Friday, August 16, 2013

Retro Review: Flash Vol 2 #197

Geoff Jones was simply amazing on the Flash. One of the best things he did was give Wally West his own version of the Reverse Flash. The original Reverse Flash was as dead as Barry Allen, and Geoff Jones had said he wanted to fill that void. Rather than resurrect Eobard Thawne he gave us a new character, with and even more personal vendetta than Thawne had with Barry Allen. This issue gives us his origin.

Hunter Zolomon was a great criminal profiler for the FBI until his own arrogance lead the the death of his father in law when he assured him that the suspect held up in a house would not be armed. This lead to him losing his job and his marriage. He ended up working for the Keystone Police Department where he befriended the Wally West AKA the Flash. After being crippled by Grodd, Hunter begged Wally to use the Cosmic Treadmill in the Flash Museum to go back in time and stop him from being crippled. Wally refused on the grounds of it being unethical to change the past. Hunter wouldn't take no for an answer and broke into the Flash Museum to use it himself. It malfunctioned and blew up. All of this is told in flashback as Hunter has woken up in the hospital and remembers these recent events. Astonishingly Hunter finds his legs now work and when he goes to find a nurse he sees time has come to a near standstill relative to him. He decides to adopt the identity Zoom because Flash can't be a true hero until he learns tragedy.

This was a great origin story for a great villain. I loved how Zoom's speed came not from the speedforce but rather from manipulating time itself. I also loved how he actually believed what he was doing was for the Flash's own good. The art is pretty good, although I don't like that the flashbacks are all done in a monotone tan color. I understand why you would do that, but since most of this issue is flashbacks it really takes away from the enjoyment of this comic. Still if you ever wondered why people speak so highly of Geoff Jone's run on Flash this would be a great issue to pick up and find out.

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