Current Reviews


Flash #195

Posted: Friday, March 7, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Scott Kolins (p), Doug Hazlewood, Al Gordon & Walden Wong (i)

Publisher: DC

With Grodd's attack upon Iron Heights acting to set free all the costumed villains who had been incarcerated within it's walls, we see the Flash has his first encounter with a newly freed villain, as he struggles against the new, vastly improved Top.

If nothing else Geoff Johns deserves full marks for even trying to make the Top into an interesting villain, and while I never really got the sense that Wally was in serious danger, the issue does a pretty effective job of making Wally work for this victory. There's also a wonderful little moment in this issue where we see the rest of the Rogues reacting to Wally's televised warning to them, and the credit page shot of the villains who were set loose is such a promising preview of what we can expect from this book, that one can't help but walk away from this issue with a sense of excitement. I also have to say that I like the idea that Wally & Linda are one of the few comic book couples whose relationship is allowed to move forward, as during my time on the book I've seen their first meeting, the awkward first dates, the wedding, and now they are allowed to become parents.

As for the art Scott Kolins does deserve full marks for the costume design of the Top, as our first look at the villain is an eye-catching visual, that nicely captures the idea that this character is insane. The art also nicely captures the twisted perspective that the Top's power produces with its slanted word balloons & panel designs. That's a great looking cover design as well, as even the cover logo gets in on the act.

Final Word:
One does have to love a villain whose main claim to fame is that he can make the Flash vomit. Now I understand the basic premise of the idea, as I'm sure I join many people whose childhood memories include the discovery that corn dogs, cotton candy & spinning rides are never a good combo. However, the way that Wally manages to beat the Top struck me as a bit odd, as did the explanation for how the Top was inducing the vertigo, as I always assumed in had to do with the inner ear, so the whole closing one's eyes struck me as an unusual and rather clumsy way of giving Wally an immunity to the Top's debilitating power. In any event the issue did keep me entertained, and the material away from the battle was strong enough that I left the issue quite pleased. The last page also sets up a rather interesting premise for next month's adventure.

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