The Flash #50 Review

330569._SX640_QL80_TTD_By Van Jenson, Jesus Merino, Paul Pelletier, Joe Eisma, Chris Sotomayer, Scott Hanna, Tony Kordos, Wayne Faucher, Guy Major, Pete Pantazis, Pat Brosseau 

The Flash is a wanted man, on his way to Iron Heights courtesy of the Rogues!

After dropping this book awhile back, I hopped back on for two reasons; one the Ivan Reis and Joe Prado covers. Two, Van Jenson writing solo on the title. Jenson’s writing often kept me coming back to Green Lantern Corps for his solid handle on the characters and I’m pleased to say he continues that here.

For reasons I’m not clear on yet, Central City has turned against the Flash (again). In order to capture him, the only group that’s ever slowed him downed has been hired to arrest him: The Rogues. Jenson’s script has shades of John’s and Manapul’s The Dastardly Death of the Rogues and a few other classic Flash stories, but instead of feeling derivative it’s in line with the title’s history and also logical. The Rogues working for Central City may sound unlikely, but considering Captain Cold’s complete pardon and the Task Force X program it’s not so crazy. The Flash eventually manages to avoid incarceration, with subplots from earlier issues being picked up but he still has to save the people out to lock him up.

On art is an uneven split between Merino and Pelletier, three inkers and two colorists. After the first three pages, the visual storytelling looks more or less consistent but also mundane. What I assume are Merino’s opening pages had a vibrant energy about them that is missing until the backup story by a different art team. Switching from a cartoonish look to textbook DC House Style is a bummer when you see what you could’ve had instead within the same book. I would’ve much rather had Philippe Briones, the artist from the previous issue, bring his European style back to the title.

The back-up story drawn by Joe Eisma brings a fluid, energetic style reminiscent of Manapul’s and Kolins while also being my favorite tale of the New 52 Wally West.

With this being the #50th issue, and a double sized one at that, deadlines were probably a huge obstacle for the art crews to overcome. While the story was a welcome change of pace from the last few arcs, the art felt uninspired for 75% of the book. Bringing in fresher talent for the art to match its current tone would be a wise move as well giving the tried and true artists a break that they seem to need with the extra help this issue required. Solid story, average art, yet I’m still interested in seeing what Jenson does from here flying solo.

Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent

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