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Flash #242

Posted: Friday, July 18, 2008
By: Joey Davidson

Tom Peyer
Freddie E. Williams II, Tanya & Richard Horie (c)
DC Comics
I've enjoyed the pants off of this recent "Spin" arc. With one issue left in the story after #242, the dramatics have been kicked into high gear. This issue is a great point in the arc, and the trip it takes from start to finish over 32 pages is awesome.

It starts out a bit silly; "Gorillas Gone Wild" written on the cover. That headline alone removes some of the sincerity from the plot. Sorry, but it does. This one picks up with Flash's daughter, Iris, now in her 30s and Flash himself trying to find the Gorillas' religious figure, Nzame. About ten pages before the final spread, some of the monkey business (yeah, I did it) comes to a close in probably the campiest (kitchiest?) fashion I've seen in recent comics. Flash's compassion saves the day, and Williams shows that with a mind wave effect shaped like a heart (...awwww...). That cheesy closer to one of the conflicts in the arc is where this book stumbles. Sure, it wrapped up just fine, but it was nothing special. If it had ended there, I probably would have been pissed.

That's where I thought it was going to end. Seriously. I thought Peyer was going to leave me here, one issue left in the arc, with this corny ending that teaches me how to love again. He doesn't leave it there, though, and I found myself completely surprised with the direction the issue took within the last ten or so pages. Flash wants to save his ever-aging daughter (40ish at this point in the book) and he takes her to the land of Gorillas where he believes she may be healed. Well, that's one way of putting what she meets on the other side. Man, I did not see this ending coming at all, and it has left me devastated.

Williamsí art is still spectacular. This is one of my current favorites as far as art goes. Itís toony while being precise, fine and polished. I love the luscious feel the Hories bring to the book in the form of color. It makes the ride that much more enjoyable.

Sure, this week marks Johns' Final Crisis Flash title, so readers that are strapped for cash may think twice about making this purchase. I don't mean to question the ability of Johns, but this book may be better. That one is, of course, a first issue of three, so there's a lot of room to work with. But I just like this family-man-West so much that I can't see it being topped. Then again, I haven't even read Johns' work this week yet, so what do I know? Yea, sure, I'll pass judgment without even having picked up the book! So sue me!

Seriously though, #242 in this arc is a great point for Flash lovers. Pick it up, pick up the Final Crisis installment as well. It's probably really good too.



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