While Flash and Green Lantern Hal Jordan fight the villain Multiplex, the Reverse Flash fight Kid Flash and kidnaps Iris West and takes her to the 25th century, challenging Flash to make history repeat itself.
Last issue I felt that reviving the Reverse Flash so quickly was diminishing the impact of the Button storyline that ran in Flash and Batman. What writer Joshua Williamson says to readers in his story this week is that the opportunity was just too good to pass and that’s why the Reverse Flash did not stay dead. And to justify his decision, he hints that various reboots and crises that have affected the Flash and his pals in the DC Universe. It all happened and just like the Psycho Pirate, the Reverse Flash remembers all.
The Reverse Flash once killed Iris West who by the way was born in the 25th century and her mind was rescued at the last minute and placed into a new body before returning to the present. Of course, the current Iris West remembers none of this and so much has changed, like the new Wally West who did not exist in the past.
Williamson uses strong parallel editing to foreshadow the fight that will pit Barry Allen against the Reverse Flash all the way to the colour of fear – yellow. It is effective if not subtle. It’s a big choreography and on the surface it works. It’s a treat for old fans and enough to keep new ones interested. But there could have been a better way, I feel.
Over in Batman, the effects of the Button on Batman have moved him in subtle ways. It is very cerebral. There is a lot of thinking here too but it does not feel cerebral and surprising. It feels staged like a Marivaux play. Everything leads to this one moment and nothing will get in the way. It’s a form of excitement but one can already guess where this story is going. And if the Reverse Flash does not die this time or disappear in the time stream to be revived in a few years, this storyline will have been in vain.
Carmine di Giandomenico and Pop Mhan’s show a lot of the pencils (whether they are actual pencils or digital) used for the page. Often Giandomenico reuses elements but does not adjust the width of the lines in close shots. Here instead, we see the thickness of the lines that he uses and the analog quality that they have. Not many comic book artists these days are willing to play with the lines of their figures the way Giandomenico does. It adds a lot of energy to his work.