By Joshua Williamson, Carmine Di Giandomenico, Pop Mhan, Ivan Plascencia & Hi-Fi
The Flash #24 serves as a prelude to “Running Scared” featuring a team-up between both The Flash and Green Lantern, as well as pitting Kid Flash and Iris West against Eobard Thawne, aka The Reverse Flash, in an issue of two parts that balances both of them pretty well. The story moves appropriately lightning fast, largely consisting of fight scenes, intercutting between the two Flashes as it progresses. There’s a lot of material here that fans will love, and it’s always great to see Thawne take centre stage for much of this issue as it’s clear Williamson is having fun with his character.
One of the main draws of this issue is surprisingly not that Green Lantern and The Flash teaming up, which instead serves as just an added bonus. The real focus here is on the scenes featuring both The Reverse Flash and Wally West interacting, showing just how terrifying Thawne can be as an antagonist. He’s downright chilling here and for a moment, the suspense was so high that Wally’s fate was unclear. He makes it clear from the very beginning that he’s used to fighting Kid Flashes, but this Wally is new to him, and it’s going to be interesting to see what Wally’s reaction to that exchange properly is in future issues of the series especially after Thawne’s accusations. The dual narrative and the two consecutive storylines playing out at once really adds to increase the tension and the drama because you know Barry won’t be able to save Wally because he’s busy fighting his own enemies. This means that Wally will have to fend for himself against one of The Flash’s biggest members of his rogue’s gallery. It’s certainly a trial by fire, that’s for sure.
It’s also worth talking about how good the dynamic between Green Lantern and The Flash is here. It’s fantastic. This is an issue of two halves in tone, one being fairly light and humorous and the other being downright twisted and evil. Normally, it’s something that shouldn’t work, but Williamson finds a way to to comfortably balance them, and as a result the tone transactions don’t feel out of place at all. There’s a clear difference, and it really pays off. The back and forth banter between Hal and Barry is great and Williamson clearly gets both characters, playing to their strengths and as a result despite the multiple amount of characters on show here that Williamson has to deal with. The Flash #24 balances them really well, giving them their time in the spotlight.
The artwork is just as brilliant as the storyline. Carmine Di Giandomenico and Pop Mhan are on pencils whilst Ivan Plascencia & Hi-Fi handle the colors for this book and, again, there’s a clear difference in tone between the outer-space sections and those that take place on Earth. At the same time, everything works, feeling colourful, vibrant and powerful. It’s energetic art that never stays still, feeling incredibly well detailed. The Reverse Flash’s suit in particular is well deigned and always a highlight as the artists find a way to keep him always looking physically intimidating, showing just how badly Wally is out of his depth in a fight. He’s not expected to win here, and you know that from the get go. The art does an excellent job of showing just how much of a one-sided fight this is.
The Flash is shaping up to be a real blast to read now and if you’re a fan of the television series and want something to read during the hiatus, you’ll want to be checking this series out. The characters are fantastic, the tension is great, and the cliffhanger at the end of this issue really does an effective job at setting the stage for the next part of this arc, which has the potential to turn into one of the best stories of the current Flash run.