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Flash #203 [Jason C.]

Posted: Friday, October 31, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell



Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Alberto Dose

Publisher: D.C. Comics

Plot:
As Wally struggles to accept the idea that he may very well be the Flash, we see his discomfort with the idea is offset by a string of murderous attacks that are being made upon the police officers in Keystone City. After learning that the police have the cop-killer trapped inside a warehouse, Wally suits up and races to the scene, but his lack of experience using his powers makes him easy picking for the waiting super-villain.

Comments:
I've always been rather fond of elemental-based characters, so the big reveal involving the true identity of the real villain that has been making copsicles out of Keystone City's police force was a welcome reveal, and with the Flash still taking baby steps when it comes to using his power, this fight should make for an exciting time. In fact if one was to judge the battle thus far one would have to say that the Flash has just gotten his head handed to him six ways to Sunday. On the more charitable side however, the book does do a nice job of establishing reasons why the Flash would be forced to slow down as I've often wondered why a darkness generating villain never took advantage of this weakness, as his fear of running into something, or someone at high speed would seem to make this the ideal power to pit the Flash against. The elemental power of the villain is also put to good use, as we get the classic turning the ground into tar trick which is ever so effective against the Flash, and the final page cliffhanger is a real stunner of a finish. The book also has some fun with its moments of discovery, as we see the Flash discovers what his funky looking earpieces are able to do, and I rather enjoyed the little internal thoughts we received as Wally critiques his heroic banter, and judges it downright lame. I also enjoyed the seeming friendship that has developed between Wally and Captain Cold.

As for the art, Alberto Dose's work is quite effective when it come to delivering the more chilling aspects of the story as the sequence where Wally makes a failed attempt at rescuing the life of the frozen police officer was a very effective bit of work, as the look of horror on Wally's face when the body shatters is very nicely done. The final page cliffhanger visual is also impressive, as it's more that enough to leave one counting the days until the next issue. Also, while we don't really get a good look at it, I do rather like the high-tech appearance of our mystery villain. However, the big impact action scenes aren't nearly as effective, as the double page shot of the Flash speeding toward the warehouse fails to convey any real sense of speed, and the scene where the Flash makes himself known to the cops gathered outside doesn't really deliver the proper sense of wonder.

Final Word:
I like the idea that Wally is stumbling out of the gates in this opening story, as essentially we're being given a story in which Wally has to relearn how to be the Flash, and unlike riding a bike there is a rather steep learning curve to learning how to function of high speed effectively. Plus, given the villains that the Flash is running up against aren't exactly going to let him get away with making mistakes, these early issues should be quite exciting, as there's a far better chance that Wally is going to get his head handed to him than we've seen in these pages in a very long time. There's also a fairly interesting twist in that Wally believes the Flash is responsible for the loss of the twins that Linda was carrying, and as such there's also a tremendous sense of guilt associated with his being the Flash, and one imagines he'll be inclined to hide his discovery from Linda which should act to drive a wedge in their already shaky relationship. I'll be glad when Howard Porter arrives on the book though, as the action is a bit awkwardly laid out, though the final page cliffhanger has some nice punch to it.



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