I tend to find it refreshing when characters are allowed to evolve and change and it seems that is exactly what Joshua Williamson gave us with The Flash #32. The story Welcome to Iron Heights
, gives us a change in status quo for Barry Allen.
We start the issue with Barry and his partner, Kristen Kramer, reporting for the first day of their new assignment. They are tasked with preserving crime scenes at the infamous Iron Heights Penitentiary until the CCPD CSI team can arrive and take over. There is obvious resentment on behalf of Kristen at Barry for getting them both transferred there. The new job offers a lot of story potential as now Barry works among the villains he has put away as the Flash. This has the potential to be a great direction for the book.
Aside from Barry settling in at his new job we also get to see the Flash adjust to some changes as well. The Negative Speed Force continues to be a challenge for Barry, but with the help of Wally 2.0 he has been able to control his new powers more effectively. The link between speedsters has always been an interesting part of the Speed Force and is what is allowing Wally 2.0 to link his speed to Barry’s to help him control the effects of the Negative Speed Force.
Both Barry and the Flash get a surprise at the end of the issue with the return of Fast Track, Dr. Meena Dhawan. This will lead us into next month’s new arc Black Hole Rising. I’m interested to see where that story goes and we get to find out right after the Metal tie in two weeks.
Christian Duce did an amazing job giving the Flash’s world a very kinetic feel. The art drew your eyes across the pages with the same dynamic grace as the Flash himself. The dark corners and classic architecture gave Iron Heights a foreboding and eerie ambiance. It is not someplace you would want to walk around alone day or night.
The mood was greatly enhanced by Ivan Plascencia’s colors. Vibrant and popping when the Flash was speeding through Central City and dark and creepy in Iron Heights. He also showed the effects of the Negative Speed Force on Barry by showing the slight grey hue that it causes to his skin. These subtleties really take it to the next level.
Rebirth has definitely produced some interesting and exciting storylines for a lot of DC’s major heroes and the Flash is no exception.
Overall Rating: 4.5
(W) Joshua Williamson (A/CA) Howard Porter