Comic Book Review: The Flash #34
Next to maybe Green Arrow, I don’t think I’ve run into a DC hero who’s life could be so easily flipped on its head like Barry’s as The Flash. The guy at this point really does make a complicated life sound like an understatement. Just right now his powers are inverted, his relationship with everyone is shaky at best, and now Meena is suddenly alive again?
The Flash #34 corrected something that was neglected long ago when Meena was around, and that was giving us her story. What made new characters like Meena so appealing was their perspective of what it meant to be a speedster and have that same connection to the Speed Force. We learned something new about her experience and even if small that was something we needed out of a character like her at this stage. With that said, all of this led to one big question being how Meena was still alive when we saw her killed the same way that Godspeed killed the other speedsters. The truth was satisfying and somewhat believable for the kind of speedster she is. Not at all what you were expecting either. It goes without saying that during that short time she did show more potential than some of the others we were introduced to, on top of also having an extra ability that separates her from the rest.
So many issues ahead, the smart thing here was that we got a reintroduction to her and how she came to be a speedster. You can overlook how long it took us to learn a bit more about her because down the road its nothing rehashed or repeated. Readers who have stuck through with this series continue to expand on their knowledge of characters like herself, while newer readers are given a quick summary of who they are dealing with. The things that matter most about Meena they now know.
Now with the reintroduction of Meena into the story, there also comes the question of where this is all leading to. A direction I personally prefer when it is about time to start going through the healing process for Barry. Things can only go so wrong for someone like him before it is time to start fixing his situation. Including Wally in this reunion was the smart play as well. A lot of these things do affect him as well, especially when it concerns Meena who he had just as strong of a connection with as his mentor before Barry. Wally’s involvement kept things grounded when he’s blunt enough to say what no one else will and ask the hard questions. This is a time where trust is valuable and he represents someone who places that high when lives are at risk.
The subplot on the side is so far an interesting development. We are given enough just to grab our attention that something is building up behind the scenes. We have seen one of the parties involved, though not this other one that gives us the impression that this will reach a point of escalation sometime soon.
The interior artwork for this issue was solid from the work team. As the start of a new story, there wasn’t much in the way of expectation to take from this aside from understanding Meena’s current situation. So for the most part the attention was centered around these three characters and how they interact with one another. The facial expressions were strong for such an emotional reunion, though the body language was stronger. Keeping characters in motion to match what they say also keeps us engaged in the moment. When it came to moments of action, I was impressed by the effort that went into these speedsters showing a range in motion. Each have their own way of running that can be easily influenced by their emotions and the kind of energy running through them. I will say that the art team did great when it came to visualizing this Meena and not instantly pushing us into that state of mind where we should be weary of her. Her costume is pretty basic, though the colors give a lot away in terms of the side that she has chosen over time.
Ha, you think the craziness has ended, but there seems to be no sign of sanity in the life of Barry and Wally anytime too soon. Friends and trust are in short supply for these two which they continue to learn the hard way. This was a touching issue for the most part as they almost lead us into a false sense of security. Well that is if you were like me and ignored the words on the cover.