Let's get this out of the way. This issue is like THE FLASH meets Die Hard. Where we left off last issue, Barry Allen was at Iron Heights and suddenly lost his powers (see recent issues of DIAL H). Where does that leave a powerless police forensic scientist? It leaves him raiding the weapons storage where he manages to get a bunch of the super villain inmates' items. This means we get to see Barry like we haven't seen him before.
After years of fighting the Rogues with their weapons, it's Barry's turn to try to be on the other side of the receiving end. The problem is, the weapons are genetically coded so fighting Trickster's liberators won't be an easy task.
Brian Buccellato gives us a great story with a brilliant change of pace. You wouldn't think an issue of THE FLASH with no speed powers would work so well. Buccellato's story shows us that Barry isn't just about being fast. It's always a great thing when super heroes don't have to rely solely on their superpowers. There's also a nice cameo before the final pages that should make some continuity critics happy.
Marcio Takara's art fits the story nicely. Seeing his depiction of Iron Heights and the story allows us to see it from a different perspective. The action and stealth scenes play out nicely and it reinforces the desire to see Takara on another monthly title.
For those missing Francis Manapul, he does put in an appearance at the end of the issue. Or at least his art (and storytelling) does. This sets the stage for the next chapter and it appears it's going to be pretty crazy.
Seeing Barry in this way was a fun read. No complaints over the entertainment provided within these pages. Yes the shift from Takara's art to Manapul's is noticeable but it's been said that it was an editorial decision.
Get ready to see Barry Allen like you've never seen him before. Brian Buccellato concludes his two-issue solo arc and it's a doosey. With Barry losing his powers last issue, it's a whole new game and the story takes a great and different direction. Marcio Takara fills in nicely for Manapul and this issue just shows that he needs to be put on another ongoing title ASAP. We're on the verge of a new arc for the Flash and get quite the introduction in the final pages. THE FLASH is continuing to pick up speed so you'll want to be sure to keep up with it so you don't miss out on the craziness that's about to be unleashed.