It’s the final instalment of the Road to Flashpoint storyline, and the last issue of this run. And while it’s a safe bet there’ll be a new volume along in a few months, for once a book that’s ending feels like a conclusion.
That’s because writer Geoff Johns closes the book on the subplots that have been holding the attention for the last several months: Barry’s frustrating inability to grab his second chance at life; the heartbreaking distance between Barry and wife Iris; the perplexing refusal of Barry to get to know grandson Bart; and the nature of the feelings Barry and former lab partner Patty Spivot have for one another. All are tied up neatly, without seeming too pat.
Kolins, who drew Wally West’s Flash book for years, shows that while he’s working in a less-loose style these days, he still has it so far as super-speed stylings are concerned – his scenes with Flash, Kid Flash, Hot Pursuit and Professor Zoom are dynamic, intense and a little unsettling.
Manapul, meanwhile, pulls off a fine bit of background business, with a family outside the coffee shop in which Barry and Iris are chatting wordlessly underlining Barry’s feelings about the loss of his mother.
This is a first-rate issue, but when the series returns I’d like a change in tone; the melancholy vibe has made sense given Zoom’s changes in Barry’s world (murdering his mother, framing his father) but post-Flashpoint I want to see a different Flash book, with Barry’s old sunny personality restored. Surely a Flash can outrun the darkness?