Comic Review: The Flash #32 (DC Comics)

After a jewelry heist is thwarted by The Flash and Kid Flash, Barry Allen and his partner Kristen are sent by the CCPD to set up their base of operations […]

After a jewelry heist is thwarted by The Flash and Kid Flash, Barry Allen and his partner Kristen are sent by the CCPD to set up their base of operations at Iron Heights! While it seems like a normal job transfer, it’s actually an undercover investigation of the supposed corruption that occurs within Iron Heights itself. What will Barry Allen and Kristen discover? How will The Flash exploit the corruption without giving away his secret identity? And can they get out alive?

First off, I like that Joshua Williamson is able to provide plausible reasons as to how Barry is able to control his Negative Speed Force abilities. As already previously stated in the prior issue, after getting help from Wally , training and learning how to control it, as long as he is able to be close to someone that has a strong connection to the Speed Force, it helps to balance out the destructive effect, causing Barry’s abilities to be less dangerous than usual. Williamson displays a great understanding of the character and it still occurs within this issue.

It’s interesting seeing Barry and his partner Kristen witnessing the dark underbelly of Iron Heights and the kind of illegal prison fights that occur. A place where inmates brutally beat each other and witnessing Warden Warren doing nothing about it. It’s great to see their reaction to what occurs in the prison since it parallels the real-life situations (minus the superpowers and fancy costumes) that occur in industrial prison complexes that aren’t meant to institutionalize various peoples who might (possibly) be capable of changing for the better. It’s all debatable, but the point is, it’s interesting seeing familiar faces from the earlier arcs that have occurred in Willimaosn’s run pop up here and there, providing Barry some concern, but providing readers some fun to look forward to as the series progresses. Seeing Barry make a stance on whether or not the stuff that occurs in the prison facility is necessary is a cool thing to see, making readers wonder whether or not it’s the negative speed force effecting Barry’s mental state or the actual previous events that have caused him to think that way.

There are some other familiar faces or an iteration of a known Batman character that had a facelift from Arkham Origins (video game). The makes a nice appearance (nothing entirely mind-blowing) but, it makes me wonder where Williamson will take this specific, serpent as this arc continues. But it’s in the final pages that leave readers excited, and eager to see what will happen next. I think the best thing by far is that Williamson has managed to introduce plot points, and also address other dangling plot threads making the pay off all the more enjoyable. And so far, once readers get to those final pages, it’ll definitely get them talking.

Christian Duce’s artwork is pretty solid. The artwork does it service in driving the visuals of the narrative. Whether it’s Warden Warren’s presence, his prison guards known as the pipeline, the complex itself, he does a great job at making everything look as highly advanced and heavily guarded, making the reader feel as though there is no physical way to bust through the complex with or without powers. The colors by Plascencia are just as good. I like his color choices of the prison complex, picking specific greens that give it a nice hi-tech ambiance.

This a cool issue and the conclusion and return of a specific character is worth checking out and picking up.

Anthony Andujar Jr.

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