Review: The Flash #66

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

Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist: Scott Kolins

Colours: Luis Guerrero

Letters: Steve Wands

 

Summary

James Jesse, the original Trickster and new crime lord of Central City, is taking over — and his plans for the city are his most diabolical ever. But how was he able to claim his throne, and where has he been for all these years? Learn all the answers in this issue that details each dastardly trick he’s pulled to get to the top!

 

Positives

This issue features a new retelling of the original Trickster’s origin, explaining how he fits into the post-Rebirth continuity. In the New 52 continuity, it was implied that his successor in the role, Axel Walker, was the first and only Trickster.

I like that this new retelling tackles his absence during the New 52 era, while still maintaining most of this pre-Flashpoint history intact. I appreciate that it brings the Silver Age comics I enjoyed back into canon, without invalidating the modern comics that I’ve also enjoyed.

I find it significant that an entire issue was taken to relate and update the Trickster’s origin, stealing the spotlight from the title character. The Flash himself barely even appears in the story. The Trickster has never really rated such treatment before now, which leads me expect that Williamson’s upcoming story arc is meant to propel the Trickster from being a persistent annoyance to being a major threat.

This seems to be backed up by the Trickster’s realization that his old modus operandi has lost its effectiveness, and his transformative experience as a prisoner in Iron Heights. And thanks to Warden Wolfe having destroyed his records, he has the advantage of relative anonymity.

Speaking of Wolfe, this isn’t the first time he’s engaged in somewhat shady and reckless actions that have resulted in trouble for the Flash. I suspect that it’s only a matter of time before Barry will have to take some direct action against Wolfe himself.

 

Negatives

Unfortunately, the focus on the Trickster means that Barry’s story was put on the back burner this issue. Ordinarily, this would be forgivable for one issue of a biweekly book. However, considering that the last issue was the conclusion of the Batman/The Flash crossover “The Price,” we are eager to the effects of that event on Barry’s life. Making us wait an extra two weeks is irksome, to say the least.

 

Verdict

This issue’s expansion on the Trickster’s classic Silver Age origin, while building him into a major foe to challenge the Barry in the next story arc. Williamson has certainly got me wondering what shenanigans James Jesse has in store for the Flash.

 

 

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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.