Writers: Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
Artist: Francis Manapul
Colorist: Brian Buccellato
Published by: DC Comics
The action ramps up as the battle between Flash and Reverse Flash takes center stage of this month’s issue. As the fight takes the boys all across Central City, we also see a quiet moment shared between Patty and Iris who, at the time, don’t realize the stakes of the battle affect them both.
The art in this issue really has to take top billing. A total of seven huge spreads, each with a unique type of layout that is rarely repeated. And each page has it’s own flow, so it’s not always strictly left-to-right, top-to-bottom. But even without the standard style, all of it makes perfect sense, and in an understandably chaotic way. And I loved the various uses of lightning bolts. It was just very, very cool. I just love how Manapul can’t be kept to one page. And I’m glad about that!
A favorite thing of Buccellato’s colors is that they’re all very light and blend easily, but throughout this issue, as the situation got more dire and serious, the colors darkened and matched the mood of the story, like after Iris was shot with Dr. Elias’s gun. The use of shadows on the panel of Flash holding Iris was absolutely stellar in its depiction of grief and anger. And I found myself constantly staring at Reverse Flash’s yellow eyes in the close-ups. Such attention to detail really is what makes this book fly.
As for the story, I will say that I more or less called who the Reverse Flash was months ago, but that didn’t make the reveal any less awesome. And I really liked the bits with Patty, and how it slowed the tempo of the story just enough so it didn’t feel too rushed. The ending, however, really caught me off guard, and I find myself lamenting that I have to wait two months to find out what the heck the Reverse Flash did to Barry. At the same time, I’m glad that this issue finally gave the Reverse Flash a voice and peaked curiosity into his character, so that I can’t wait for the Villain’s Month issue about him.
There’s only one issue left of this arc, and I can’t even begin to fathom what happens next. Are any of those affected by the Speed Force safe?
5 out of 5 nerds