Review: The Flash #36

The Flash- covAfter the events of the last issue, this series finds itself dealing with not one, but two Barry Allens.  After the unexpected confrontation to close the rift in time and space, regular Barry Allen gets thrown into the timestream, while the future Barry Allen is left in our own time stream.  While the last issue left off with Barry being attacked by a dinosaur-like creature, this issue focuses mostly on the present-time as the future Barry Allen takes over the role of the previous Barry (time travel is confusing!).

This Barry Allen is a bit of a fish-out-of-water.  Able to pass perfectly for the missing Barry, this character is forced into a “take your kids to work day” scenario with Wally, but proves inept at doing so, unable to find his way around the police precinct in most cases.  While this is a humorous approach to the future-Barry, it leads quickly into some other deeper ideas, namely that of philosophical utilitarianism.  Future Barry is back from the future, partially a broken man, but he aims to rectify that by eliminating the pieces of the puzzle that allowed crimes to happen.  Unexpectedly this kind of time paradox “for the greatest good” concept pops up in this issue and is handled well.  On the other hand the present Barry finds himself out of time, in what mostly feels like filler for this issue, though presumably his actions there will help to drive along the plot in a more meaningful way in future issues.

The end result is an issue which does a little bit better than most of the issue’s in this series.  The overall level of expectation for the Flash is usually of an entertaining level, though not necessarily more, but with the added time paradox aspect of this issue the series takes a deeper (and darker) turn.  The Flash is actually one of the series at DC Comics which benefits best from a more scientific approach, and as that is here, this issue is tapping into its own Speed Force.

Story: Robert Venditti and Van Jensen Art: Brett Booth and Andre Coehlo
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy