Reviewing Flash #4, Suicide Squad spin off and New Super-Man
The Flash #4
Flash #4 finds Flash and Team Flash trying to track down Godspeed. While they can’t find him, they have to settle for stopping the cause of the Speed Force Storm.
Joshua Williamson’s formula feels familiar to the TV show’s format. Tease a major villain then have Team Flash figure out a way to track him down. Godspeed increasing his speed as a result of draining/killing fellow speedsters comes across a lot like the Zoom storyline from Season 2. And not to mention Barry suspecting Godspeed could potentially be one of his new allies would have been a great subplot if the show didn’t just do it.
Williamson has raced through the process of establishing Flash’s supporting cast and made most of them speedsters. It’s hard to fully invest in them or what being a speedster means to them. Flash scribes like Mark Waid and Geoff Johns could juggle multiple speedsters over time during their runs, but Williamson needs to let the story and characters breathe before making everyone a potential Flash.
Of all the new speedsters, Wallace West has the most intriguing arc simply because his team-up with Flash is being allowed to progress more naturally.
Neil Godge steps in for Carmine Di Giandomenico. Godge’s art is fairly solid, but it lacks Di Giandomenico’s highly stylized animated, energetic look. The colors remain a treat thanks to Ivan Plasencia’s consistently amazing work.
With so many speedsters running around, Williamson really hasn’t gotten a chance to truly focus on The Flash. Hopefully, the Speed Storm story is winding down to put the focus back on the titular character.
Rating: 7 out of 10
New Super-Man #2
New Super-Man #2 continues its enjoyably irreverent, contemporary take on superheroes. It’s quickly becoming a go-to book in the Rebirth line for some fun, genuine laugh out loud moments
Kong meets the other two founding members of Justice League of China — The Bat-Man and Wonder-Woman of China. That’s a concept that could get goofy quick, but writer Gene Luen Yang has fun with it. Kong continues to be more super obnoxious than superhero. His maturation process may prove more challenging than any villain.
The issue’s conclusion plays out exactly like it should for a teen more concerned with fame than heroics. Yang is really capturing the feel of a fame-craving hero in the making. Artist Viktor Bogdanovic’s art is lively and fun complimented by Hi-Fi’s vibrant color arrangement.
Super-Man doesn’t do a lot this issue besides getting humbled by his teammates. This probably won’t be a title with a lot of major developments, but either way New Super-Man is proving to be a very entertaining new entry to DC’s ranks.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Suicide Squad’s Most Wanted:
El Diablo and Boomerang #1
Whether the movie keeps tearing up the box office is in question, DC is keeping the Suicide Squad momentum rolling. El Diablo and Captain Boomerang don’t necessarily seem like the most obvious candidates for a solo stories, but work well in an anthology structure.
Jai Nitz crafts Diablo’s story, which finds the fire manipulator on the outs with Amanda Waller. Returning home, Diablo finds the old neighborhood under control of a new meta-human. Diablo gets some help from an unlikely source that wants him to join Checkmate. But if he thinks he’ll get over on Waller, it’s Diablo the one who’ll get burned.
Cliff Richards’ art is very clean. His style is reminiscent of Sean Chen. There’s a strong composition to the layout and the character faces are nicely rendered. This was a decent introduction to Diablo’s world and serves its purpose of fleshing out one of the movie’s background characters.
Writer Michael Moreci and artist Oscar Bazaldua handle the Boomerang chapter. As obnoxious and cowardly as ever, Boomerang gets left behind on a Squad mission. Forced to rely on his own wits, Boomerang finds his survival jeopardized even more by some meta-humans seeking payback on the Squad.
Boomerang is one of those love to hate kind of characters. Moreci knows exactly what buttons to push to make Boomerang despicably entertaining.
Bazaldua’s art isn’t as impressive as Richards, but it’s more than serviceable. Bazaldua has a knack for strong facial expressions, which is certainly an asset when focusing on a character like Boomerang.
For a quickie loose movie-tie in, Suicide Squad’s Most Wanted was a surprisingly enjoyable read. With an easily accessible format and flexibility to focus on various members, this could be a title worth adding to your pull list.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Image Credit: DC Comics