In part four of Geoff Johns’ “The Dastardly Death of the Rogues” storyline, The Flash continues to defend himself from not only The Rogues but a team of temporal officers from the 25th century as well.
The Renegades have come back in time to arrest The Flash for a crime they say he commits in the future, but at least one of their members seems to be siding with our hero and trying to help him out of the chaotic mess he’s landed in. With both teams fighting against each other and himself, The Flash desperately tries to fight everyone off while solving the murder he’s had pinned on him. Things become even more desperate when he finds out that these events have now put his wife Iris in danger.
With wonderful artwork by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato, this series is a perfect looking superhero book. The combination of classic and modern are brought to the page with so much fun by Manapul that I’d be hard pressed to try to name anyone else that I could envision drawing this book right now.
That’s pretty much what Geoff Johns has accomplished with his story too; a classic character brought back into today’s setting, while literally fighting people from his past and future. The Flash is all about the mixture of classic and modern and (at this point) may well be the heart of the DC Universe.
Though it’s not perfect, it never has to be to do it’s job. This is well told, well drawn and it’s fun for fans of superhero books while also remaining smart. Johns’ story isn’t simplified or dumbed-down by any means, but it’s not so convoluted (as anything to do with people from the future tend to become in comic books) that it makes the reader have to stop and wonder if they’ve missed something.
This is a return to “saving the day” adventure and of letting the hero be a hero. I know that I’m glad to see the return of such things and I think that Johns and Manapul are doing a great job of it. The Flash has quickly filled a void that a lot of us didn’t necessarily know was there, and now things just feel a little better because of it. With this being the first story arc of the series, I see every indication of things just getting better as time goes on with this book.
I’m going to go ahead and grade this issue as a B and recommend to anyone who hasn’t given this book a try that you at least check it out for a few. I’m well aware of the anti-Barry Allen Flash sentiment out there as well as the “this is just the Silver Age” blanket statements. I think that both of those outlooks are lazy, untrue and useless things to use as criticisms. This book doesn’t feel like anything other than a superhero book to me; good guys, bad guys, powers, gimmicks and a large amount of heroism at the forefront.