Flash # 223 Review

Reviewer: Tim Stevens
Story Title: Rogue War Chapter 4

Written by: Geoff Johns
Penciled by: Howard Porter
Inked by: Livesay
Colored by: James Sinclair
Lettered by: Pat Brosseau
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Publisher: DC Comics

There’s just something about a good ol’ super powered melee. Even though I’ve been reviewing comics for about 2 years now, I can still enjoy an explosive throwdown where the odds are against our hero and everything seems lost.

This is such a melee and this is better than most.

Looking at this storyline, it is easy to see where it could get away from the creative team. There is a cast of thousands (or dozens…or a dozen), shifting allegiances, and more than a few subplots begging to be resolved. And we know that if the team doesn’t do it now, they won’t get a chance, as Johns is departing at the end of this arc. So, there is a lot of ways to lose control here.

Yet, by in large, they don’t. The transition from the focus being on the titular rogue war to it being the Flash/Zoom show is a bit sudden. I don’t doubt that it will still be gotten back to, but, for now, it seems swept away entirely too easily.

However, what precedes that moment and the surprise it is swept away for is quite strong. Poor Zoom’s (Hunter Zolomon) mind is clearly shattered, but there continues to be a sort of skewed internal logic to his reasoning that is very compelling. Captain Cold is excellent as always and his speech about when to spill blood is (pardon the pun) a chilling piece of work. And that ending…I never saw it coming.

Porter seems to be a having a lot of fun with the art this time out. Occasionally, there can be a bit of stiffness that creeps into his work, but this issue is very fluid. In particular, his works seems to come alive when illustrating Zoom.