December 6, 2002 Posted by admin


REVIEW DATE: 20/03/02


ISSUE: 183



I’ve been a Flash fan for as long as I can remember, initially discovering the title during legendary artist Carmine Infantino’s last run on the series through to the equally groundbreaking Mark Waid years. With Waid’s departure I feared for the quality of DC’s scarlet speedster, knowing that only a true fan of the character, who respected the stories of yesteryear yet understood the need to always keep the series moving forward, could spin successful future Flash tales. Fortunately, the current inheritors of the red and gold mantle, Geoff Johns, Scott Kolins and Doug Hazlewood, have consistently managed to do just that. In this prologue to the imminent “Crossfire” arc, we’re introduced to yet another new Rogue, a next generation Trickster. Cocky, arrogant and keen to try his luck against Keystone’s resident metahuman, The Trickster manages to put our hero on ice (well, candy actually) in their first encounter. However, the battle is merely misdirection as this young villain-in-waiting is in fact working for the recently reformed Rogues. Their nefarious plan has been slowly unfolding over recent issues and it’s clear that everything’s about to come to fruition.

While The Flash’s Rogues Gallery has always been a thorn in his side, this latest incarnation has a decidedly darker streak. For instance, in this issue they add Vic Stone (Cyborg) to their list of recent victims, we discover their ingenious covert super villain black market and fellow villain, the Rainbow Raider, loses his life at the hands of their mysterious leader, Blacksmith. Yet while the Rogues have become less 2D, it’s always the title character’s supporting cast who provide much of the real reading thrills. Whether it’s the disgruntled interaction of officers Chyre and (the fake) Morillo, Wally and Linda’s hectic homelife or Jay and Joan Garrick’s moving announcement, it’s writer Geoff Johns’ handling of these non-superhero moments that make this quality superhero title what it is.

Artists Scott Kolins and Doug Hazlewood also continue to make their mark on the Flash legacy with another sterling issue. The representation of speed and the chaos of Wally’s life are essential ingredients in this title and amazing visual details such as The Trickster’s starry airwalking, Wally’s first encounter with the blond-haired villain and the opening shot of The Network are worth the price of admission alone. Another excellent issue and a perfect jumping-on point for new readers as next month’s epic storyline begins.