Sunday, August 24, 2014

Review: The Flash, Vol. 4: Reverse (The Flash Vol. IV #4) by Francis Manapul, Brian Buccellato

Release Date: August 19, 2014
Publisher: DC Comics
Source: NetGalley
Author Links: Goodreads | Twitter | Website

The fourth volume of Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul's New 52 breakout hit - The Flash!
A mysterious and powerful Speed-Force killer has left a trail of bodies in his wake and only Barry has the power to stop him. But when the killer stays one step ahead of him, Barry finds himself face to face with the Teen Titans and Kid Flash for the first time. All this will lead to a confrontation with the Flash's most deadly foe, The Reverse Flash!

Collects THE FLASH #20-25, and #23.3: REVERSE FLASH.

Flash continues to trot along in the Land of Meh.
It has an interesting enough storyline to keep me coming back (when it's convenient), but not enough to get me overly excited for the next installment.

In this volume, we finally get to meet REVERSE FLASH, who is undeniably one of the biggest villains in the Flashverse.
Flashverse...God, I'm so clever!
First things first, we've got ourselves a new Reverse Flash! Exciting, no?
He's Iris' brother, Daniel, and his backstory is a bit...shaky. To say the least.
Remember back when Flash's entire Rogue's gallery decided to team up and wreak destruction a few volumes back?
No, probably not, since it's just me and three other people reading this title...
Ok. So, for everyone who's not been keeping up...they did. Apparently, sometime during their team-up, Daniel (and a lot of other people) got sucked into the mirror world. The Rogues robbed them.
Yep. They even had the prerequisite giant burlap bag to hold their ill-gotten gains.
But Daniel (fresh from prison) wasn't going down without a fight! He drove a truck into some big important-looking glowing thing inside mirror world.
Or at least that's what I think happened.
Something blew up, he survived, ended up in the desert, and had half a monorail fused to his skin.
Go with it...
Ta-da! New Reverse Flash!
Also, like most DC villains, he was a petty criminal before becoming a SUPERVILLAIN, so he's got street cred...

Alrighty, lots of stuff happens in this one, but the main plot line centers around someone killing off everyone connected to the Speed Force. And it's up to Flash to track 'em down, because...
Well, it's his freakin' title that's why!

Reverse plunked along at nice pace, and kept me flipping the (digital) pages, so I don't want this review to sound like I thought it was a big steaming pile of poo. It's not.
I probably would have rated it higher if the some of the characters had seemed more believable, though.
First up, the Around the World in 80 Seconds scene with Kid Flash.
There's an issue with Bart Allen that turned into nothing more than a ridiculous chase scene. It added little to nothing to the overall story, and I'm assuming it was put in there because they've both got Road Runner powers. Anyway, Barry wanted to ask him a few questions about the murders, and the Kid ran.
Why did he run from Flash, you ask?
'Cause he's a belligerent teenager, of course!
Sure. Why not?
Iris' treatment of her brother was another thing that made me make a frowny-face.
Quick backstory time:
Iris and Daniel had an asshole for a father. He was an abusive drunk. When Daniel was 11(ish) his dad hit him, and he gave the old man a shove. The bastard fell down the steps, Daniel ran off, and his dad couldn't walk anymore.------>Fast Forward Several Years
Daniel is out of jail (failed robbery attempt stopped by Flash), and wants to reconnect with Iris (the only person he loves), but she blows him off because he refuses to forgive their father. This is just before he gets his Reverse Flash powers.
Seriously?! Why the hell is she so pissed at Daniel? He took the brunt of the abuse for years, snapped, and ran off to live on the streets. And she wants him to forgive their nasty-ass father before she'll let him back into her life?
I could understand if she told him she had forgiven their father, and someday hoped (for his sake) that he could do the same. But to just cut him out unless he made nice with his abuser?
Me no understand.
Other than the above mentioned weirdness (and the fact that I want Patty outta the picture), this was a readable story with nice artwork.

Recommended for fans of Flash only.


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