Sunday, November 27, 2016

Comic Book Review: The Flash #11 - The Shade Returns!

By: Jerry Montgomery
November 26, 2016

The Flash #11
“The Speed of Darkness, Pt. 2”

Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Davide Gianfelice

If you haven’t been around for Pt. 1 of “The Speed of Darkness” story arc, then you should know the focus of last issue was on Wally West, aka Kid Flash. Barry Allen, the Flash questions the events that have allowed Wally to have returned. Whomever or whatever  the cause, he worries that old enemies will come crawling out of the woodwork to cause problems. Wally battles the lame villain Papercut (His power is that he can control paper. Seriously.). He screws it up and to redeem himself in the eyes of the Flash, Wally then takes it upon himself to track down a new internet boogeyman known as “The Walking Shadow”. He  finds the Shadow but soon finds himself outmatched because it’s really The Shade…but there’s something not quite right about him. He appears more monstrous, more evil. In the ensuing confrontation, Kid Flash vanishes into the darkness of the Shade.

In issue 11 and part two of the “Darkness” story arc, it begins with Kid Flash battling the shadow entities in the realm known as the Shadowlands, literally running for his life. In the meantime, in Central City, Barry Allen goes to Wally’s house to speak with him and his Aunt Iris about his absences from school, but of course, Wally is not there. Barry, changing into his alter ego,  the Flash is confronted by an unknowing Iris who scolds him for chastising Wally . At this point, the Shade materializes to them both, once again, looking askew and decayed. Iris charges headlong into the darkness before the Flash can intervene and he follows. The Flash finds himself face to face with a relieved and exhausted Kid Flash on the other side, a barren and twisted landscape. The Shade presents himself as well, only he now appears healthy and working on the side of good (Remember, he’s reformed.).  He reveals the reason and source for the Shadow problems and enlists the aid of the Flash to help him set things right. Discovering the root of the problem, a duo of new villains emerge to a surprised Flash and Shade,  which could be a bigger problem than they would ever have imagined.

The Verdict: A very interesting story with a lot of potential with the addition of the character of The Shade. Created in 1942, he’s been in the DC universe for a long time and IGN named him one of the greatest villains of all time.  He is definitely a breath of fresh air in this title rather than the goofy villains we’re used to seeing pitted against the Flash. The Shade really grew into a great character since he was in Starman, way back in 1998-2001. The artwork is pretty good for a sort of unconventional style by Davide Gianfelice . Having been a big fan of Starman, and the Shade, I am looking forward to the next chapter.

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