BookHound
Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer

FLASH #4 by Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul


I know we’re getting close to finishing up the current arc of the Flash, but I’m really ready for this one to be over. Over the last issue and one half we’ve been treated to one long chase scene. The action has been pretty good, and the art has been great, but I was really disappointed by this issue because we haven’t really advanced anything. I’m another month in limbo. I know that when the six issues are gathered into a graphic novel, they will read incredibly fast. And I’m looking forward to sitting down and reading them all again when that happens. The story is that good. The waiting, not so much.

In real time, Flash #4 probably takes about five minutes flat. It’s one long fight scene with special effects that are pretty cool. The artist, Francis Manapul, is really serving up the scenery in this one, and the panel where the Flash zips across the whirling helicopter rotors before they can cycle is pretty cool. In one of the earlier issues, he actually jumped about that far, though, so I know it looked good, but I had to wonder why.

The plot has really gone as far as it can go with the Future Rogues. They’ve been chasing Barry since issue one, and in this issue the final twist seems to have been played. Barry is supposed to kill Mirror Monarch, a futuristic do-gooder that is somehow connected to one of his arch-foes, Mirror Master. Of course, since they can travel to the past, the Future Rogues are here to arrest Flash before he can do that.

There is a twist, and it involves Iris, which isn’t terribly surprising. I’m still waiting to see how that plays out.

The subplot involving the cold case Barry has been investigating as a police scientist is barely touched on in this issue. But just enough to remind you that it is there. But now I’m beginning to wonder if it is going to be resolved in this arc or merely continued on into the next one. I hope not because then it feels like that story has just been filler in this run.

I enjoyed the way the Top chose to break ranks and talk to Barry. But I have to admit that I knew someone would, and my money was on the Top. I still have trouble with time travel stories. The conundrums that come up during the tangle of a plot can be frustrating. And they can also feel like they play out cheaply. I’m interested in seeing how Geoff Johns finishes this arc off, hopefully in next issue, but I don’t think I’m going to be too surprised.

Central City looks more yellow than ever in this issue. I know it’s because they’re using a yellow wash on all the panels to lighten everything up, but it’s beginning to look a lot like CSI: Miami. Maybe that’s intentional.

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