Drew: Endings are hard. Part of it is simply that people tend to struggle with goodbyes — we hate to let a good thing go — and part of it is that they’re inherently unnatural. Short of every character dying, there’s always more story that could be told (not to be confused with the story that should be told). Attempting to “end” a run in a serialized setting is doubly tricky, as a creator’s desire to wrap things up neatly is at odds with the fact that the story isn’t actually ending. Technically, Flash 24 isn’t Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato’s final issue on the series (their “last” issue is 25, and Buccellato is actually coming back for three more with Rogues Rebellion artist Patrick Zircher), but it features such a clean, unlabored assertion of their thesis, concluding their run while pointing the way forward for the series, it works beautifully as a farewell. Continue reading
Shelby: It’s finally here: the reveal of the identity of Reverse Flash. Cruel, murderous, and the opposite of Barry Allen in every way, the Reverse Flash has been dogging this title for a few months now, killing Barry’s friends and honing in on our favorite speedster. Despite the fact we have been speculating and eagerly awaiting this moment, at the end of the book I found myself with more questions than answers.
Drew: Since the reboot, The Flash (the title) has had an interesting relationship with its own history. In returning to Barry before any crises, before any sidekicks, heck, before any marriages, we get a sense that we know his future — even if it isn’t written in stone that this story will play out like the one we know. Writers Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato have addressed this relationship to history in the very pages of the title in question, rediscovering, challenging, and subverting elements from Barry’s own past. This month, they address the notion of destiny quite directly, offering an ingenious solution that frees them up creatively, while still honoring the memories of long-time readers.
Drew: Last month, Patrick voiced some concerns about objectively judging this title. Maybe we want to like it too much to say whether we actually do. After putting this issue down a little disappointed, but deciding that it was brilliant before starting this write-up, one could conclude I’ve already crossed the line of objectivity. However, I’d like to make the case for why this seemingly eventless and exposition-heavy issue actually carries the torch of thematic unity that has made this title so fantastic.
Drew: When we wrote about the Flash 6 last month, we couldn’t get over the thematic richness of that issue as it explored concepts of cause and effect through time and space. One of the reasons that issue is so satisfying is because it speaks to our own experience of events — we can arrange them chronologically, but they often have connections to distant moments in time. This is the Flash as the mortals around him (or, perhaps more importantly, comics fans) experience him; sometimes out-of-order chronologically, but never emotionally. With the Flash 7, Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato set out to do something much more ambitious, as they put the burden of cause on our hero without any real understanding of the effect. Continue reading