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Flash #224

Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2005
By: Jason Cornwell



"Rogue War, Chapter 5"

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Howard Porter (p), Livesay (i)

Publisher: DC Comics


Plot: The original Reverse Flash arrives in the present day, and he is eager to take part in the new Zoom's plan to make Wally a better hero by subjecting him to traumatic events. To this end the two Zooms pull Wally into the time stream, where they take him back to the moment where Linda lost the twins, and in an effort to drive the point home they make him witness this tragic event over and over. Then something happens that is sure to get Flash fans talking.

Comments: While the return of the original Reverse Flash is a big, exciting idea, I'm a little annoyed at how the threat involving the pair of evil speedsters has effectively high-jacked the initial "Rogue War" plot. It's almost like Geoff Johns simply grew bored of one story so he introduced a second one that he found more engaging and jumped over to this new path in the middle of the story arc. The only problem with this approach is that it alienates the readers who were actually enjoying the initial arc, and from a purely entertainment standpoint, I'd much rather continue looking at the two feuding groups of Rogues, and the Zoom plot could have been introduced as a separate story arc. There are no connecting elements between these two stories, and with one issue left, it would appear that the "Rogue War" plot has simply been abandoned half finished while Geoff John shoehorned the Zoom plot thread into its midst. Still, I guess I should stop whining about what could have been and actually starting reviewing what actually is. I came on to this title when it was relaunched with Wally West as the lead. As such, my exposure to the original Reverse Flash is limited to the arc that Mark Waid produced. Therefore, I have no real attachment to him and truth be told, the character doesn't really do much in this issue beyond the typical evil moustache twirling villainous posturing that one would expect to see. However, the last page does offer up a fun little surprise that should leave most long-time fans happy. Plus, given next issue is going to be his last kick at the can, Geoff Johns has earned the right to play with this forbidden toy, just as long as he puts it back in the box when he's done. There's also a couple interesting little plot developments, as it would appear that the mystery of Captain Boomerang's son will be addressed, and the time travel elements that are being messed with in this issue result in an attention grabbing development on the home front.

While it's a little unfair to be making this comparison, I have to mention Phil Jimenez's work on an Infinite Crisis preview in the latest edition of Wizard where he offers up a shot of the new Reverse Flash that perfectly captures the unsettling visual of the character. This in turn only serves to make Howard Porter's version of the character even more disappointing. This is a character who is supposed to be so fast that he makes the Flash look slow, and yet the art really doesn't sell this idea, though the writing certainly doesn't help sell the illusion either, as the character is nailed by Jay's helmet. Now there are some nice little impact visuals, such as the window shatter punch that the original Zoom uses on Wally, and there's a lovely double page shot in the middle of the issue as the characters enter the time stream. For the most part though, this issue's art is less than impressive when it comes to capturing the sheer intensity of the action on the page. I do love this issue's cover though, and I have to give Howard Porter full marks for his ability to deliver eye-catching cover shots.



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