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The Flash #14 – Review: Survival Of The Fastest

“Gorilla Warfare” rages on as we race straight into The Flash #14! As I have said before the creative team of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato should be applauded for their work on this series which, so soon after the advent of the reboot, has set itself as both a worthy successor and a fresh take of previous runs. In all seriousness this latest story arc might rank as one of the best things that the main DC line has out at this moment. “Gorilla Warfare” is a breath of fresh, fun, and exciting, while others series come off as perhaps a bit too stagnant.

The story is probably one of the better blends of pure Silver-Age insanity and the sensibilities of a modern superhero comic that I’ve seen in a while. Not only that, but one that plays around with The Flash mythos in exciting new ways. Gorillas have always been a part of this series since the first days of Barry Allen, but not since then have they been given a major overhaul. Until now that is.

We are given more insight into the origins of the inhabitants of Gorilla City, which is certainly something that will get explored in further detail later on, but now we are given a small tantalizing little glimpse. More tantalizing is the reveal of a old character that is sure to get Flash fans talking. It’s a direct reference given a brand new twist, which is what a reboot should do. Taking the old and refreshing it, and other than Earth 2 it is something I have seen lacking in “The New 52”.

Other than the writing is still as good as it has been since the reintroduction of The Rogues. We have character moments of Barry wherein his thoughts about fighting a villain who not only matches his power set, but also exceeds it. The Flash has been through the wringer nonstop and this provides some nice reflection on that. The Rogues are still in top shape, both in their character interactions and general personalities. They provide both needed levity and action, a one two punch that is well done and greatly appreciated.

One of the things that do give me pause to worry is the amount of plot threads up in the air. Only a few get touched upon within this issue, such as those concerning the people lost within the Speed Force and Danny West. However, the amount of running subplots have reached the double digits and it is a little scary to think about what could happen if Manapul and Buccellato aren’t able to stick the landing. Even here it is simple touching upon, which breaks up the flow somewhat. The main story, on the other hand, is still going strong. The stakes are high(er), the action is taut, and a note of high tension is played throughout.

Francis Manapul’s art is still some of the best art to grace the pages of The Flash. It’s kinetic, stylish, and more important than not – vibrant. It’s filed with life, something that Buccellato’s coloring compliments to great effect. There are two beautiful spreads that capture the frantic nature of “Gorilla Warfare” and the precarious situation that The Flash has found himself in. Some single pages, like the very last, can be said to be some of the best this run has had. There is nothing else to be said, except about the customary DC Comics credits gag, which is as clever as ever. This arc has only just begun and yet even now it is pushing the limits set by the issues preceding it. Let’s see that continue next month as “Gorilla Warfare” continues!




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