The “Gorilla Warfare” storyline climaxes with the final showdown between The Flash and Gorilla Grodd inside of the Speed Force. The Flash has to push his energy manipulation to the limit to combat a foe so much stronger. Back in Central City, The Rogues make their final strike against the gorilla army from Mirror Master’s Mirror Dimension and may have acquired a new ally. Finally, the villain for the next storyline is set up and it’s the return of another classic.
Francis Manapul’s amazing, innovative artwork continues to shine! It makes the book worth buying all by itself. His crazy, unique page layouts are a real treat to look at, especially during the more frenzied fight scenes. For quieter moments, he employs more traditional panels, but peppers them with “accent panels” in important moments. With J.H. Williams stepping off Batwoman, Manapul may be left as the most original artist working on a monthly comic.
Brian Buccellato’s colors are lush and only add to the appeal of the artwork. I love how he utilizes a different color scene for different scenes to convey different moods. It works really well, although it’s subtle.
The story itself worked well. It was a nice wrap-up to this story. Not only does it conclude the “Gorilla Warfare” arc, but like any good ending, also works as a beginning, planting seeds for many new plot threads as this book carries on. In particular, I am interested to see what path the hero Turbine takes and to see if Barry’s romance with Patty can survive. I like Patty and they seem to have a really good relationship, which has taken a dramatic twist during this arc, with her discovering his secret identity, but it isn’t Barry’s classic relationship. Does that mean its doomed?
There’s a lot going on in this book– a bunch of characters, a bunch of different plot threads– it could be slightly jarring, except this is The Flash, the man with super speed, so I think the tone of this book reflects that by being slightly frenetic. I think it’s manic by design, which is actually quite clever.
This issue might be the end of a storyline, but it sets up several new ones, and is pretty action packed. If you’ve never read it, it might be too much to absorb… or maybe not. I thought it was pretty solid!
THE FLASH #17
Written by Francis Manapul
Art and Cover by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato