“The Deadly Secret of Kid Flash” review
A review by Jake Morris.
The Flash #21 is the second part of the ‘Reverse Flash’ arc, and aims to build upon the investigation into the identity of the mystery Speed Force killer. Following on from the previous issue in which Barry found a likeness in the symbol found in the footage and that of Kid Flash’s speed symbol, Barry sets about meeting the younger speedster and is intent on finding any links between him and the murders.
As with almost every issue so far in this current Flash run, Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato continue their work on the co-writing, art and colouring. As has come to be expected, the artwork has a gorgeous layout with vibrant splashes of red, yellow and orange popping from the page and pencils really detailing the furious but graceful movements of both The Flash and Kid Flash. In fact, #21 may display the duo’s finest work in terms of the overlapping panels that detail the fun aspect of the events conveyed throughout the issue. Problems do arise within the art however, such as backgrounds often coming across as lacking in detail and being glazed over with ink work that perhaps does not compliment the action in the foreground as much as it should. That said, the finished product is outstanding (as has come to be expected from both men) and a pleasure to look at as you read through the issue.
The events that unfold within the issue are fairly straightforward but also offer an exhilarating ride from start to finish, with The Flash chasing Kid Flash from France to India to Argentina. Both characters are granted their own chances to shine individually in the issue as The Flash shows his noble heroic side as he saves paintings and sculptures from crashing to the floor while chasing Kid Flash through the Louvre, whereas Kid Flash offers an insight into his character that otherwise may be unknown to readers. A moment in India, in which Kid Flash attempts a disguise while speaking to Tim Drake about his current predicament and displaying no care towards The Flash’s murder inquiry, is an entertaining moment and one that builds upon Kid’s character nicely.
Ultimately the chase brings about revelations coinciding with Kid Flash’s origin, his connection to the Speed Force and the probable tutelage that Kid may undergo. A nice nod to Kid’s future persona is also thrown in through the use of dialogue and will be something that pleases most fans.
Perhaps the best moment of the issue comes towards the end where we get more of an insight into the blossoming relationship between Patty and Barry, and how the Speed Force clearly grants Barry a happier life. Contrast that with events unfolding on the other page as Sprint is shown scrambling and running away from a would be assailant, details how the Speed Force is perhaps not meant for everyone and that adds levity to why Barry might be so special in the guise of The Flash. Following Sprint’s predicament however, the only true issue with #21 crops up, as it is the second part of a six issue arc, the appearance of Reverse Flash almost feels shoehorned in just to let you know that he is still there despite the issue focusing mainly on Flash and Kid Flash’s meeting. This doesn’t particularly hamper the issue whatsoever as it comes right at the end but is sure to leave many fans anxiously awaiting the eventual confrontation between Reverse Flash and Flash.
Writers: Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
Artist: Francis Manapul
Colourist: Brian Buccellato
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Art: Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato