Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Flash #29 - A Review

Still struggling with a newfound connection to the negative side of The Speed Force and destructive powers he can't control, The Flash is suffering mightily in the wake of his latest battle with The Reverse Flash. He will have little time to find his footing, however, as Shrapnel attacks Central City and his secret identity, CSI Barry Allen, is tasked with finding a crooked cop that is causing important evidence to go missing.

The Flash #29 proves an unintentionally excellent case study in how two different artists working on a single comic can prove detrimental to the work as a whole. Both Pop Mhan and Christian Duce are great artists and I've enjoyed their previous work immensely. Unfortunately, their styles don't mesh well together and the visual continuity of the book is virtually nonexistent.

Mhan's heavily detailed style doesn't suit the opening fight between The Flash and Shrapnel and most of the fine details are lost in too-small panels under heavy inks. Duce's work fares better, but suffers in that this issue is light on action after the Shrapnel fight. As a result, Duce never really gets a chance to show off, mostly illustrating the scenes of Barry discussing his case with his co-workers. The one constant to the artwork is Hi-Fi's colors look fantastic throughout.

While the artwork may be at war with itself, Joshua Williamson's scripts remain a bastion of harmony. The story steps away from exploring the ramifications of Barry's new powers, for the most part, focusing instead on Barry Allen playing detective. It is an odd thing, given his job, that so few Flash comics emphasize Barry's powers of deduction outside of a scientific environment and it is gratifying to see that element of Barry's talents come out when he is suddenly unable to use his powers reliably.

The Final Analysis: 7 out of 10. A great story with good art, which would have been better with only one artist working on this issue. 

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