
I had a great time with Reverse and recommend it highly to those wanting to pick up a graphic novel from the New 52 run on the character.
That’s why it gets an…