Art by: Felipe Watanabe, Oclair Albert, Chris Sotomayor and Steve Wands
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: November 9, 2016
I am glad that the Godspeed arc is over for a number of reasons, but most of all it's because I am
more interested in Wally West being Kid Flash than anything else in this book. After last issue's meeting of the two Wallys, I am pretty pumped up that going forward, we will get a heavy dose of Kid Flash before (if?) he leaves for more Teen Titan type pastures. I seem to be one of the few that not only doesn't mind this Wally West, but actually likes him. The only problem I ever had with him was that the writers didn't seem to have anything for him to do. Well, that problem is gone and I hope that Joshua Williamson gives everyone a reason to embrace him. Does that happen in this issue? Let's find out...
The issue begins with a little sneak peek at the next Flash villain. It's old school and pretty awesome and left up in the air without as little as a name being given. From there we go off to Central City to catch up with a jogging Iris and Barry and as if on cue, Barry starts to wonder if this whole Rebirth thing has made them forget about past villains as well as heroes.
The big question, however, is why is Barry jogging anyway. Isn't that a lot like taking your work home with you? Not really, but he is there as a favor to Iris. She is trying to break a story and after reading the explanation of why she wants Barry with her a couple times, I just shrugged my shoulders and moved on. It's one of those "Barry needs to be there" moments and in a page...Barry needs to be there.
Why? Because they get attacked by Papercut! Yea, you read that right...Papercut. He's an origami based villain who is stepping up his game since the Rogues left Central City and robbing people...and making neat little throwing stars out of paper.
While Papercut would be no match for Flash, Barry can't slip away from Iris and it actually looks like this lame villain is going to have his day in the sun...until Kid Flash shows up! That's all well and good, but Wally is supposed to be in school...something that Iris was discussing with Barry earlier.
Anyway, Wally makes quick work of Papercut, but in the worst case of celebrating before the fight is over since Ray Jackson in Bloodsport (seriously, Ray had Chong Li beat!), Wally lets Papercut get away and threaten everyone including Iris.
Thankfully. Barry slips away and returns as Flash and takes care of things. After taking Papercut to Iron Heights, he starts the process of not only training Wally to be a Speedster, but also a hero in general. Unfortunately for Wally, that starts with going to school.
There is a whole thing going on with Wally wanting to know the Flash's identity and while I understand why Barry isn't telling, it is funny that Wally is one of the few people that isn't in on the secret lately.
After a little foreshadowing of more Speedsters on the horizon (Jesse Quick?), we see that Wally is eager to prove himself to the Flash. Cue the new (old) villain in town and Joshua Williamson shows us the first bad guy who may have a bone to pick with whomever it was who took hope and love out of this Universe. It's a really cool twist to the Rebirth concept, but also leads to a pretty scary cliffhanger...especially if your name is Kid Flash!
I actually liked this issue more than what we've been getting from Flash lately. Sure, it is a lot of setup (some forced as well) in order to show us that Wally is desperate for Flash's approval, but the addition of the mysterious villain makes it feel bigger. By the way, I'm not talking about Papercut! There are also a bunch of hints at some pretty cool things and I hope we see them all come to fruition.
I was not a huge fan of Felipe Watanabe's art the last time he showed up on this book, but this issue is a whole lot better. It's pretty straight forward, but helps tell the story without getting in it's way. Plus, the dark villain looked pretty spooky scary and I like that.
Bits and Pieces:
Joshua Williamson starts his new arc by giving us an old villain with some new problems and a lot of pretty cool hints at what's to come. In the here and now, I love seeing Barry and Wally together and this issue shows that Wally has a bit to go before he can be considered a hero. Felipe Watanabe's art is good and while this issue won't make non fans go gaga, those who've stuck with this book should be pleased.