Review: The Flash #31

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist: Neil Googe & Gus Vazquez

 

Summary

“BLOODWORK” part two! Central City is the battleground for one of the most brutal fights of Barry Allen’s life as he squares off against the monstrous Bloodwork, whose powers are so gruesome we can’t tell you more about them here! Making things worse for The Flash as he confronts this unstoppable new threat is the fact that it’s all his fault! Witness the penultimate act of the Negative-Flash story and the beginning of an unforgettable new chapter in Barry Allen’s life…

 

Positives

Iris and Wally are back! Unfortunately, Barry doesn’t actually interact with Iris this issue, but at least she puts in an appearance, showing that she is still going to remain in Barry’s supporting cast.

In Wally’s case, it seems that the student has become the master, and has offered to train Barry in the use of his powers. Barry and Wally have mended their fences and are re-establishing their partnership. Hopefully Wally’s assistance will lead to Barry regaining his original Speed Force powers.

Barry is in a much more optimistic mood at the end of this issue. He has made peace with Wally and resolved to get his life back on track. He still has to patch things up with Iris and has the prospect of a new job at Iron Heights to contend with, but he has definitely made a big first step to re-affirming himself as the hopeful hero he was before the recent upsets in his life.

 

Negatives

Wally is going to train Barry? That doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. Wally doesn’t have any experience with the Negative Speed Force, in fact Barry’s got more experience from living with the new powers for the last few issues. And Barry still has much more experience than Wally with the regular Speed Force and super-speed in general.

I suspect that it’ll be more the case that Wally will help Barry figure out his new powers than Wally outright training Barry in their use. Wally is just overstating the situation a bit.

 

Verdict

The Flash is the heart of the DCU, and over the past few issues, that heart has been hurting. It’s great to see that he is finally taking steps to get his life in order. Rebirth is about hope and optimism, which can’t properly succeed if the DCU’s heart loses touch with that optimism.

 

 

 

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Derek McNeil

I have been an avid reader of DC Comics since the early 70s. My earliest exposure was to Batman and Superman comics, Batman (Adam West) reruns, and watching the Super-Friends every Saturday morning.