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Review – The Flash #85 (DC Comics)

  • Writing - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Art - 9/10
    9/10
  • Overall - 8.5/10
    8.5/10

The Flash #85

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Penciler:  Christian Duce
Colorist: Luis Guerrero
Letterer:  Steve Wands
Publisher: DC Comics
Maturity Rating: Teen
Release Date: January 1st, 2020

The Flash must learn some lessons from his enemies about controlling his powers, as he attempts to assemble the mirror shards before Central City is destroyed.

Overall
8.7/10
8.7/10
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The Rogues Are to the Rescue in The Flash #85

The Flash #85 and the entire story arc is a tie-in to “Year of the Villain”. In this series that has taken the form of a Central City which has been pulled into a mirror dimension and ruled by King Cold (a self-appointed Captain Cold.) 

The Flash is definitely one of the more personable among DC characters. As the character exists outside of the Big Three heroes of the publisher, it allows more levity with the approach to his overall fictional characteristics. The problem with the Flash, though, is that his power set is still quite high. Whereas a character like Green Arrow can make quips, it is different coming from the Flash, who can deal with most problems at ease.

The Flash #85 (DC Comics) main cover by Rafael Sandoval and Jordi Tarragona
The Flash #85 (DC Comics) main cover by Rafael Sandoval and Jordi Tarragona

There are thus two sides to the Flash. One is the overpowered character, maybe only second to Superman in his ability to deal with threats. The other is the affable character with the colorful Rogues’ Gallery. The two sides of the character have never been in perfect alignment. On one hand, there is a character that can run faster than light. On the other hand, villains that shoot ice or flame or throw boomerangs. All the same, the Flash’s rogues’ gallery defines him as much as does Superman’s, Spider-Man’s or Batman’s. The fact that they are really not much of a threat to him is constantly played at, but in this story arc really is put to the front.

Story

Josh Williamson has the writing duties in The Flash #85. The story here moves along well, but benefits the most from the presentation not of the heroes but of the villains. They are not the high-profile would-be world conquerors that other heroes face. Instead, this group is tied together by the Flash, but also by each other. That their schemes don’t often look much beyond Central City is evident. Here, though, it forms the backbone of the story. The villains want their old world back, not the apocalyptic version that Lex Luthor has helped pull them into. The fact that the Flash and his rogues have to work together is not a novel concept, but it works here. The writing, therefore, deserves praise for accomplishing this fine balance. 

Art

The art team here is made up of Christian Duce on pencils and Luis Guerrero on colors. The Flash depends on a fairly streamlined artistic approach to make it work, thanks to the nature of the character. Here that is balanced against the more personal moments of the rogues. The balance works well on both sides, as the art complements the story well. 

Conclusion

The company-wide crossover is perhaps not the best background for this story to be told. However, it seems as though the writer has been given some freedom in how to approach this imposition on the title. The outcome is imaginative, but not necessarily groundbreaking. The fact that the main character is used in this way is a little bit different from usual, though also not unheard of. Most comic readers will thus find that this is a pretty strong story, though not necessarily that it is something that they haven’t seen before. The Flash #85 keeps the momentum going in this series, though, and especially with the last panel, promises a satisfying resolution to this story arc. 


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