It seems that as soon as the Gorilla Grodd arc ended, Francis Manapul has been able to make The Flash better than it’s ever been since the start of The New 52. The introduction of Reverse Flash has pushed the story forwards a lot, and, in a similar manner to what Kyle Higgins has done with Nightwing, Manapul has been able to capture the character of The Flash. He’s still carefree, and that comes across in his inner monologue, which is witty and fun to read. Yet, at the same time, The Flash is very much a detective. I hesitate to compare him to Batman, because he’s not nearly as grim, but the detective in him is starting to come out.
Also, Marissa’s death hit me hard. I’ve come to like all of those characters, and now two of the four are off the table. Convinced that it was done by Gomez, Flash goes after him in a great action scene that sees him first vibrate through a train and then stop one by creating a wind tunnel. It’s a really awesome scene, on the whole. In fact, if it weren’t for the extremely grim backdrop, this comic would actually feel like it had a light tone. I mean, it sort of has that now, and it’s good to see that coming from a DC book. Also, Barry Allen and Patty’s dynamic is developed more in this issue than it has throughout this entire run, and that’s great to see. Especially since Barry is starting to move on and change, so now, he’s become a much more intriguing character and his interactions with people in general are better.
I think that this may be the best issue of The Flash to date. Manapul has been able to bounce back from the frankly atrocious Grodd arc, and bring a new cast to the forefront. All of whom have been developed like crazy, and all of them are great, strong characters. The central conflict, revolving around Reverse Flash, is awesome. I also think that it’s great that Flash thinks it’s Kid Flash. It’ll be good to see them finally meet in The New 52, and see how that ends up playing out.