11th Mar2020

‘The Flash #750′ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Various | Art by Various | Published by DC Comics

flash-750-cover

I seem to be reviewing a whole lot of 80 Page Giants of late, most of which have been appearing from DC. That’s not a complaint mind you. I’m still an avid collector of the DC Dollar Comics issues from the late 1970′s and early 1980′s, so something about DC and oversized comics just feels right. Besides, there is a very good reason for this one. One of DC’s most famous characters, or franchises if you are a corporate lawyer, is celebrated his 750th issue. Not all in one continuous run of course, but in the many volumes and stop starts of recent times, Flash has crossed the exclusive line of characters with a 750 issue run. That’s something to celebrate. So how do you celebrate? You pull in writers and artists old and new. Your Geoff Johns, your Marv Wolfman’s, your Francis Manapul, Brett Booth, Scott Kolins, Joshua Williamson, and so on. Not a bad talent pool right there. Let’s jump right in.

First up is ‘Flash Age, Part1′, by Joshua Williamson and a tag team of artists, which begins with something of a recap to get new readers up to, ahem, speed. Nice little framing sequence too, seems as a non regular reader I’ve missed a heck of a lot of good stuff. May have to go back and check that stuff out. The final panel though is probably the big focus, ‘Paradox is coming for you’. Hmm, sounds ominous. First things first though, Barry Allen is currently in a good place, and the ongoing story here moves along nicely as it intertwines with stories from people who have seen The Flash or interacted with him, creating a tribute alongside the ongoing story.

What’s old is new again of course, as Barry is back being a CSI and is investigating a Rogues robbery. Like those last 30 years never happened. Except for the arrival of Godspeed of course. Who he? some of you may be asking. Godspeed is a sort of nastier version of The Flash, who operates in a grey area. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. This time around, a bit of both. He leads Flash into a trap, a trap set by Paradox himself, and then prepares to fight Flash on behalf of Paradox. Paradox, it seems, wants to purge the influence of Flash from the time stream, to undo the many mistakes he has made, and the countless anomalies he has caused. When you think about it, Paradox has got a point. The script and art on this opening story was nothing short of superb. Loved it.

That 30 page opener is followed by ‘Beer Run’, a 7 page short by Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins, which is a nice little character study of Captain Cold. Geoff Johns really gave that character a defined personality during his time on the book, and again he delivers a nice little tale here. Top class. Next up another 7 pager ‘Why You?’ by Francis Manapul who co-writes (with Brian Buccellato) and draws a sort of Elseworlds/ What If? take. What if Barry wasn’t The Flash? A quick look at alternate realities shows a Gorilla Grodd who is the hero, or where Iris is The Flash. All stuff we have seen before, but done nicely enough. I should also mention the fantastic pin ups, by a nicely diverse group of artists, dotted throughout the book as well, in between each story, really nicely done.

The next 7 pager is ‘Flash of All Worlds’, by a personal favourite writer of mine, Marv Wolfman, and artist Riley Rossmo. Wolfman gives it a sort of Silver Age feel, as Barry fights the Mirror Master in a hall of mirrors, though Rossmo’s art is a little jarring. Liked it, didn’t love it. The next 7 pager sees Joshua Williamson back for ‘At the Starting Line’, with artist David Marquez, a glorious tribute to my favourite Flash, Jay Garrick. Lovingly scripted and gorgeously drawn, this is top notch, as is the Dale Eaglesham JSA pinup that follows it. If you’ve been counting, you know that leaves one final story, ‘Flash Forward:Epilogue’ by Scott Lobdell and Brett Booth, which showcases former Flash Wally West, newest occupier of the Moebius Chair, now possessed of the power of Dr Manhattan. Wally can see everything that has ever been in the DC timeline, every Crisis, every Zero Hour, every Flashpoint, every Rebirth. So why is the timeline changing? It’s broken. It needs fixing, properly this time, and Wally’s just the guy to do it.

That was an outstanding 80 pages of story and art. Every story brought something a little different to the table, virtually every story had superb story and art, and the book managed to both honour the past and set up the future, not just for Barry but for all the Flash’s. Really recommend this one for both lovers of the characters, and for a sneak glimpse at the future of the DC Universe. Brilliant.

This is one character, and one series, that will run and run… And run.

***** 5/5

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