Bates seems a lot more comfortable and assured this issue–maybe assured isn’t the right word. He’s ambitious again, both in plotting the feature story and how he gets through it. The only weak part is when the Flash has to beg for Barry Allen’s job back. It reveals how little work Bates does on either character.
The issue’s sort of a thriller, with Barry’s boss being kidnapped and him having to figure it out. Throw in his mom waking up from her coma and his evil impostor dad up to no good and it’s the most compelling issue in a while. Especially since Bates disguises the kidnapping plot’s second act as the third.
Oddly, Infantino’s constrained, almost everything is in summary. There are no real scenes.
Similarly, in the Firestorm backup, Cowans’s art is competent but problematic. Luckily, Conway packs in good material, lots of character development and plot movements.
…And the Beat Goes Off!; writer, Cary Bates; penciller, Carmine Infantino; colorist, Gene D’Angelo. Firestorm, How Laughs the Hyena?; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Denys Cowan; inker, Dennis Jensen; colorist, Jerry Serpe. Inker, Bob Smith; letterer, Ben Oda; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.