The Flash #29 (Comics Review)

In the last two issues, we’ve seen Barry take on a very supernatural case, involving the ghost of a long-dead miner who is out to kill all the descendants of the man who killed him in the first place. This current arc has been a thrilling mystery up until now and in the new issue we finally get to see how it ends. With the next issue coming out with an entirely new creative team, this is Brian Buccellato’s farewell to the title and to the character, and I was expecting it to be pretty grand at the least. Its good, but hardly grand.

Last we left off, Flash and Deadman had barged into the forensics lab at the police headquarters, only to find Director Singh standing there holding a minor’s pick and with a bunch of bodies around him. Last the heroes knew, the killer ghost had been heading for the police headquarters and he was jumping from body to body. In the new issue, we see that entire arc come to a close as the two superheroes solve the mysteries at the heart of the case and put the ghost where he belongs.

The Flash 29First off, while that is a decent looking cover, it has zip-all to do with the story inside. There is almost nothing in this issue that concerns Nora Allen or who killed her. There is a 2-3 panel epilogue at the end, but that comes after the killer ghost has been taken care of. The cover implies that Barry somehow travels back in time to save his mother from being killed. And that just doesn’t happen! I don’t know what was going on with the cover designers and the artists, but this is a pretty big good-up for what is Brian Buccellato’s last issue on the series, a series that he helmed with fellow writer-artist Francis Manapul since it rebooted for the New 52.

With the story itself, Brian sets up a blistering pace for the reader. Barry is literally racing all over the place, trying to find clues about the killer ghost and its targets before someone else dies. For some reason, the intricacies of which we learn later, Chief Darryl Frye also enters the picture, intending to take down the ghost by himself. So the issue is a race between the two of them to see who puts away the ghost first. And all the revelations as they happen? They keep the story really interesting.

Buccellato packs a ton of exposition in this issue. He even sums up the previous two issues here, although that didn’t exactly jive with me. This is the last issue of his arc, his last issue on the title, and I really doubt that there are going to be any new readers coming in at this point who want to start off with this issue. The extra exposition was clunky and it was oddly-placed. The space could have been used for development of Frye, and giving Deadman something to do, since he is very underused here. He doesn’t really do anything until right at the end, when he does something very major.

Cool stuff, but hardly deserving for Deadman, who is one of DC’s coolest characters, and one of the reasons why I like the Justice League Dark book so much.

With all the revelations that are handed down, and with the way that the post-climax bit ends with Barry and Patty, the final scene with Frye felt like a needless tease. Unless the new creative team is going to deal with this, this feels like a big WTF since Buccellato isn’t going to be around anymore and he isn’t going to be influencing the story either. Hopefully, something will be done with it, although I don’t have my hopes up.

For the art, we have Agustin Padilla on this issue instead of Patrick Zircher who did the previous two issues of this arc. The change in artists is something that I appreciated since I had just gotten used to Zircher’s art, and Padilla’s style is quite different. But still, he does turn out a great looking comic. The inks are heavy in several places and there is a distinct lack of any creativity with the panel layouts, but beyond that, the art looked good here. And Matt Hollingsworth’s colours were as good as they’ve been, so no downers on that front.

Overall, I was expecting this issue to be much better, and Buccellato didn’t quite meet my expectations, but he still ended his run on a high note, and that’s enough for me.

Rating: 8.5/10

More The Flash: Annual #2, Volume 4, #23.1, #23.3, #25, #26, #27, #28.

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Posted on March 28, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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