Aquaman/The Flash: Voidsong #1 – Collin Kelly/Jackson Lanzing, Writers; Vasco Georgiev, Artist; Rain Beredo, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: A rare case of a prestige-format oversized book that doesn’t belong to Black Label, this Flash/Aquaman team-up epic is being hyped as possibly the last Arthur Curry story (with him dead in Dark Crisis and Barry missing in action). However, it doesn’t feel like an event when it begins—being almost doggedly normal, but with an intense, creepy countdown to something major happening. As the story starts, Iris has been kidnapped by the Rogues, while Barry sweeps in and rescues her while dismantling his frequent foes in good form. However, after the fight, Barry’s absent-mindedness causes a major fight between the couple and he speeds off to calm down—right into the speed force. At the same time, Arthur abandons his work as King to pursue Black Manta, angering Mera—only for the villain to blast him right into the center of the Earth. And those specific locations wind up playing a huge role in what comes next.
Because when Barry and Arthur emerge from their voids, they discover something horrific. A giant spaceship is hanging overhead, everyone on the ground has stopped moving—and not just the people. The animals, even the water, have been stripped of all their momentum and are frozen in place. And every person is singing in some sort of inhuman voice without moving their lips, all the same tune. It’s a brilliantly creepy Lovecraftian setup to the comic’s central mystery. The visuals are wonderfully creepy, but I’m not sure everything else surrounding this great concept lives up to it. Much like their relationships with their wives, the banter between Arthur and Barry seems a little too caustic. They have different personalities, yes, but here it sometimes seems like they actively dislike each other. The high-stakes storyline is more than enough to keep me engaged, but I’m hoping to also see characters I can get invested in in future issues.