Man, who knew the return of The Shade would produce one hell of an interesting, complex Flash storyline in 2016?
Writer Joshua Williamson is joined by artist Davide Gianfelice on issue 11 and part two of The Speed of Darkness arc in bringing the Shadowland and Sad Shade's story to life. Gianfelice's work grabs me right off the bat by making Wally's battles in the shadow seem creepy, mysterious and seemingly neverending.
This work sets up the impact felt when we learn that Wally thinks he has been stuck here for days when in fact, it has only been a couple of hours. The feeling of this unknown land is built before Williamson needs to say a word.
You are now entering minor spoiler territory for The Flash #11 by DC Comics. Here is the cover of the book to give you fools some time to not be spoiled. Emphasis on minor spoilers.
In classic Barry Allen fashion, things only get more tangled up when he tries to step into action over the simple fact that Wally ditched school.
This issue highlights one of the things that I have loved most about DC's Rebirth, that it has given forgotten or underused characters a chance to shine. Seriously, we get an emotional, deep look into what the heck has been going on with The Shade and how we got to where we currently are.
I love the way that Williamson draws comparisons between Wally-Barry-The Shade when telling his backstory. He just wanted to be good but was so overwhelmed with the pressures of being good that his inner-demons took over.
While we're not entirely sure if it was his own doing or not, the comparison seeds have been planted.
Review 8/10: Joshua Williamson just gets Barry Allen and The Flash. He knows what works, his knows his fears, hopes, dreams and aspirations. His emotion and fears jump out of every page and whether you're a fan of the current arc or not, you know you're getting a true to form Flash story.
Davide Gianfelice does a great job of creating this mysterious, terrifying underworld that lays out the story before Williamson has to lay down a single line of dialogue.
I bought Carmine Di Giandomenico's variant cover for this issue, check that out below: