The Flash #44 Review
The Flash #44, by writer Joshua Williamson and artist Carmine Di Giandomenico, is the conclusion to the Perfect Storm arc, and it came armed with all the feels. As the Flash Family tries to stop Gorilla Grodd’s negative Speed Force storm from destroying the world, the audience is treated to a heartfelt letter from Barry to Iris, telling her how he feels about her and introducing her to the nephew she never knew she had. There’s also some much needed, though none-to-satisfying, answers to why Barry has been acting like such a jerk lately.
There’s a lot going on in this issue, as Williamson tries to wrap up the arc, but at the center of it all is Barry’s letter to Iris. Barry believes he is going to die stopping the storm, so his letter is the last chance to set right everything he did wrong with Iris, and if you don’t at least get a little bit of a warm, fuzzy feeling in your heart while reading it, you have no soul. The Perfect Storm story started with Barry trying to make amends with Iris for not telling her he was the Flash, and it ends with his full confession of how he feels about her, so Williamson delivers a nice bit of symmetry with this device.
Unfortunately, it seems like Williamson could have used another issue to properly wrap up his story. Things are rushed along, in order to close each storyline that was introduced at the beginning of the arc. Grodd is beaten a little too easily by the Flash, as he exploits the same mental connection Grodd used to manipulate him. How it is possible for Barry to outmaneuver an extremely strong telepath like Grodd is brushed aside for the sake of convenience. Also briefly mentioned in a throwaway line is the fact that Grodd was pushing the Flash to do and say all of those questionable, out of character things he has been doing the entire arc. Considering how terrible and selfish Barry has been acting, and the fact that he let the super criminal Godspeed out of jail in a misguided attempt at getting his powers back, there should have been a little more time given to this explanation. And finally, Grodd is conveniently towed away at the last moment by Ape Guards from Gorilla City, making the main villain of the arc’s capture come at the hands of characters we are barely introduced to in the final issue.
The art by Di Giandomenico is stunning, as usual, and perfect for a book about speedsters. He is great with making the Flash look like he is constantly in motion, practically flying off of the page, and Ivan Plascencia’s colors make a book full of electricity seem like it’s actually glowing in the readers’ hands. You couldn’t ask for a better art team for a Flash book.
In the end, this was a satisfying, but rushed issue, that wraps the arc up in a nice, neat little bow. The answers given about Barry’s odd behavior aren’t as detailed as they should be, and Grodd is swept off the page with little care, but the Flash is left in a nice place emotionally, surrounded by family, and the love of his life, so the weaknesses are excusable. Especially, when the last page promises an epic arc to come next month.