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Comic Book Throwback Review – The Flash #57 (DC Comics)

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The Flash #57

Writer: Bill Messner-Loebs
Pencils: Greg LaRocque
Inks: Carlos Garzon
Colorist: Glenn Whitmore
Letterer: Tim Harkins
Publisher: DC Comics
Maturity Rating: Teen

Wally West is trapped in ice and a murderer is on the loose. How will the Flash solve this case?

 

It’s a Who-Done-It in The Flash #57

We are diving back into the adventures of Wally West in this Comic Book Throwback Review with The Flash #57. Now, sadly, this Flash issue does not deal with his calorie consumption—something that I still think should be brought up in every issue. But The Flash #57 does involve murder, mystery, and possibly a ghost! So, there is a lot to enjoy here.

The Flash #57 (DC Comics) cover by Greg LaRocque
The Flash #57 (DC Comics) cover by Greg LaRocque

I am pretty sure I picked up The Flash #57 from a $1/50cent comic book sale, just by the cover alone. That thing is beautiful. Though I have a few trades in my collection, I don’t have many many single-issue Flash comics. I never got big into DC comics as a kid, which is weird. I have a few random Batman and Superman issues, but as a kid and growing up, I always geared toward Marvel Comics’ books. My brother and I watched animated DC stuff and loved it; also loved the Batman movies; but for some reason, my comic buying was usually always Marvel, growing up. That’s a whole other interesting subject matter I may tackle in another article. For now, let’s focus on The Flash #57 and solve this murder mystery.

Clue?

So, The Flash #57 is the second part of a two-part story written by Bill Messner-Loebs. It took me a little bit to figure the who and what, but after the first few pages the characters are sorted out and it is actually not a bad jumping-on point. The issue starts off with a great page of Wally West frozen in ice. It is just a fantastic-looking page and a startling way to start the issue. The art team with Greg LaRocque on pencils, Carlos Garzon on inks, Glenn Whitmore on colors, and Tim Harkins lettering offer a strong start to the issue.

So, Wally West, The Flash, escapes the ice trap and we learn what is going on. Apparently we are at a will-reading for the original villain named Icicle. But something happened: Icicle’s son is murdered. Another great kind of shadowy, grisly visual of him impaled by multiple ice spikes is shown. It is a bit shocking on the second page-turn to see that in front of the ice-trapped Wally.

Icicle’s daughter is obviously distraught to see her brother dead, and the mystery is on. What happened, who killed him? Was it the butler, could it be the sister, the lawyer, the villain? The Piper was at the will-reading but is nowhere to be found. Plus Wally swears he saw a ghost-like figure of the dead Icicle before all this went down. With the snow outside making it impossible for Wally to use his super-speed to escape, they are all trapped inside with a possible murderer, but who?

Knives Out

Messner-Loebs weaves this little mystery story extremely well. He had me transfixed from the first page. Even just jumping into the second part of this story, I was all in with it. He builds up the characters and situation well as we slowly learn the truth behind the apparent murder and the Icicles’ death.

The sister/daughter character is a bit annoying at times, though. She gets over grief pretty quickly and holds a grudge against the Flash. Which, I guess if he was your father’s mortal enemy, I see that, a bit. I think the quipping between Wally and her is supposed to be funny, but it comes off kind of odd. Maybe it would work better if I had read issue #56. But it does end in a satisfying way. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil it for you, just in case. 

The Usual Suspects

I was really surprised how easy it was to jump into this issue of The Flash and enjoy it. The Flash #57 is filled with some wonderful visuals, from the aforementioned Barry trapped in ice, to the character impaled with icicles. The art team does a great job of setting an atmosphere for the issue. They set a nice theme, with lots of darker coloring work and keeping many things in the shadows. It adds a great mystery/horror tone to the issue

They also play with the snow and white coloring well. It just looks great in contrast with that bright red Flash costume. Also, that creepy ghastly Icicle character that you can see on the cover is a wonderful design. With the torn rags over this frozen figure, it is visually eye-catching and creepy.

I do wish the characters had some more “movement” to them. It is a Flash comic and I wish things had a little more sense of energy to them. I am also not sold on the characters’ facial expressions. They are a bit odd or feel a little “off” at times. These aren’t major things, but just noticeable at times.

Rear Window

The Flash #57 was definitely a good buy for me, especially for $1 or 50 cents. If you are a fan of “who-done-it” type stories then this will be right up your alley. It is probably worth it to buy issue #56 to get the first part of the story. But I just read The Flash #57 and wholly enjoyed my read. Great mystery storytelling and the art sets a nice tone to the story. 3 Flash bolts out of 5.


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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