The Flash #18Following Gorilla’s Grodd’s invasion, The Flash is applying his super powers in a new way; fixing up Central City.  He is happier now that his girlfriend Patty knows his secret identity, but is still unable to go back to his old job since he was declared dead, so instead he’s taken on a job as a bartender at the Keystone Saloon, which just happens to cater to the criminals of Central City.  He serves The Trickster and pries some information from him, when the police storm in and arrest him for robbery and murder.

Barry knows The Trickster is innocent, but can’t get away from his job quickly enough, so instead two of the people that were trapped in the Speed Force alongside Iris West appear, in new super heroic roles.  Unfortunately “Sprint” and Albert are untrained and Sprint is nearly killed for his efforts.  The Flash gathers everyone who was in the Speed Force and orders them not to try heroics.  He then sets out to clear The Trickster’s name.

But he may be too late as The Trickster’s new “Family” the Outlanders declare war on Irongate Heights.

A whole new creative team steps in this issue, writer 9and colorist!) Brian Buccellato and artist Macio Takara and while neither is Francis Manapul, they both do an admirable job of carrying on his legacy of quality.

Takara’s artwork is nowhere near as innovative as Manapul’s was, but he tries in places to break out.  He does a fine job.  I enjoyed his work, but it’s a bit on the crude side, so it won’t appeal to everyone.

And Buccellato’s writing is just as crisp as Manapul’s before.  The dialogue is strong and I enjoyed The Trickster storyline.  It may not be a great jumping-on point for new readers, though as it references a lot of stuff that’s happened before.  But if you’ve been following this series and were maybe worried about Manapul’s departure, you have nothing to fear.  This book still works.

 

THE FLASH #18
Written by Brian Buccellato
Art by Marcio Takara
Cover by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato