Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr THE FLASH #55 BY JOSHUA WILLIAMSON, SCOTT KOLINS, AND LUIS GUERRERO Art Characterization Plot Summary THE FLASH #55 includes some absolutely stunning artwork by Scott Kolins. It's a feast for the eyes. On top of that, Joshua Williamson’s writing is, once again, on point. It’s a fantastic book all around! 96 % Fast-Paced Fun THE FLASH #55 proves once again that, for the most part, Joshua Williamson writes Barry with love and respect. Much of this issue revolves around Barry’s inner monologue, obsessing over the recent changes in his life as well as his relationship with Iris. A sizable chunk of this issue revolves around Barry taking some time off from superheroics to hang out at a bar with his work friends and Iris, like a normal person. I like the change from the nearly nonstop action of the last arc with the Strength Force. That’s not to say that there’s no action, since Barry also fights Solomon Grundy and investigates a mysterious incident at Iron Heights regarding Heat Wave. Semi-regular artist Scott Kolins returns this to issue with another hyper-kinetic looking installment. Team-Ups and Drinks in THE FLASH #55 THE FLASH #55 opens with Barry teaming up with the Justice League Dark in order to take down Solomon Grundy. Flash finishes the fight by vibrating in such a way that Grundy’s mass of dead tissue separates and pulls him apart. He brings up with the League how strange it was that Grundy decided to come to Central City, considering he’s based out of Slaughter Swamp near Gotham. That’s a mystery for another day, though, since Barry’s late for a date with Iris. He meets her and a few work friends at a bar where, it turns out, his roommate Commander Cold works! Cold, trapped in the past after his future was rewritten, needed some way to make money. THE FLASH #55 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment. Barry starts seeing things, including a monstrous apparition of Wally West telling him that he never should have sent Wally to Sanctuary. To find out more about that, read HEROES IN CRISIS #1! Anyway, before Barry can make sense of the possible hallucination, he’s called down to Iron Heights. Heat Wave’s cell spontaneously combusted, burning him worse than ever. The doctors believe he has a very real chance of dying. Yet Barry deduces that the new Sage Force may be behind this. Is he correct? Well, pick up THE FLASH #55 to find out! Focus on Barry in THE FLASH #55 Williamson has made Barry’s inner monologue a huge part of his run. Every issue, Barry not only recaps prior events, he also gives tidbits about his past and comments on his current situation. In THE FLASH #55, Barry’s inner monologue kicks into high gear and seems to be one of the main focuses of this issue. As always it adds insight into his character, but in this issue especially, it shows where his motivation lies. I really like Williamson’s perhaps extreme reliance on using his inner monologue. It helps me connect with Barry more as a character since I know just how much the huge events of the last ten or so issues have been affecting him. For instance, he shows loads of guilt and remorse for both Wallace and Wally West leaving him in not-so-certain terms. Plus, it also gives insight into Barry’s brilliant problem-solving skills. Sometimes, writers forget just how smart Barry is. Williamson doesn’t, and he makes sure Barry uses his knowledge to get out of most situations. The way he deduces how to stop Grundy is quite ingenious. This part of Williamson’s scripts has been one of the best parts of an already fantastic run. Kolins Kills it in THE FLASH #55 Once again, Scott Kolins shows why he’s still one of the best artists in the business with his work on THE FLASH #55. All of his action scenes look downright stunning. They’re filled with so much kinetic energy that it’s a feast for the eyes. Each scene seems like it’s overflowing with energy; it practically looks like fluid animation. I’ve said that before, but it’s the best way to describe this type of art. His unique, cartoony style combined with the fluid, fast-paced energy makes him quite reminiscent of possibly the greatest comic artist: Jack Kirby. I can especially see the resemblance in the double page spread that comes early in the issue. Grundy looks positively Kirby-esque, with his raging, crazed scream and action pose.Plus, every other character is in motion. The Flash, obviously, is running fast, which is exemplified by the brilliant speed lines. Wonder Woman struggles with her lasso; Zatanna raises her arms to cast a spell. They all look like they’re moving, even though it’s a still image. That’s a thing of beauty, if you ask me. THE FLASH #55 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment. I’d also like to mention colorist Luis Guerrero. All of the colors in this book pop. I love when more cartoony-looking comics are really colorful. Guerrero’s hues perfectly complement Kolins’s art style. Overall, THE FLASH #55 looks absolutely splendid. Final Thoughts: THE FLASH #55 THE FLASH #55 is both a fun book and an emotional look into Barry Allen’s psyche. From his possible hallucinations to his inner monologue, you feel for him here. Williamson delivers another fabulous issue. Kolins, once again, draws some of the best looking fight scenes in modern comics. Overall, if you’re interested in reading THE FLASH, this is a perfect place to jump on!