02nd Apr2021

‘The Flash #768’ Review (DC Comics)

by Dean Fuller

Written by Jeremy Adams | Art by Brandon Peterson, Marco Santucci, David Lafuente | Published by DC Comics

It’s been a little while since I checked in on The Flash, I think the last one I read was the final issue of Joshua Williamson’s outstanding run. The funny thing about this book is that each time a writer does a long extended run, you think nobody’s going to top that. Yet someone always comes along and seems to at least match it. Back in the day Cary Bates did a great run. More recently Mark Waid’s was great. Even more recently Geoff Johns put together an outstanding run, and then Josh Williamson. The Flash clearly has such rich mythology and characters that it’s the perfect playground for writers. The converse of that, of course, is pressure. Any new writer coming in has to take on that history, that legacy, and live up to it. Bit like The Flash name itself really. So, Jeremy Adam, you’re up.

So, this picks up after the events of DC Universe: Rebirth, then Heroes in Crisis, then Dark Knights: Death Metal. The common thread? Wally West, former Kid Flash and former Flash, was put through a pretty tough time. A lot of fans were less than happy it’s fair to say. So, the cover blurb, telling of Wally’s return as The Flash drew me in this time just to see what DC had up their sleeve. Well, Wally wants to quite the hero business it seems. Completely. Who could blame him, after all he’s been through. Barry and various JLA members try to persuade him otherwise, with the exception of Green Arrow. Oliver Queen is as curmudgeonly as ever, and still angry at Wally’s actions in Heroes in Crisis. Wally’s mind is made up, and to prove it, he wants Barry to make sure his retirement is permanent. How? By literally cutting off Wally’s connection to the Speed Force for good. Like having a super speedster ‘snip’. Ouch.

This is all a great excuse of course to have Wally and Barry race, which is fine by me. To tap into the Speed Force they both have to push their speeds to the limit, which is also a great excuse for Adams to get in some nice monologuing, as Barry mulls over why Wally is doing this and Wally mulls over why Barry won’t understand why he’s doing it. Some nice writing there, as the affection of the two for each other clearly shines through. Barry sees the end of an era, Wally the start of a new one. Nice stuff. Of course, it all goes wrong. Wally suddenly disappears, and Barry finds himself left with no powers, and stuck in Paris. Oh, the horror. Luckily Oliver Queen swings by to pick up Barry, and the quest to find Wally is on.

So, where’s Wally? Couldn’t resist. Wally, it seems, has ended up in the distant past. He’s back in the age of the dinosaurs, a Silver Age Editor’s wet dream of course. (Dinosaurs in stories and on covers ALWAYS sell loads). That’s the bad news. The good news is, Wally has still got his powers and Barry back in the present has enlisted the help of one of the smartest men alive, Mr. Terrific, to try and locate Wally. First interesting fact, as well as Barry losing his powers, so has Max Mercury, Jay Garrick (the original Flash), and the new Kid Flash. Ironically, the one speedster who didn’t want his powers any longer is the only one with any. After lots of dinosaur fun Wally is again flung through time, this time to the future, where he finds his consciousness in the body of Impulse.. That’s going to end well.
If you want grim and gritty, this one isn’t for you, but if you want out and out fun, this most definitely is. This was fun, fresh, action packed, funny, packed with guest stars and also just different to your standard monthly comic. Adams has taken that Flash writer legacy pressure and turned the dial up to 11. The art was superb throughout. The Flash has to be a very visual book by its nature, and the visuals shone through here beautifully. There were several full page spreads in here which were just amazing to look at. I’m guessing they may have been partly to pad out the pacing of the plot, but who cares when they are that good. My one minor gripe is that the book felt slightly over long, and tighter plotting and scripting might have added even more, but still, superb visuals and a great story.

One of the long followed mantras of The Flash book seems to be exactly what Jeremy Adams has pinned up on his ideas board while he’s writing this.

‘Keep Moving’. No looking back with this run I’m willing to bet.

**** 4/5

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