This is the greatest page you will find in comics this year.
As for what’s causing the Flash to have a day in which many of life’s truths are turned on their head, it’s one of his classic villains… well, the second version of one. That’s not giving everything away as Barry Allen has more than one legacy Rogue.
In a bigger sense, the evil genius behind Rational Thought, a sharp, fast-paced eight-page done-in-one, is Jeff Parker, who, I’ve learned, likely couldn’t write a bad comic if he tried. Pictures are provided by Ramon Villalobos and boy, are they pretty – there’s a delicacy to the characterisation that’s rare, and his storytelling is first rate. He also surprises, going comically gruesome as Barry explains how he lost a filling.
The colours come from David Baron and they’re gorgeous, with the shadowing on the Monarch of Motion’s costume especially impressive. The easy-on-the-eye letters come courtesy of the ever-excellent Rob Leigh, while Andrew Marino edits this, and the DC Digital First comic’s other story.
Yes, 79p/99c gets you not just one Flash gem, but two. In the issue’s other tale, again by Jeff Parker, Dr Allen goes to Washington when he hears the surprising news that the United States is going to invade Canada. My mind went to Trump, but Barry assumes Gorilla Grodd is behind the mad move by lawmakers. This being the DC Universe, it is, of course, Grodd, corrupting good souls (just go with it…) with his Force of Mind power.
This motivates a striking image from Illustrator Miguel Mendonca.
I’ve read an awful lot of Grodd stories and I can’t remember him ever looking so imposing. A gorilla calmly laying out his plans as he sits mockingly in the lap of a symbol of civilised society is a heck of a lot scarier than the Grodd DC has given us since the Flashpoint event a decade ago, a savage more likely to rip off heads than use his brain.
Not that the Scarlet Speedster is perturbed; he is, though, challenged, physically and emotionally, in another terrific tale. Parker’s plotting and personalities are on point, while Mendonca can make something as mundane as a street cafe look fascinating. Rob Leigh again letters, while the vibrant tones this time come from Mike Spicer.
The cover is a cleverly cropped panel re-purposed from the Grodd entry, Perfect World.
These weekly comics are fast-eating up material prepared for the Walmart 100-page Giants, but with luck DC has Parker and his pals going full throttle to produce stories to complement the excellent Gail Simone/Clayton Henry lead strips. The first six issues of this series have been consistently great so I want this book to run and run…