Flash does the hard work so you don’t have to
If you’ve read my other reviews of The Flash New 52 Graphic Novels (and chances are that you haven’t…I have Google Analytics). Then you know that I thought that Rebirth and Flashpoint were absolutely stellar. Whilst Move Forward was good, if not a slight drop in quality, it set up some minor things that I think will be exciting down the line if executed properly. Sadly just failed to deliver in comparison to the prior two stories and has left a sour taste in my mouth since reading it.
Diving into The Flash Rogues Revolution, I’m exited…and anxious. This book really will be the one that sets the level for things going forward and for me it decides whether I pick up the graphic novels after this omnibus. So…let’s get started
Best served cold
The book throws you in at the deep end with a lot to take on board. Captain cold now has ice superpowers, Barry is ‘official’ with Patty and The Flash must monitor his speed to stop the speed force from ripping things in and out of time. The book gets you ‘up to speed’ quite quickly and never feels overwhelming due to the art work and brilliant flash backs and forwards.
I really can’t emphasise enough how outstanding Francis Manapul is with the pencil. His layouts, character composition and dynamism are near perfect and they really help to deliver a complex story in a manageable and creative way. He uses panels as text, effortlessly interacts elements and completely knocks it out the park from the off. This is what superhero vs super villain fights should look like!
Cold as ice
Captain cold really provides an interesting and memorable villain. Whereas Move Forward had quite a generic antagonist, Cold adds a certain ‘icy heart’ to the story. His sister is dying of cancer and the doctors are unable to operate because Flash’s EMP from the previous book has knocked out the hospital’s power. Fed up with how the Flash has stopped him at every turn in the past, ruining his life, he decides to go ‘rogue.’
The fact that Barry has to keep his speed lower than 80% in order to counteract the speed force, whilst also being fast enough to stop Cold really adds tension to the battle. You’re with Barry in the thick of it, wanting him to save people but knowing that it’s a risk that could come at a high cost.
When Barry starts nearing the 70% mark it becomes Truly gripping and as the percentage escalates, so does the tension.
Mid battle Barry saves Patty (passing 80%) and in doing so creates a wormhole that sucks Iris into it.
Talk about a love triangle.
There is really no right or wrong answer on this front. Either way he loses. The stakes have never been higher. I don’t want to call the speedforce a cock block…but…
Into the light
Whilst this is a relatively short arc, only lasting two issues, it still packs a great punch, has emotional depth and leaves you wanting more.
I love how Patty meets with Captain Singh and they comment on how Flash is no help to the police. He too is a rogue that has very little disregard for how his actions will effect the officials and those trying to hold the city together. It’s brilliant to once again see a hero that tangles with the law and isn’t always on the right side of it. I’ve yearned for something like this in every character’s background since reading Year One. It adds such a dynamic to the story and shows that our hero’s often have the power but lack the responsibility.
Expertly this book sets up the next chapter with Flash having to create another wormhole to go in and save Iris and I can’t wait to dive into the next part of this thrilling arc. I am once again back in love with the Flash!
In two issues both writer and artist have manager to craft a brilliant story that really justifies The New 52. DC did a brilliant job on this one and it has rescued the series for me and put it back on it’s plateau.