THE FLASH #23 [Review]

The Flash #23 Cover
THE FLASH #23/ Written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON/ Art by CARMINE DI GIANDOMENICO/ Colors by IVAN PLASCENCIA/ Letters by STEVE WANDS/ Published by DC COMICS

After a harrowing few weeks, Barry Allen is feeling run ragged.

Recently, Barry took his sidekick Wally West (a.k.a. Kid Flash) on a trip to try and ease the young teen’s troubled mind. He revealed his secret identity to Wally, only to spark the teen’s ire when Wally discovered Barry was keeping his identity a secret from Iris West – Wally’s favorite aunt and Barry’s girlfriend!

More recently, Barry joined Batman on a case that took them across the length of space and time, chasing after Eobard Thawne – the first Reverse Flash. The case ended with Thawne dead and Barry more disturbed than ever, having been saved from oblivion by another speedster who seemed to know him but whom Barry could not remember at all!

Small wonder then that Barry is so stressed that he completely forgot about his upcoming birthday. Even the surprise arrival of his space-traveling best buddy Hal Jordan can’t shake Barry out of the doldrums or rid Barry of the feeling that the other shoe is about to drop. Barry is far from paranoid, however, and a shock far worse than the surprise party Iris organized for him lies ahead for The Fastest Man Alive!

For those who have yet to give the comic book adventures of Barry Allen a try, The Flash #23 proves a perfect entry point. Joshua Williamson’s script smoothly provides the necessary exposition regarding the most recent plot points, for those Bat-fans continuing to read on in the wake of The Button or fans of the television series looking for a fix until Season 4 starts.

The series’ regular artist Carmine Di Giandomenico returns with this issue. Di Giandoemnico generally does a good job bringing the script to life visually, though the static scenes of people talking seem oddly posed compared to the fantastic action sequences. Ivan Plascencia does an amazing job on the colors throughout, however, with a rich variety of palettes in play.

I dare not spoil the plot or the ending of this issue. Suffice it to say, if the rest of The Color of Fear matches The Flash #23 in quality, this may be one of the best Flash comics ever.

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