One of the biggest traits we’ve seen on The CW’s The Flash is Barry’s Allen’s obsessive tendency in solving a problem. It’s a trait that carries over to the comic version in the latest chapter of the continuing Year One saga.
Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter, Hi-Fi Color, and Steve Wands get Barry obsessed in the next chapter of his origin.
Barry is in dire straits. Last issue’s conflict with the future Rogues leaves him with a bullet rapidly approaching his heart and him bleeding out on the floor of his apartment. If he can survive this, he’ll find himself face to face with the villainy of the Turtle, and an obsession that could ruin everything for him.
Williamson continues a craft an unexpected origin for Barry. There are multiple highlights throughout. Barry’s obsession with the Turtle feels natural and perfectly in-character with what we’ve seen in the arc. It feels like an extension of what we’ve seen so far, while enabled by his youthful impulsiveness.
He also develops the Barry and Iris relationship better and more naturally than pretty much every other incarnation. Their growing love feels authentic and mature for the first time in the characters’ history together, transcending the idea of being together just for plots’ sake. The new origin for the Turtle is one of the better revamps a villain has gotten in a long time as well, an absolute necessity for this story to work. There are a handful of moments that somewhat blend together with past issues of the story though, which makes for story beats that are confusing and forgettable in places.
Porter’s line work continues to amaze. In the opening scene, where Barry performs superspeed surgery on himself is harrowing, thanks to the tense close-ups he uses on both Barry and Iris (who is standing outside Barry’s door, unaware of what’s happening inside the apartment). The Turtle’s origin is full of emotion, thanks to Porter’s excellent pacing, resulting in a shocking page turn to pay it off. It’s a great issue, made even better by the visuals.
This arc continues to give us a fun new take on a familiar story, and I’m excited to see where it goes.
The FLash #73 is available now from DC Comics.