The Flash #36
Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Howard Porter
Cover by:Barry Kitson
“A Cold Day in Hell” part one! When one of The Flash’s Rogues is murdered inside Iron Heights prison, Barry Allen throws himself deep into the case, still reeling from the turmoil of his personal life! But when the clues begin to reveal an even greater conspiracy at work, The Flash soon discovers Iron Heights’ deadliest secret…
A murder was committed in Iron Heights, so Barry must turn to his investigative skills to solve the case. The villain Turbine was killed, and only so many could’ve done it within Iron Heights. It’s a mystery worth solving, so does the issue do a good job of keeping you on the edge of it? Not necessarily, but let’s dive deeper as to why I believe this may be one of the series’ weakest issues.
The opening is pretty great, setting up how Barry has solved many mysteries in the past. It gave off a Sherlock’s Holmes vibe, and I think it was a great start lead a new mystery to be solved. The mystery itself has to do with Turbine’s death in Iron Heights, but Barry isn’t allowed on the case because of his new job there. That doesn’t stop him from trying to figure out what happened however, so he’s still on the case. We’ll sort of, as he really doesn’t do much investigating other than talking in a monologue about how he typically approaches them. Yet we really don’t get a sense of that’s side of Barry here, and it feels like a big missed opportunity as of right now.
The big twist in the mystery is that the Captain Cold and the rest of the rogues are planning something big, and Turbine’s death was an obstacle for them with Trickster taking the blame. Is that all though? it may seem too early to tell but it kind of seems like it. If so, it’s disappointing we didn’t get Barry full on investigating, now it’s simply pushed aside too quickly.
With that being said, there’s still something this issue does very well and it’s keeping the dialogue true to the characters. Williamson does a great job again of giving every character their own voice, and it makes the issue more enjoyable despite it’s downfalls. The art is also a highlight, although it sometimes gets a bit weird looking. The colors and details are great, there are only a few instances when a part of a panel seems inconsistent.
The potential for a great mystery is there, but I feel the opportunity was sort of wasted here. Within the same issue they introduce it, it’s seemingly pushed aside. Barry Allen had a nice monologue throughout, especially the beginning but I really didn’t get the sense he was actually investigating. The art is slightly weird at times, but the colors shine through to create an immersive feel.