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Flash #217

Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2005
By: Jason Cornwell



"Post-Crisis"

Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Howard Porter
Inks: Livesay
Colors: James Sinclair
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Publisher: D.C. Comics

Plot:
As the Rogues gather for Captain Boomerang's funeral service, we see Wally is busy getting his life back in order, as Linda has returned, and she seems to have come to terms with the steps that Wally took to protect her from his enemies. However, we see not everyone in the DCU is all that pleased by the fact that Captain Boomerang was responsible for the death of Jake Drake, as Batman pays a visit to Keystone City for a conversation with Wally.

Comments:
First off I have to say part of me is annoyed by the very idea that Captain Boomerang was killed off, as not only was it downright goofy to ask readers that his death would make him the ideal patsy for the string of murders, but in the end I can't help but the sense that the primary motive behind his death was because Geoff Johns wanted to foist the new, improved Boomerang on readers, and Digger's presence made his new creation redundant. However, the reason why Captain Boomerang became one of the most popular characters with readers of Suicide Squad, wasn't because he was a threat, but rather John Ostrander took the time to develop the character into one of the most endearing jerks in the DCU, and frankly the addition of super-speed to the new, improved version's bag of tricks simply isn't enough. In the end it's like tossing the baby out with the bath water, and trying to sell readers on the idea the new baby you've given them is better. This issue also left me wondering what exactly was the point of having Linda Park leave Wally, if when she's brought back into the pages the situation is pretty much the same as it was before. Still, there are some moments in this issue that I did enjoy quite a bit, as Wally's encounter with Batman was a refreshing change of pace, as it's rare to see an encounter where Batman is brought down off his high horse, and reminded that Gotham City is a hellhole busting at the seams with all manner of psychotic lunatics. The last page development does ignite a flicker of promise as well, though I'm not exactly holding my breath.

It's become a bit of a chore to start off my reviews of this title's art by establishing the idea that I'm not a fan of Howard Porter's work, but the simple truth of the matter is that I find his art to be a little too focused on the delivery of flashy visuals, while important elements like clear storytelling and using elements like body language/facial expressions to sell the quieter moments take a back seat to the delivery of what are essentially pinup visuals. Now I will give the art credit for its delivery of the double-page shot where we see the Rogues have gathered for Captain Boomerang's service, and the last page visual is a pretty chilling image to close the issue, but in the end I find myself less than impressed by this book's art. I did enjoy the scene where Cheetah pays a visit to Zoom though, as it manages to project a nice sense of impending danger, with the two close-up panels of the villains.



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