The Flash #72
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Howard Porter
The “Year One” arc continues in The Flash #72 with Chapter 3 seamlessly picking up where Chapter 2 left off. The Flash is about to engage in his first ever battle against The Turtle. In Chapter 2, Flash accidentally traveled into a dystopian future where The Turtle ruled Central City. He was informed by his future self to actually take The Turtle seriously and then current Flash was sent back to his own time. Coincidentally, he arrived just as Turtle made his debut in the public eye.
Unfortunately, the battle is pretty short. It only lasted a few pages, but it was cool to look at. Howard Porter’s action sequences look incredible. I especially liked the scene where Flash vibrates through a brick wall and it ends up exploding. Bricks are flying everywhere and Flash has to grab all of them before they injure any of the civilians in the area. Yeah, that’s probably not a unique thing to happen in a Flash comic. I thought it was cool because Porter’s panel progression is so great and it shows Barry isn’t careless or reckless – even in his first ever fight. I just wish it lasted longer.
The core premise of this issue is about Barry adapting more to his new life as a superhero and getting a hang of the speed force. Because of his powers, he’s found himself to have more time for his social life and work. Visiting that dystopian future was a real wake up call. He finally realized his potential, not just as a hero, but as a person.
I do personally feel that – ironically enough – Barry becoming more like himself happened a little too fast. There are still 3 issues after this. If it wasn’t for the cliffhanger at the end, this chapter felt like it could’ve been the last. Also, some of Joshua Williamson’s dialogue in this issue is sort of cheesy. There’s a moment where Iris is telling Barry about some of her “nerd hobbies” and she says “I’m really into horror movies… RARAGH!” and she turns around to, I guess, scare Barry. It just came off so weird and took me out of the story a little bit.
Much like the last issue, the art is the best part of this arc thus far. I talked about how Howard Porter has great panel progression and this issue is full of great examples. The first page alone is an outstanding showcase of that. It shows Barry coming face to face with The Turtle as he builds up the courage to fight him. Meanwhile, he’s narrating about how he would stand up against bullies and panels showcasing a younger Barry defending his friends are shown. The panel layout is unorthodox but it really works. Now, that’s not to say his artwork is perfect. That are a few questionable faces and expressions throughout, but nothing so bad it kills your immersion.
The Flash (2016-) #72
The Flash #72 is a solid issue, despite some of its pacing and pieces of dialogue. Pick it up if you've been following the Year One arc, as I think the next issue will be a pretty good one.