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Something’s Wrong With All of Them

July 18, 2010

Barry Allen, the original Scarlet Speedster, continues his latest solo run with The Flash #3.  The guards in Iron Heights Penitentiary have brought Captain Boomerang to the prison doctor to examine him so that, once he’s killed again for the crimes he committed before, he won’t come back this time.  As Boomerang tries to escape after biting one of the guards on the nose (lots of people doing that nowadays), he manifests black energy boomerangs, which allow him to break out.  David Singh yells at Barry Allen, saying that the reason that the Mirror Master lookalike has Barry’s DNA on him is because Barry contaminated the scene and that he shouldn’t criticize others.  Barry asks Iris West Allen for help about the Jason Hicks case, the boy whose mother asked Barry for help, but Iris is more concerned about the Renegades and their accusations.  Barry wins her over, but the Renegades attack again.  Although they trap him in some sort of badge prison, Barry escapes.  When he tries to talk to the Captain Cold lookalike one on one, Cold uses some kind of weapon that freezes him completely.  Oh yes, and the Top and Heatwave lookalikes comment on how grabbing Iris could stop all of this before it ever happens.  Hm…  The rest of the Renegades use their various abilities and restrain Barry, and just as they are about to return with him to the 25th Century, Captain Boomerang arrives and knocks them out, ready to fight the Flash again.  Then, there’s a brief backup about how boomerangs work and what’s happened to Captain Boomerang since he came back.

Well, more mysteries.  If apprehending Iris West-Allen would somehow prevent the series of events that leads to the murder of the Mirror Master analogue, could it be that the Jason Hicks case has something to do with it?  Of course, knowing Geoff Johns, it does.  However, this series continues to be plagued with the main problem that its main character isn’t that interesting.  I mean, Barry is cute with Iris.  And we get how serious Barry is when it comes to justice.  But I find Iris a far more energetic character.  Barry, for being a speedster, isn’t that… exciting.  Thus far, he’s still rather bland.  The Renegades also still don’t do much for me.  They’re an interesting concept, but their personalities have yet to be established, aside from that the Top analogue is a tad more violent.  In fact, the part that shines the most in the book is the prologue with Captain Boomerang.  After all, it is Geoff Johns, and no one writes the Rogues better.  Plus it links into the ongoing questions about all the people who were revived and what traces of the Black Lantern stuff is still left in them.  But this book is going to have some serious long-term problems if Barry doesn’t get more exciting and fast.  Francis Manapul’s art is a tad less sketchy in this issue, with more of the vitality it had in the first issue.  I love the way he draws Captain Boomerang’s boomerangs, and I love the way Brian Buccellato colors them.  And Manapul does great with all of the running and the action scenes.  He was definitely meant to draw this book.  The backup also reminds us that even though Scott Kolins isn’t that good with other characters, he’s great with the Flash.  I just hope that Johns decides to show us another side of Barry Allen aside from being a husband and a man of justice.  I hope he’s more of a round character than that.

Plot: 8.6      Art: 9.1      Dialogue: 8.8      Overall: 8.5

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