The events of Dark Nights Metal 3 left us right on the edge of suspense. Superman did what Superman does and ran right into a trap, while the rest of the League split up in search of the Metal that kill these Bat Nightmares. Well Flash issue 33 picks up right after Superman launched himself into the Phantom zone after after racing around an Anti-Monitor tower to open up said hole to go "save" Batman. This issue is a beautiful setup for the issues to come. However, does this issue have enough speed force to propel us into the the depths of what's next.
I want to start with the art on this one right off the back. This is how a comic book of this tone should look. Howard Porter fucking slays the pencils in this issue with clean lines, attention to detail, and awesome panels. You couldn't ask for a better artist for this Flash Metal Tie-In. When you couple that in with the fun-tastic colors of Hi-Fi you get visual gold. Panels that are fluid and vibrant while remaining clean. Now, let's talk Williamson...again. He already impressed us with The Red Death one off and this only speaks to his prowess with words. This issue is chopped full of great dialogue, well placed exposition, and an over balance between action and story. The character that stole the show in this issue was the Murder Machine. Holy shit is this one Ruthless S.O.B. While battle Steel he flat out tells him that when he comes from. There is no Steel. That he's just not important enough. #BURN! However, wait...it gets more charred as he proceeds to tell Barry Allen that the greatest thing he's ever done was die. Holy snap. The truth hurts here as one can only assume Williamson is referencing Crisis on infinite Earths which lead to Barry Allen sacrificing himself for the greater good. Another break out moment here is the final pages leading to the end. Where the Batman Who Laughs start's to narrate what's to come. How the League should tremble at the thought of 7 Bruce Waynes coming together and thinking up a way to destroy them. That winning just isn't in the cards. Just epic. And that final page, in the Nightmare Bat Caves. Bats Outta Hell is a perfect title for this issue because the Battle Royal is about to begin and the bell has rung. LETS GET IT ON!
Let me start by saying that I'm a huge fan of the Flash. However, The Flash I grew up on was Wally West. Red Hair, Green Eyes, smart mouth, fastest man alive Wally Fucking West. So this knock on this issue isn't anything against Williamson, but more against DC for bringing Barry back. I haven't read The Flash since Rebirth...and it just wasn't necessary. Barry died a noble death and should have stayed dead, with the exception of a few pop up cameos or flash backs. So I really enjoyed that dig against Barry by Murder Machine. Also, in-continuity? It's hard to tell since I'm only ready a specific set of books, however, I'm pretty sure Wally (2017) is running around in Teen Titans, though in this book, he's trapped in Central City without speed. So please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but if that is the case they really need to reign these issues in. I understand the whole infinite earths concept, which would work, if we didn't already know the the Teen Titans time line is happening on the Metal run earth. I just remember a time when all of DC was mostly one unified verse where everything affected the other. The other thing I had an issue with, and really it's the whole series. Do they all sound like Bruce? The Batmen. Because if they do, that's silly. In my head the Batman Who Laughs sounds creepy and raspy. Murder Machine, more robotic. Devastator, a Monster. However, let DC tell it they all sound like Bruce. That just doesn't really make sense to me. However, I'm just nit picking at this point.
Okay, so first of all the last page was pretty freaking sweet. Like I said, the traps are sprung, our heroes' battles begun, and the bell has rung. Round One! Fight! However, the most insane moment was what I saw when I turned to page to see a full on spread of Murder Machine & Devastator emerging from some Dark Matter Portal.
I mean it was just epic. It's like the moment in a show where the music hits, our villains appear, and shit gets real. And rest assured...it got REAL real. Real fast! Also Devstator destroying the Anti-Monitor tower tell the Batman Who Laughs he can rebuild it. I mean this issue was truly mental.
All and all, this is a fun read. It doesn't do enough to draw me back into The Flash. I was never a fan of Barry....and outside of the TV show, I never will be. And honestly, I even like Wally more on that too. However, if you're reading the Metal run. This is a must have! It ties everything together in an action packed little bow. And sets the stage for the royal rumble to come.