If you will recall from my previous column, I had decided to (due to all of the good reviews associated with DC Comics' new "DC REBIRTH" books) to try out a couple and see how I liked them. Last week, I reviewed Batman #15 and found it an enjoyable issue (I was not TOO happy with the ending, however) and this column is the Flash #15's turn! The issue begins with the Rogue's Gallery breaking into a museum in order to steal a huge golden bejeweled statue of Mercury, God Of Thieves. The assembled Rogues are their leader, Captain Cold, his sister The Golden Glider, The Mirror Master, the Weather Wizard, Heat Wave and the new Trickster.
The Rogues create havoc, as they do, in the heist. However, the Flash makes a timely arrival to put an end to the Rogues Gallery's plot. The Flash wastes little time. He takes out the Trickster, Heat Wave, Golden Glider, the Mirror Master and the Weather Wizard in short order. It is then that Captain Cold does the old "grab-a-hostage" bit in order to stop the Flash. Of course, this does not stop (nor even slow down) the Flash! First he saves the hostage and then confronts Captain Cold. Flash, being very familiar with the Rogues after all of his encounters with them over the years, knows that something is wrong.
Leonard "Captain Cold" Snart -- is RIGHT HANDED!! But the bad Captain is holding his freeze gun in his LEFT hand! Why? The lash quickly deduces the answer. Captain Cold, as well as the other Rogues, are not really present! They are just mirror duplicates, created by the only real Rogue on the scene--The Mirror Master! The Mirror Master admits to the deception and uses his powers to reform the mirror shards into a hulking brute he names "The Mirror Monster"! While The Flash is busy fighting and defeating the monster, the Mirror Master escapes into his mirrors. The Flash reasons that the rest of the Rogues must be terrorizing and looting Central while he has been diverted at the museum.
So he races back to Central City to discover that 1) his suspicions were correct and 2) he is too late! The Rogues have struck at various points in Central City already. The book ends (rather abruptly, I thought) with The Flash wondering how he can catch all of the Rogues, whom have decided to split-up to pull jobs, rather than attack in a group. Needless to say - TO BE CONTINUED! So, that was The Flash (Rebirth Edition) #15. My thoughts? It was not bad, but not great either. It is an average issue. It was all The Flash and The Rogues Gallery with no mention of the supporting cast. The whole book is an issue long fight scene. The artwork is not my personal taste either. I still dislike the unnecessary lines (piping?) on the Flash's uniform. The Flash is supposed to be a sleek character. That is why the original costume was so good and fit the character perfectly! They got it exactly right on the first try! And as for the Rogues -- if the Rogues (excluding the Mirror Master) were not really there, then why does the issue begin with narration provided by an absent Captain Cold?!?!
First, a disclosure -- I am Mr. Bronze Age. My love for the stories, characters and look of the Bronze Age era is well known by my readers. With that said, I must say that I HATE what has been done to the Flash's Rogues Gallery. They used to be fun and just used their powers to rob banks or to cause havoc and of course, to fight the Flash. They were never as crazy nor as deadly as the Batman's Rogues Gallery were. The Joker, Two-Face, Clayface, ect. were psychopathic murderers all. But the Rogues? No. Simply put, I much prefer a Weather Wizard who is NOT a cold blooded sociopath, who planned on having his infant son to be dissected in order to explain the nature of the baby's powers. His old suit was much better as well.
Plus, Heat Wave is a pyromaniac?! Really? That is not cliche at all! Again I much prefer the original origin -- A young Mick Rory wanders off from the rest of his class during a class trip for a tour of a meat plant (??) He accidentally gets locked in the main freezer and just barely escapes. From that day on, Mick Rory could not be warm enough, even in the summertime, without wearing several layers of clothing. As an adult, he became a fire eater in the circus until he decided that switching to crime would pay better! To me, that is a MUCH better and more interesting origin (as presented in The Flash #266, "Heat Wave Plays It Cool") for the character than simple pyromania.
I actually like the new Trickster. He is a wet behind the ears kid, whom the rest of the Rogues have taken in to train him. He still screws up constantly however. This is an interesting character trait.
The book's ending seemed abrupt due to the lack of any scenes OTHER than the fight scenes. Had there been subplots or appearances by members of the main cast, this would not be the case. As it is, I say that the Flash #15 a fair issue, but unless you just like fight scenes, reading the issue will feel like eating half of a meal. Of the two REBIRTH books that I have read, Batman #15 is the better of the two.