The Flash #23.2: Reverse Flash
By Brian Buccelatto, Francis Manapul & Scott Hepburn
The second point issue of The Flash in as many weeks focuses on current arc villain the Reverse Flash and, with absolutely no pun intended, it was seemingly over in…a flash. The last issue of The Flash featured the reveal of the Reverse Flash and his first major encounter with Flash proper. Without spoiling the big reveal for people that are behind or anybody that is waiting ever so patiently for the trades to come out, this issue felt like an extension of #23, and if it’s all you read of DC’s villains month as far as Flash goes, would sit nicely between #23 and the arc finale in #24.
Buccelatto (Booch) and Manapul do a good job of showing us the motivation for this troubled person who assumes the identity of the Reverse Flash as well as diving deep into the origin of his powers. Everything happens around events that we’ve already seen happen in the pages of The Flash and it ties up a few loose ends nicely. There is nothing overly spectacular to the Reverse Flash’s origin, aside from his ultra badass new look, and the issue eventually speeds way back to, basically, the end of The Flash #23 with a big “Continued in #24” at the bottom.
The art from Scott Hepburn, while not on the level of series artist Francis Manapul, is probably some of the better fill in art we’ve had on The Flash since the New 52 rebooted the title. Nothing is really out of place or comes off as odd, and all the characters maintain a consistent look throughout the book. Hepburn’s art is helped along by the masterful color work of regular series colorist Buccelatto, and it helps to maintain a similar look and flow to the one we’ve gotten used to for almost twenty-three issues so far.
All in all, this issue really did go by in a flash. There was nothing wrong with the book, which is to be expected when the team of Manapul and Booch are involved, but there really wasn’t a whole lot extra added to the world of The Flash. Sure, we got to see the origin of the Reverse Flash, but it might have been better served on its own as The Flash #24 if we didn’t have to deal with the whole “villain’s month” gimmick. At the very least, this continued to, even if only incrementally, move their Reverse Flash arc forward and if you ignore the other Flash books this month that break up the current arc, it still works well as an in between “real” issues filler book. Not bad, but not great. It’ll be nice to get back on track next month with the finale to this amazing arc.