Review & Spoilers: Flash #34 by Robert Venditti & Van Jensen, Brett Booth & Norm Rapmund

Flash #34 A Flash #34 B

FLASH #34 Review & Spoilers

“Collision Course” (20 pages)

Story by: Robert Venditti & Van Jensen
Art by: Brett Booth & Norm Rapmund
Colors by: Andrew Dalhouse
Letters by: Dezi Sienty
Covers by: Booth, Rapmund & Dalhouse; Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira & Hi-Fi
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

The new creative team’s first arc comes to completion. Barry quickly solves (pun intended!) the ‘Mashup Killer’ case having deduced the identity of said villain last issue. Given the nature of this book, things really move at a fast pace. When Barry races on to the scene in his Flash guise, Detective Seborn, the culprit, doesn’t even deny the allegations. He grabs his partner Det. Parker at gunpoint.

The obligatory fight ensues. Seborn has quite the arsenal at his disposal such as a teleporter, a high-powered hydro-gun, an electric whip, and a nail gun. Given the recent difficulties in controlling the Speed Force, the Crimson Comet struggles to take down an ordinary, common criminal. Seborn explains his motives and lays down what happened during FOREVER EVIL while Flash and his cohorts were believed to be dead. Like most other bad guys, Seborn is in denial of his dastardly deeds and convinces himself that’s he not like other lawbreakers and in fact is above them. Talk about delusional and deranged!! Seborn has pretty much made quick work of Flasheroo and has now stepped up his game by preparing for the killing stroke when he’s taken down by his very own partner Parker.

One little tidbit that widened my eyes: Director Singh wants a sample of Flash’s blood that was left on the ground. This would put Patty Spivot, the Scarlet Speedster’s main squeeze in a very tight spot. Luckily, she’ll switch the sample with another. Patty and Barry have a little pow-wow. Good on her for confronting him yet again about his negligence of her. For the Fastest Man Alive, he sure can’t seem to find time for the most stable element in his life. Barry finally opens up to Patty about the problems with the Speed Force. The two hug it out. It’s a good thing not all relationships in comics are doomed to fail, or are they?

The next sequence is by far the most intriguing. In an attempt at an ‘intervention’, Barry arranges for Wally to see his uncle Daniel a.k.a. Reverse-Flash at the infamous Iron Heights Penitentiary. This threw me for a loop. SPOILER!! I actually bought Daniel’s spiel while he was conversing with Wally. Cut to the next page and I see Barry painted in a not so-innocent light. It took some bribing (literally) to have Daniel deliver that ‘scared straight speech’. Two things stood out for me: Firstly, I love Daniel’s line of “He’s a West. We don’t change. We get even.” It’s very à la Lannister from Game of Thrones. Secondly, foreshadowing and foreboding!! Daniel states that it’s only a matter of time before he breaks out.

Moving the pieces right along, Seborn is put in a cell with the villains he stole from led by none other than Daniel West!! Looks like this is just the beginning for the ‘Mashup Gang’ or the ‘Flash Revenge Squad’. That last one is my idea!! Called it! Copyrighted!

I have to say that this Future Flash subplot is not making my gears spin. I appreciate a good mystery like anyone else but there are too many inconsistencies with the timelines and that particular Flash’s actions. I understand that it’s deliberate. Every time he races ahead, he is repairing the timeline to undo worldwide catastrophes, tragic deaths, etc. I also understand that since it involves time travel, the chronology is off. It’s an obvious set-up for next month’s Future’s End tie-in. Nevertheless, this reminds me of Mark Waid’s run on FLASH vol. 2 when pre-New 52 Wally was under the mask. The Future Flash from that story ended up being Walter West. No real unknown variable there. It would’ve been a lot more intriguing to introduce a NEW Flash from the future that Barry would have to face in the present day. Why bother calling it the New 52 if the term doesn’t live up to its name?

At any rate, I digress. The last three pages intentionally set up next month’s issue as it’s “five years from now“. Wally is still a teen and Daniel has made good on his promise of tearing up the town hell-bent on getting his revenge. That last page full spread has me tingling with excitement!! One can say that Future Flash is on a suicide run.

All in all, this mini-saga comes to a satisfactory conclusion. I’m now going to contradict myself here and go back on word by stating that I commend Mssrs. Venditti and Jensen for creating a new villain in Mashup as well as the others previously shown. They’re still getting their feet on the ground and are effectively advancing Wally’s introduction into Barry’s life. Brett Booth’s designs are visually appealing to me and his frequent collaborator Norm Rapmund is an old pro at the inks. Brett has become one of my fave new artists from the last half-decade. Norm is a true veteran and his work never lacks for anything. Andrew Dalhouse has no problem at filling in the multitude of colours on every page. I noticed in the credits that Dezi Sienty is the letterer here as well as the issue of BATMAN ETERNAL that I reviewed (#20). His work stands out in the sound FX and the title itself. The word “collision” never looked so cool!!

A new Rogues Gallery in the works?

• Lasher, Skipper [mentioned but not introduced]

• Merge, Mogul, Squall [previously introduced]

• Daniel West [the new leader of the pack?]

 

Onomatopoeia:

• page 3: HHWWRRROOOHHHRRRR, GHAA
• page 4: SPPLLOOSSSHHH
• page 5: SSHHHRRREEEESSSH
• page 6: ZZRRRRAACCKK
• page 7: POOM
• page 8: SSSSSAAAGH!, VVRRRRKKKTCCCCKKKKKKKK, ZZKRRAAALLL, ZZZZ
• page 9: ZZZKKRRAACKK, EEYAARRNNHH!,
• page 10: BLAMM, CLUD [best one!]
• page 18: ZZZAKKLLL, UUHNN, REETTCH [burping sound. Ha ha!], SHOOOM
• page 19: ULLK

Bonus points!! I made three other puns here. Spot them!

I set this issue to 2014 [2+0+1+4 = 7] on the Cosmic Treadmill.

Cosmic Treadmill Flash

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