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The Flash #81 Review

Comic Books

The Flash #81 Review

Hunter Zolomon is back again and Barry has to worry about Hunter, The Black Flash AND the fact he’s in the Forever Force!

Hunter Zolomon. Black Flash. The dying Speedforce. Find out with this issue of Drago– I mean The Flash! In this issue,0 Joshua Williamson sets up some intriguing but possibly controversial changes to Flash lore while also expertly working with veteran Flash artist Scott Kolins. Kolins’ art is again a great fit for the Flash franchise and works well for the story.

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly comics podcast!

“The Hunter and the Hunted” part two! This is one issue you cannot miss! The last gasp of the Speed Force! Can Barry Allen and Hunter Zolomon work together long enough to beat death and save the Speed Force? Can Kid Flash and Avery, the Flash of China, discover what the Rogues want within the wreckage of Iron Heights? Even if the Flash survives, nothing will ever be the same again for the Flash family!

The Flash #81 Review

Tell me about it!

One of the biggest things I liked about the issue is that, like in issue 45, they brought in Scott Kolins to do the art for a time that addresses Hunter Zolomon’s backstory due to him drawing the original backstory for him in “Blitz, Part One: Rogue Profile Zoom” way back in June 2003. Having the backstory drawn by Kolins here helps keep anything regarding it in a consistent style that most characters don’t get. Even going past the backstory within this issue, Kolins does extremely well with his stylized approach and his ability to do well with the franchise he is so familiar with at this point. Luis Guerrero’s colours help with the artwork too, helping to make them pop and keep them reminiscent of Kolins’ work back on Blitz. His color palette of reds, yellows and bright colors help to keep the stylized look of Kolins’ art with an almost cartoony feel in how characters are drawn and helps with the kinetics of panels. 

However, the changes within the issue are something I am not too sure on where I stand so far. SPOILERS AHEAD:

So this issue reveals that Hunter was right about the lack of gun on the clown in Hunter’s backstory. For anyone unaware, Hunter was a profiler for the FBI and while on a raid for a clown serial killer (no, not The Joker), Hunter was certain that the clown didn’t have a gun but when they broke in, it turned out he did, leading to the death of his father-in-law who was leading the raid, and the crippling of Hunter due to a shot to his knee and the subsequent ruination of his marriage due to this mistake. However, this issue reveals that the clown did in fact not have a gun originally but was given one by Eobard Thawne, likely to set Hunter on the path he is currently on to become his legacy. This is certainly a potentially controversial change due to it making a lot of Hunter’s story to be built off a lie, however I’m curious about where it could go.

The Flash #81 Review
The Flash #81
Is it good?
A great story, fantastic art that calls back to earlier moments in Flash history, and a potentially controversial story element make this issue can't miss.
Scott Kolins' art is really great as usual.
Using Kolins for issues regarding Hunter's backstory is a good way to keep the styling consistent.
Guerraro's colours help to accentuate Kolins' perfectly.
Joshua Williamson sets up some interesting plot points...
..However it's yet to see whether these changes will be good or bad. It has potential to go either way.

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