Review: THE FLASH #72
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Howard Porter
Letters: Steve Wands
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
The Flash #72: “The Flash Year One” continues! Things are not looking pretty for the Flash, who just got his scarlet butt handed to him by the Turtle. If Barry Allen thought being a hero was going to be easy, he’d better think again after this beating-—but will it be enough to detour his destiny?
One thing I love about “Year One” stories is seeing the characters discovering for the first time, things that longtime readers have learned to take for granted. Barry’s ability to vibrate through solid objects is one of his signature moves, so we don’t really stop to think about how terrifying it must have been the first few times he did so. Seeing Barry marvel in his newfound powers makes us stop and remember how stupendously awesome they really are.
It’s also interesting to see that Barry didn’t just instinctually start using his powers with the expertise he comes to show later on. I was somewhat surprised to see Barry win his first encounter with a supervillain, the Turtle, by accident rather than clever use of his super speed. It makes more sense that Barry had to undergo a learning process with his super powers.
I also love seeing the early days of Barry and Iris’ relationship. The chemistry between them makes it clear that they are destined to be together, regardless of how rocky things may seem between them in the present. This really makes me hope that their marriage will eventually be re-established as canon.
We see Leonard Snart, who is not quite Captain Cold yet, but is already sporting some elements of his later costume. But oddly enough, it isn’t Snart that Barry is after, but Clive Yorkin. This is a strangely chilling nod to Barry’s pre-Flashpoint history, as Yorkin was the leading suspect in the murder of Iris before Eobard Thawne was revealed as the real killer. Hopefully, his presence isn’t foreshadowing a similar murder.
There is a scene where Barry has to clean his apartment in mere seconds before Iris arrives. I don’t know if this is a deliberate nod to the identical situation in the pilot for the 90s Flash TV show, but I wouldn’t put it past Williamson, who seems to be paying homage to multiple eras of Flash history. At least this time Barry didn’t cause a mini-tornado in his living room.
Like last issue, I can’t find anything to fault in this story. Williamson is killing it on this story, and Porter’s art is top-notch. I can find nothing but praise for “Year One” so far.
With Barry’s continuing struggle with pessimism, The Flash can be a bit of a depressing read at times, but “Year One” delivers the fun, enjoyable experience that one should expect from a Flash comic. Hopefully, this is an indication of how things are going to be once Barry finally rediscovers his optimistic side.