A good villain has to either have a really good backstory or one shrouded in mystery. Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato go the route of giving us the story of what motivates this incarnation of the Reverse Flash. It can sometimes be a risk but at the same time, it's better to hear the story from those that actually created the character.
It was issue #23 were we discovered the identity of this villain. It was a nice twist that some may not have seen coming. But it's part of that twist that gives the motivation and makes what happened last issue more powerful. It's great seeing the pieces fall in place as the two writers back track to fill us in on some events that happened behind the scenes of the main series. Seeing the actual origin play out is pretty cool and you do start to feel sympathetic for this particular bad guy. With a character like the Joker you don't want or need to feel sympathetic. With Reverse Flash, there's a fascinating aspect that makes you want to see what happens next as well as that sadness in seeing him do something that's just so wrong.
Do yourself a favor and make sure you read issue 23 before reading this to find out who Reverse Flash is.
Things happen. We all know this. Originally Francis Manapul was solicited as the artist. Scott Hepburn does a really good job here. What really stood out for me. Different artists all have their own take on characters but this got to be a little distracting.
Reverse Flash's story was fascinating but where can he go after this? We'll have to keep an eye out for him after issue #24.
Telling a villains story can be tricky. Manapul and Buccellato manage to tell a compelling story and origin, making us feel sympathetic towards the villain without making him seem like a watered down sap. This Reverse Flash stands apart from the previous incarnations. It's not often the villains sad story actually remains interesting. Seeing this new dimension added makes me want to see more. It's hard to say what place he might have after this arc but I am definitely intrigued.
Note: I thought the 3D version of this issue was pretty groovy. You gotta love that Manapul art.