The Flash #11
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Scott Kolins
And again with the never ending Road to Flashpoint, the book keeps coming out, and the build keeps…doing nothing to sell the event. Seriously, for as great as a job as Johns generally does building to an event, this book is actually killing the hype for the event. It’s slow paced, poorly characterized, and the big happenings come from nowhere, and not in the shocker way. I’ve never said that Johns can do no wrong, and books like this are why.
The book opens continuing to push Patty, Barry’s friend that as I mentioned in my last review for this book, hasn’t been on panel since before I was born. Now I know that she’s good with kids…still don’t care. I also know that Johns is pushing her as into Barry, but….still don’t care. She isn’t dynamic, she doen’t stand out or feel like she has a real purpose in the book. She’s supporting cost fodder in a book that has a criminally underused supporting cast, one that also appears this issue. That’s right, Iris, Jay, Bart, and Wally (making his first appearance in God knows how long) all appear. Then, all of them but Bart, get down on their knees and **** him. Not literally, of course, but it felt awesome seeing Wally for the first time in what feels like a year and all he does is gush about how much he loves Barry. Not.
Having other characters get down and kiss his ass doesn’t make him seem important, it makes him seem forced. Jay and Wally saying how amazing and perfect and better than everyone Barry is just makes me hate him more. Why? Because Mark Waid spent years doing it with subtlety and class. It’s one thing to put over the fallen hero, it’s another to hold an INTERVENTION to tell someone how great they are. Thankfully Bart isn’t drinking the koolaid and is able to play the angry youth, the angry youth that is mad that his grandpa has been blowing him off. Despite that I don’t think of Bart as an angry youth, his reaction is pretty much what I was expecting. He’s spent his whole life being told how amazing Barry was, and now Barry can spend time with him and….Barry has zero interest in spending time with him. Bart is rightfully peeved.
Unfortunately this leads to more bad characterization, as Hot Pursuit shows up as a generic villain looking to get rid of Bart for being an anomaly. I say generic because last issue actually gave the alternate Barry some depth, and this issue treats him with a single purpose in his mind and not a hint of being rationale. He’s a generic bad guy, and it’s becoming obvious that he’s going to be Bart’s bad guy in Flashpoint. Unfortunately, getting from A to B is making me care less and less, and I think Kid Flash may actually be better off lost than stuck in this mess.
It’s hard to hate on Scott Kolins art, but his new style isn’t growing on me. I get that he has to make the book look unique compared to his original tenure, but I’m not sure if it was the inking, or the colorist, or maybe Kolins overhauling his style, but I just liked it more. The book looks nice when it’s moving, and the costume scenes work well, but the non-super stuff just doesn’t feel right. Maybe it’s because I’m used to Francis Manapul and how much detail and focus goes into those crime lab scenes, but it just doesn’t look right under Kolins.
There is….not a whole lot to like with this issue, I’m sorry to say. Poor characterization almost across the board, spoonfed characters that lack relevancy, and a big hyped up character in Hot Pursuit that doen’t seem to have any sort of direction. The intervention fails for me on just about every level, and if Patty were to die next issue I would probably cheer. I’ve yet to understand or care why Barry is back, and if anything, I understand any characters in the book being mad. They had to back out of the spotlight for this. Honestly, the best part of this book is the last page, which also happens to be one of the two overt Flashpoint leads this issue, and it’s just a character making a last page cliffhanger.
Tags: Flashpoint (DC Comics), Geoff Johns, Reviews, Scott Kolins, The Flash