Story: Gail Simone
Art: Clayton Henry
Colors: Marcelo Maiolo
Letterer: Rob Leigh
What They Say:
It’s a race through all of time as the Flash tries to get the upper hand against Eobard Thawne, the Reverse-Flash! Thawne is faster and more ruthless than Barry, but if Barry can stay just a step ahead of him, maybe the Flash can stop his terrible reign. Will time be on the Scarlet Speedster’s side?!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With a couple of issues now working the story of the Reverse-Flash, it comes full circle in a pretty good way here with Gail Simone taking us to the familiar destination. It’s been interesting watching stories involving the Reverse-Flash since the character has been used so much in the TV show that they’re now such a critical piece in the mythos that wasn’t always quite so. This issue continues with Clayton Henry on the artwork and his work comes across really well thanks to Marcel Maiolo’s color design. The only area that continues to bother me is the lettering since it’s done in the red and yellow for Barry’s narration and on a desktop it’s not the best thing in the world. Thankfully, Guided View helps with that but I wish there was a better way to handle it while still being stylistic.
With Barry going back in time to escape Thawne’s time in the future, he’s now dealing with not having his abilities at his fingertips for a few moments, assuming it’s related to the chronal device that Switch gave him. The problem is that he’s in the middle of a stampede of buffalo and that’s not exactly the easiest thing to manage. What becomes fun is that he’s been dumped back in 1867 and is interacting with Jonah Hex, who thinks he’s just a weird circus guy. The interactions are coming and fun – Barry can make friends with anyone – but Thawne’s arrival sets things into a bad place as he’s ready to threaten and berate Barry, making it clear how he intends to kill Iris and destroy his life. At least Barry got him to realize he has to avoid causing trouble this far back in time as it could wipe out Barry from existence.
Where this becomes really fun is when the two do hit the speed force and get running as Barry has to keep a step ahead of him. This has them fighting across time, going through different periods and locations, which is executed really nicely through the visual design. There are a few tricks up Barry’s sleeve to give him an advantage when the time comes because eventually it’s all going to come around to Iris again as that is, currently, his greatest weakness when it comes to Thawne. And the more he learns of Thawne and his past, and how twisted he’s become by knowing as much as he does about Barry, the more intent he is to protect Iris. There’s an amusing twist, not quite a gimmick, that allows him to win against Thawne but it taps into one of my favorite things and brings the story to a close in a good enough way that I can’t complain too much.
It’s been fascinating the past decade to watch how popular the Flash has become and how familiar certain elements of its mythos are. Simone works with some of the key pieces here and while I may be tired of Thawne at this point it’s a good piece to bring into play for the material that appears in the DC Giants. It connects and clicks and provides the comics view of it with a lot of style and aplomb. Clayton Henry’s artwork continues to delight with how dynamic he makes everything and all the action really hits a sweet spot here. There’s a lot to love with the look and flow of the book and I’m curious to see where it goes next.
Age Rating: 12+
Released By: DC Comics via ComiXology and Kindle
Release Date: May 22nd, 2020