After a rocky, but promising, start this mini-series appears to have prematurely reached its highpoint and is now in a complete free fall. The fact that this mini-series was published now, so soon after Damian’s death, instead of years ago when the idea had originated, is just the start of this mini-series’ problems. Two issues in and Andy Kubert is still unable to grasp the characters that he is working with. Damian, Bruce, and Alfred are written remarkably poor and all three of them are writing completely out of character. The plot is almost nonexistent, with Damian off on a crusade to avenger Dick Grayson’s death, all the while having time to visit a church, Arkham, and get beat up by Pyg’s Dollatrons. The art is nice, however it has a distinctly dated feel to it. That, combined with the loose plot and odd choice of paper this book is printed on, makes it seem like this book was plucked out of the 90’s and certainly did not stand the test of time. 2.5/5
The Flash #25
Writers: Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul
Artists: Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, Keith Champagne, Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato
Cover Artists: Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato
Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul have raised the bar to a whole new level with their entire run on “The Flash”. Over a span of 25 issues, plus Annuals and Villains’ month tie-ins, Buccellato and Manapul have told a cohesive, exciting, and overall consistently wonderful story. Not only that, but for the most part, the two were also on art duties, creating one of the most beautifully illustrated comics on the market today. This issue plays out much better than expected. Taking place during the illustrious “Zero Year”, Barry hasn’t even received his powers yet, so this issue does a great job of showcasing Barry’s heroic qualities without him being overshadowed by his powers. Speaking of his powers, one of the best parts of this entire run is the lack of the Justice League. It’s not that they are a terrible group, but any time they’re around Flash tends to be overlooked and in that regard, Buccellato and Manapul did a really strong job making Barry stand out in a sea of superheroes. 4.5/5
This should be a review about how this book is continues to struggle, with characters constantly written out of character and a confusingly convoluted story line. Instead, it’s going to spotlight the terrible injustice thrust upon Superboy, one of the more well known and well liked of the second generation heroes. You wouldn’t know it by reading this series, but Superboy was sacrificed to save Argo City, making this the second time he’s died in less than ten years. DC has done such a poor job with this character ever since the new52 started. His role in the Teen Titans has been reduced to being the hired help, he has next to no emotional ties with anyone, and in comic years he hasn’t even been alive for a year. Pre-Flashpoint Superboy was an amazing character. Kon, Tim, and Bart were the ultimate Brot3, fighting bad guys, standing up to the older superheroes, all the while having fun. Superboy had emotional ties all across the DC Universe, he had the respect of his peers, and he was an efficient leader and great friend. This series will continue on without him, his role being replaced by an alternate universe version of him, however it is just another problem this series didn’t really need. His death in Superman #25 was just the final nail in the coffin DC has been building since the new52 began. 3/5
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