For the 700th Issue of The Flash, It's Origin Recaps and Anticlimactic Villain Appearances

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You can't judge a comic by its cover -- but you can certainly have the story spoiled by it.

Case in point: FLASH #39 -- or FLASH #700, if you are a purist and eschew all this "Let's start over from number 1 again" business. I opted for the variant cover by Tony Daniel, with the granite 700 behind Barry, because it goes so well with all those other variant milestone issue covers he's done. The other cover was certainly attractive, showing Flash recoiling from an attack by Gorilla Grodd with the explosive caption, "Grodd Is Back!"

That's all well and good, but the thing about this issue, "Perfect Storm" by Joshua Williamson and Carmine Di Giandomenico, is that there was mystery behind who was controlling all the soldiers of Black Hole, ordering around characters like Speed Machine, Multiplex, and Negative Flash. It builds toward a reveal at the last page that they're all working for Grodd, who is trying to steal the Speed Force for himself, but it's a bit anticlimactic because, you know, the cover.

The remainder of the issue is Barry showing off facets of his life as The Flash to Iris West. After her having discovered that Barry was The Flash after Thawne unmasked him. So it's a Readers' Digest version of an origin, and a one-page tour of the Justice League satellite before time slows down in Central City for everyone as The Flash is drawn into the battle.

If Grodd is truly needing to suck in the Speed Force for his own nefarious reasons, I'm hoping it results in a lot fewer speedsters. Part of what makes our superheroes interesting is their uniqueness. When the Earth was overrun with Kryptonians, Superman was boring. When the world is overrun with speedsters, The Flash is likewise. (The only one who gets a pass on this is Green Lantern because he's in an armed police force, rather than a metahuman.) Let's get Barry back to truly being "the fastest man alive" and have him face threats other than those from people who can run just as fast -- if not faster -- than he can.

Grade: 
3.5 / 5.0