The Flash #26
Reverse Flash’s plans to break Barry Allen body and spirit finally appear to come to fruition in a surprise filled issue.
Thawne shows Barry and Iris the future they’re destined to have together, but it’s a warped vision with Barry’s greatest rivals being his own creation.
Originally I was concerned with writer Joshua Williamson going right back to Reverse Flash following his major role in The Button. Batman writers tend to avoid having essentially back to back Joker stories, but in this context it works. No other Rogue hates The Flash as much and this arc need a villain that wouldn’t just be satisfied with breaking Flash, but destroying him as well. So far, it’s delivered one of the better arcs of The Flash Rebirth era.
Williamson also addresses last issue’s cliffhanger where Thawne ‘introduces’ Iris to The Flash, her boyfriend Barry Allen. Thankfully, Williamson doesn’t go the boring cliché route, which bodes well for the Barry/Iris subplot in future issues. Iris is better suited in the supportive significant other category like Lois Lane. With the TV show dynamic featuring a fully clued-in Iris, Williamson really wasn’t going to get much mileage out of the secret identity affecting a relationship anyway.
But first, Barry’s going to have to survive Thawne’s latest time trap, which he willingly entered? This was the issue’s one misstep, which seemed more like a means to an end for Williamson to set up the next cliffhanger.
Howard Porter steps in as artist this issue. Porter has been making a mini comeback on major DC titles with his previous work on The Button and he seems re-energized tackling The Flash again. There’s a real spark to his pages and the kind of electric energy that’s vital in illustrating The Flash in action. Hi-Fi’s colors are dazzling with some creative combinations of red, yellow and orange.
With this issue’s cliffhanger, Williamson continues to find new ways to keep readers guessing. I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out in two weeks.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10