Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Colors: Ivan Plascencia
Letterer: Steve Wands
I didn’t realize how much I missed reading the Flash. I first read the adventures of the Scarlet Speedster in the twilight of Barry Allen’s first run as the Flash during the Trial of the Flash and straight into Crisis. I then picked up the book religiously during the Mark Waid run on and it was always at the top of my pile of comics every week that it came out. I enjoyed what Geoff Johns did with the character but once he left my enjoyment for the title diminished. No one really seemed to understand what made the Flash such a great hero. When DC launched Rebirth I decided it was time to jump back on and give the Flash another go and I am happy that I did as Joshua Williamson is writing and excellent Flash comic.
But as I’ve dipped my toe back into Central City there has been one notable absence, the Rogues. We saw glimpses of them but for the majority of the first thirteen issues of the Flash we’ve dealt with new villains like Godspeed or classic antagonists like the Shade but we’ve seen very little of the Flash’s famed Rogues Gallery. But that comes to an end with the Flash #14, which kicks of the Rogues Reloaded storyline and if the rest of the story is anything like this issue we are in for a hell of a ride.
The Flash #14 was very close to a perfect issue, which I thought would be hard to do after the stellar issue #13 but Williamson and Carmine Di Giandomenico knock it out of the ballpark. Our tale begins with a brief history of the Flash and his Rogues, I assume partially to inform new readers but also as a walk down memory lane for long time readers like myself. The mystery of the Rogues disappearance is the constant of this book, not just for the Flash but for Central City as a whole as there is a vacuum with their absence and for some it offers an opportunity to make a name for themselves while others feel a dread for their eventual return. There’s a mystery here and it isn’t the Flash who needs to investigate but Barry Allen. Barry is often portrayed as a scientist and it’s easy to gloss over the fact that at his core as a CSI Barry is a detective but in this issue he is excellent at piecing information together but is that a benefit or will it be used against him? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
The Flash #14 was a treat to read. We get some wonderful Flash scenes, which are so beautiful. Carmine Di Giandomenico is such a brilliant choice for this title. His art is hyper-kinetic and his Flash not only seems to be in constant movement but the electricity is just seeping out of him, just what I would expect from the Fastest Man Alive. Ivan Plascencia’s colors leap off the pages. They are so deep and rich, lending themselves perfectly to the artwork. Yet this issue also spends a lot of it’s time on Barry as he delves into the past of the Rogue’s and the ramifications of their life choices. In lesser hands this type of story would be a jumbled mess but with this team that is not a concern. It’s an absolute joy to read such a well-crafted issue.
Verdict: If you are a fan of wonderful storytelling, excellent artwork, and a classic hero then this is a must Buy for you. The Flash has proven to be a standout of the DC Rebirth and once again is creeping back to the top of my read pile.