By far, one of the best issues of Villains Month to be released, this Court of Owls story is a great look into one of Gotham’s oldest villains. James Tynion IV did a fantastic issue surrounding the Court’s forthcoming plans, as well as integrating bits and pieces of their history into the issue. His pacing on this issue was spot on, as it progressively got darker and darker, culminating in a prelude to an upcoming arc in the ongoing series Talon. Jorge Lucas, whose previous work I’m not familiar with, did a spectacular job with this issue. Paired with color artist Dave McCaig, the pair illustrated a gorgeous book, slightly altering their stylings based on the time period. What made this issue exceptional, especially in comparison to many of the other Villains Month issues, is that while history and past events were incorporated, the present day story also progressed in a meaningful manner. 4.5/5
The biggest change to the Flash universe, post Flashpoint, had been the demise of the Barry and Irish relationship, until The Flash #23 that is. In a shocking twist of things, the Reverse Flash ended up being Iris’s brother, and Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul took this issue as an opportunity to show us how he got that way. The origin aspect of this story was extremely well done. By the end of the issue, we’re given a heartbreaking story that leaves the reader feeling empathetic to Danny West’s problems. Scott Hepburn’s art with Buccellato was nicely illustrated and nicely paired with the story. The only thing that didn’t particularly work well with this issue was the portrayal of Danny. Of course, this could be the writers’ intentions, however, based on the way he spoke and acted towards Iris, it often felt that he was harboring romantic feelings towards his sister. There was no point when he outright declared his love for her, however, his dialog and inner monologue was often written in an awkward manner for siblings. 4/5
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