This new volume of the Flash picks up at the exact point (practically) that the last one left off, with Caitlin, Cisco, and Wells learning the likely identity of the mastermind behind the parade of freakish criminals currently bringing Central City under siege. The opening scenes have some interesting moments, dealing with scientific elements and chemistry(ha!) between comrades, but the main attraction (ha!) of #4 is of course going to be Barry’s meeting with the Ringleader. A couple of things about these scenes could possibly take you out of the story if you’re not willing to stretch your brain around some hard to swallow concepts. For example, the fact that all the members of the circus have some power that has to do with the nature of their freak status really works at odds with the seemingly random main plot device of the accelerator. Once or twice is explainable, but an entire circus? Two, there is a ridiculously cartoony moment when the Flash gets launched in to the air. The reason that this doesn’t work in context is due to the lack of this level of absurdity with no gentle progression to such a point . The writing does explain it, and it’s even handled appropriately, from a illustrative and arrangement perspective, but it’s the act itself that seems like an unnecessary deviation from the less excessive stunts in the previous volumes. On the plus side, Barry also has a running commentary of the events of the volume that provides a useful and amusing distraction while also showcasing his incredibly active mind, which adds more personality to his character.
Truthfully, The Flash: Season Zero #4 doesn’t deviate all that much from the previous volumes. It’s better than one and worse than three (well not worse, but just not nearly as interesting). The art is much the same, and the focus on Barry’s personal views is the high-point as usual. There’re the usual gripes like a lack of interaction between Barry and his team, and coincidence meter runs a little too high, and they end up getting a bit campy with the stunts. But Barry’s tangents make the read much smoother, making this volume (like the others) at least worth the ninety-nice cent pricetag…ff you like seeing the Flash getting boxed around like a weeble-wobble, that is.