What better way to follow last issues really cool cover than with another really cool cover… this time from master draftsman Dick Giordano. Follow that up with some nice art on the inside from Alex Saviuk, and you have the makings of an above average issue. And this time all of this top shelf art supports a well written story by Cary Bates as well.
The tale picks up right where we left off at the masquerade ball where Iris has been attacked by the monster Yorkin as he sought revenge against Barry, and the Flash has been drugged by someone unknown. As they are examined, Iris is declared dead and an ambulance is called for the Flash. A nice feint is thrown in which we see the Flash running down Yorkin and killing him. It doesn’t make much sense until we see that it was Barry’s drugged imagination that we were observing, and he wakes up in a hospital. He’s still raving mad and has to be given a tranquilizer. Again we see Barry’s mind revisiting the previous day in anguished imaginings.
Time passes and we see Barry in a wheelchair being pushed by a nurse in a park setting, still having delusions about killing Yorkin. I’m thinking that it probably wouldn’t be the best time to be given Iris’s wedding and told that she’s dead, but that’s what happens when the narco detective Frank Curtis shows up and does exactly that. Curtis then doubles down and takes Barry to see Iris’s body in the morgue. He then drives a crying Barry home.
The scene shifts to the Justice League Satellite where the Flash shows up demanding that Superman, Wonder Woman or Green Lantern bring Iris back to life. When they try to explain that they can’t do the impossible (I know, I know), the Flash goes into a berserker rage, declares them all to be frauds, and takes each in of them on individually. The final panel shows the Flash about to fight them all at once, and vows to tear the JLA satellite apart when he’s done with them.
In a refreshing change from the previous issues, the story is told in a straight linear fashion, with none of the distracting off shoots that have tended to muddy up and confuse the last few tales. It’s basically watching Barry/Flash slowly come unhinged as his life comes completely apart. If this is what Bates has been building towards, his payoff story is well done. It remains clear and straightforward while taking the character to interesting places. Bates has now got me hooked and looking forward to watching him as he puts the Flash back together.