Monday, April 25, 2016

The Flash #153

The Folded Man

Mark Waid & Brian Augustyn, Story
Paul Pelletier, Pencils
José Marzan, Jr., Inks
Gaspar, Letters
Tom McCraw, Colors
Frank Berrios, Asst. Editor
Joey Cavalieri, Editor

This issue's cover was provided by good ol' Steve Lightle. Our courier, Incompetent Overnight, made sure it didn't arrive folded ... for a change. I'm not sure if Cavalieri was making a joke or referring to an actual problem at the DC offices. In any case, I have to disagree with calling Steve Lightle "good." He's passable. Pelletier is good, and really deserves to be drawing these covers.

Impulse (once again) doesn't have a whole lot to do in this issue, so we'll just focus on the critical stuff. The new Flash has been around for four weeks now, and is getting pretty serious about dating Angela Margolin. On a recent date in Paris, Angela notes how little she still knows about her new boyfriend, but she admits she enjoys the mystery. She tries to ask Flash about Wally West, but he says he can't tell her.

The conversation then turns to one of Angela's police officer friends, who was recently killed by a new villain, the Folded Man. The talk of death seems painful for the Flash, who says just before he came here, he saw another speedster give his life in the line of duty, for which he feels responsible. Flash and Angela then leave, deciding to investigate the death of her friend.

We then see that Impulse was there the whole time, using a new trick — vibrating to become invisible. He was also recording the Flash's conversation for Max Mercury and Jesse Quick. During this covert mission, Bart has insisted on calling himself Agent Double-O Impulse, while Max is the commander and Jesse a mere ensign.

Jesse is willing to play along with Bart's titles, but she is unsure about eavesdropping on the man Jay Garrick has vouched for. Max, however, is more suspicious than ever, wondering whether the other speedster Flash referred to is Wally. He also hypothesizes that this new Flash may be a certain someone whose closest ties are to Bart. Bart misinterprets this veiled reference to Barry Allen, and he thinks Max is talking about Linda Park. Max quickly shuts that down, though, reiterating that Linda is a creature of Bart's fertile imagination.

Speaking of Linda, her escape into the time stream has brought her to Keystone City. She finds Wally and leaps into his arms. But they're soon surrounded by the police, seeking to arrest Walter West. This guy named Walter tells Linda the cops have been after him for years. He puts on his Flash costume, and angrily attacks the officers, leaving a bewildered Linda to wonder where she is.

And that's really all we need to care about. The rest of the issue details Flash's and Angela's investigation, which leads them to the Folded Man. He has a special suit that enables him to "fold himself" into the second, third and fourth dimensions. And the issue ends with him taking Flash into the fourth dimension.

This was a pretty good issue. I love this creative team, and their ability to juggle multiple storylines. If there's some people who don't care about Linda or Wally, then they at least had a fun new villain to keep them interested. The Folded Man is definitely someone who can challenge the Flash to use his powers in creative ways. And although Impulse's appearance was brief, I did like seeing him use his powers in a new, creative way. I think he's developing at an appropriate rate — pulling off something as technical as vibrating to become invisible, then moments later, stupidly thinking Max was referring to Linda. That's typical teenager stuff.

We do get a two-third page of Speed Reading, but neither of the letters mention Impulse. We do have two new ads, though:

Edit your music with the touch of a button. Sony MiniDisc.

Shadowgate 64: Trials of the Four Towers.

Next time, we'll return to our Young Justice/Supergirl crossover.

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