The Flash (1987 Series) #211
Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Animal House
It’s Flash and Nightwing together against the might of Gorilla Grodd!
Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Howard Porter
Colors: James Sinclair
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Cover Art: Michael Turner & Peter Steigerwald
Publisher: DC Comics
Last issue the Flash and Nightwing walked straight into Grodd’s lair in the Flash Museum. This issue picks up a few seconds and a ton of rubble later, as Grodd lays into the two ex-Titans and best friends. Johns does one of his best fight scenes yet in the series, utilizing Flash’s powers to a degree he doesn’t normally attain, something that’s sure to stir up a new round of debate over in the Comixtreme Arena.
The aftermath of the fight may seem a little corny to some, but to me it felt like it fit perfectly. It’s very reverential, very much what this title is all about, the legacy of the Flash.
Johns uses the rest of the issue setting things up for what promises to be the next major storyline, which if this issue is any indication, will hearken back to one of the most memorable tales of Barry Allen’s career. It seems like every issue of Flash these days ends exactly the same way – leaving me in agony waiting for the next one.
Howard Porter does a great Grodd. It’s just not easy to draw a giant gorilla tearing apart a museum without it looking silly, but this is a deadly serious fight and a brutal, vicious Grodd. The entire art team, including Livesay and Sinclair, deserve credit for tackling the task of putting together the Flash, one of the brightest heroes of the DCU, with the much darker Nightwing. While not as dark as his mentor, Nightwing is still a character that usually keeps to the shadows, and continues to do so in this issue, while Flash still gets to be bright and colorful and symbolic, everything a hero should be.
Michael Turner and Peter Steigerwald, who are currently turning out some of the best looking DC covers every month, also do a fantastic job this issue, with a beautiful, iconic cover. I have to complain, though, that the logo obscures a bit too much of the art, and since the whole thing is against a black field I can’t help but think that the artwork could have been moved further down to get more of it in view. I also have to be consistent here and point out that it’s a cover that, like far too many covers these days, bears absolutely no significance to the story… but man, when the cover is that pretty, how can you make yourself complain?
I love this book. Every month, I love this book all over again. Geoff Johns has found a way to make this title one of the best DCU books of the 2000s just as Mark Waid made it one of the best of the 90s, and I keep waiting to see the sales of this book rise to the level they deserve.