The Flash #55
Written by, Joshua Williamson
Art by, Scot Kolins
Colors by, Luis Guerrero
Letters by, Steve Wands
The issue begins, The Flash joins Wonder Woman and the members of Justice League Dark to take down Solomon Grundy. But what brought him and what possessed him to come to Central City? Barry Allen doesn’t have time to investigate as he’s late for a dinner date with Iris and the members of his cohorts at a local bar. Meanwhile, back at Iron Heights, Heatwave burns too hot and explodes. While Barry figures out that a connection to The Sage Force is the cause, he struggles to comprehend how it will impact Central City.
I have loved everything that Joshua Williamson has done in The Flash book to date. However, this story feels convoluted and disjointed due to the number of topics the writer maintains from previous story lines and the ones he’s adding connected to what’s happening in the Justice League books. For example, Barry’s need to be a team player and work with Commander Cold, Warden Wolfe allowing criminals to infect Iron Heights, the loss of Wallace to the Teen Titans, Wally West going to The Sanctuary, and the presence of The Strength force (Issue #54) and now The Sage Force.
To make things worse, the dialogue is flat, forced, and unoriginal in parts of the book. For example, Barry’s CPD cohort asks if he knows the bartender, Commander Cold, to which Barry responds, “No, I think he was the suspect in a case about someone stealing dirty underwear.” A dirty joke that left me feeling chaffed. However, I will say that I’m glad that Williamson continues to do something with Kristen, Barry’s partner in the CPD, and that Warden Wolfe is not off the hook for his criminal behavior.
Overall = 7
The art in this issue does not make up for the number of incomplete story lines and overall cluttered feeling that this book provided. While I normally love the emotional and relational themes that Williamson includes – not even Iris’ central involvement in this story could make up for the poor storytelling. Having said this, I’d recommend this book because it’s the first appearance of The Sage Force, which stands to be a central part of this story arc.