Flash (vol.3) #5 (2010)

Flash (vol.3) #5 (October, 2010)
“Case One: The Dastardly Death of the Rogues, Part Four”
Writer – Geoff Johns
Artist – Francis Manapul
Colorist – Brian Buccellato
Letterer – Sal Cipriano
Associate Editor – Adam Schlagman
Editor – Eddie Berganza
Cover Price: $2.99

Part Four… again?  Okay, okay… we know that’s supposed to be Part Five.  But let’s look at the way this book has been titled over the past five issues.

The first two were both titled “The Dastardly Death of the Rogues”… without a “Part” number at all.  Issue Three was titled “Part Three”… but now, issues four and five are both labelled “Part Four”.

You’d think with how they were increasing the number of editors on the book someone might’ve caught that.  Not only that, this book is written by the Chief Creative Officer of the company!  Shouldn’t we try and be more careful?

Am I overreacting?  Probably.  It’s a simple error… but still, in an age where editors seem to multiply like rabbits, things like this shouldn’t make it into the final product.

Then again… I don’t think anybody at the “Big 2” look at the single issues as the “final product” anymore.

Welcome back to Brightest May.

We open with Flash and the Top heading off to confront the Rogues and Renegades.  If you recall, the Top just spilled the beans about the Rogues breaking a giant mirror… freeing the Mirror Lords, who will pervert Barry’s wife, Iris into the Mirror Mistress… and lead to Barry ultimately murdering the Mirror Monarch from the 25th Century.  Ya get all that?  Meanwhile, in the heart of Central City… the battle rages.

Barry arrives just as Mirror Master is about to “break glass” on that giant mirror.  This Mirror Master is, of course McCulloch… though the giant mirror was created by the former MM, Scudder.

Barry stops him from bustin’ it up… but isn’t able to stop him from fleeing into his own shiny (and reflective) wingtip headgear… thingie.

Then the Trickster pushes a button (perhaps The Button?! No, probably not.) on his “Happy Scrambler” to mess about with some high frequency versions of the police radio.  Killing two birds with one stone, Barry just yanks the wingtip thingie from his mask.

The battle continues… the Weather Wizard works his magic, and the Top hops between both groups in an attempt to keep the peace.  Then… Captain Boomerang is contacted by the White Lantern Entity.  Ohhhhh yeah, this is a Brightest Day crossover.  Anyhoo, he suddenly sees himself in a dense forest (perhaps the one in Star City), chasing Dove… who he hurls a boomerang at.

In the “real” world, Digger is actually throwing boomerangs… one of which breaks Scudder’s giant mirror!  Barry and the Top watch it crack.  Top tells Barry their only chance here is for Flash to enter the mirror and take on the Mirror Lords head-on.

Inside the mirror, Barry sees… well, not Mirror Lords or anything.  Just a “wrong” take on his own history.  He sees his mother still alive… a scene straight out of the upcoming Flashpoint event.  Hmm… don’t tell me that event was originally intended to be a smaller-scale dealie featuring Mirror Master and not, ya know… flushing the entirety of DC Comics’ history down the toilet?  Nahhhh, couldn’t be.

Anyhoo… Flash is both relieved and shocked not to see any Mirror Lords.  He now knows that the Top… set him up!  At that very moment, we check in with Iris… who has just been confronted by… heyyy, the Top.

Meanwhile, Barry is captured by the Renegades and taken to the future… where he, stop me if you’ve heard this one… will go on trial for murder.

I’m pretty sure I’ve said it before… it’s been a very long time since I’ve read these pre-Flashpoint books… I tell ya what, I was super-surprised to see that little glimpse of Mama Allen within the twisted mirror.

Now we know that Flashpoint has been in the works since jumpstreet.  There was an ad for it in the very first issue of the volume, after all.  I think the scope was still very much in question… or at the very least, completely different from what it wound up resulting in.  Feels sort of like how Blackest Night went from “Green Lantern Event” to “DC Universe Event”.  I gotta bet that Flashpoint was originally intended to be just a “Flash Event”… which DC Brass decided was a convenient-enough way to toss it all.

The Top’s betrayal worked for me.  It isn’t often we meet a completely altruistic baddie.  I appreciate how this appears to by tying in with the Hicks case that Barry and Iris are working on… but it does feel perhaps a hair too convenient.  Then again, if the Renegades are really from the future, and know how, and more importantly when, things go down… convenience is really just a byproduct.

Of interest… and something I’m not sure I considered yet, while Barry is chatting up the Top early on… the point is made that if Flash is arrested before murdering Mirror Monarch, that ought to make it so the Monarch survives, right?  If that’s the case, Barry will have been imprisoned for something not only did he not do… but something he’ll never do.  Very interesting wrinkle… and adds a whole ‘nother layer to that thought-crime undercurrent.

Overall… still a great read… still gorgeous.  We’re bolting toward our conclusion, which we’ll cover here tomorrow.  It’ll also be the one-hundredth Geoff Johns book we’ll be discussing!  Don’tcha dare miss it… I guess.

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