When the world is mad how do you even begin to beat the bad guys? It appears Joshua Williamson is offering up this question for Flash to answer in the latest story arc “The Greatest Trick of All” this week in The Flash #68. Part two kicks off with new revelations, plenty of jokes from the Trickster, and a whopper of a cliffhanger.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
The Flash has arrived back in his home of Central City to discover something…off. The people are all acting strangely, including his friends and colleagues–but before Barry can figure out why, the entire Central City PD attacks! At last the great trick is revealed: the Trickster now rules supreme! With Iron Heights as his fun-house base of operations, Trickster plunges the entire city into madness–and the Flash is powerless to save them!
Why does this matter?
The Flash’s world has been rocked recently by new forces emerging including the Sage Force and Strength Force. It appears those things may be involved in the entire Central City populace becoming a literal laughing stock.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
If you dig bad guys waxing poetic about their plans and plots you have come to the right place. Writer Joshua Williamson gives Trickster plenty of scenes to chew up the scenery adding clarity on what is going on and what he’s been up to. These scenes almost make Trickster an empathetic character, especially given how he was treated, but he’s a loon all the same and it’s fun to see him reveal things. At the same time though it’s not yet clear how he’s doing all this further making his acts he deems jokes borderline disturbing. The very last page is, in fact, quite a disturbing moment and I’m excited to see how Williamson pulls Flash out of this one.
The art by Scott Kolins and color by Luis Guerrero continues to be detailed and, in this issue, quite fun. The use of Trickster helps sell a carnival style double page splash early on in the issue with villains all over the page to eyeball. There are some incredible moments of emotion due to Trickster’s schemes and they are rendered well throughout. The full-page splash that ends the issue is quite a sight and should not only shock but get you thirsty for more. It’s subtle but there is an interesting use of orange lines that flash behind a few panels in two places in the book. Most of the paneling has white gutters, but these lines help add another layer to the scenes.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
All that bad guy monologuing does slow things down and feel overdone at times. There’s a lot to get through and the typical superhero trope of a hero being trapped, but always listening is used.
Is it good?
A good issue that begins to reveal what the heck is going on in Central City. That last page is going to stick with you.