Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Flash Annual #3 Review

Written by: Robert Venditti and Van Jensen
Art by: Brett Booth and Ron Frenz
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Day: April 30, 2014

The Future's So Bright Blue I Gotta Wear Shades

Robert Venditti and Van Jensen get a pretty sweet start to their run on The Flash.  The Flash #30 introduced fan favorite, Wally West,  into the New 52 and then they get an Annual to show readers what they can do and what they have in store for the future of the book.  While everyone may not be thrilled with Wally so far, the writers are diving into the deep end head first with no looking back.  For better or worse, the Flash is their book.  It may be too early to judge, but things look good so far.  Actually, with Brett Booth with them it looks great.

Wally may have been shown in The Flash #30, but this Annual is where we meet him.  Guess what?  He's pretty much a jerk.  He is a trouble maker who tags walls and Barry's fancy shirt.  Before I go on, I had a problem last issue with Barry's new found fashion sense.  It seemed out of character, but Venditti and Jensen make it clear here that it's all Patty's doing.  She's a keeper, Barry.

This issue we again jump back-and-forth with the present time and twenty years in the future.  In the present we see Barry getting back to work at the Central City Police Department and the first meeting with Wally I mentioned above.  I always liked seeing Barry working his day job and it's clear that Venditti and Jensen will make this a major point of their run.  Wally and Barry's interaction is brief, but I like their chemistry already. Of course, there are parts with Flash, but I actually preferred the Barry bits over them.

That is not the case in the Future where we get blue electric Flash.  Simply Awesome.  Barry is not well and when he meets up with Iris, the reader finds out everything is pretty messed up.  Then Grodd shows up and this issue explodes...literally.  Barry and Grodd battle and though I thought the end was a bit extreme, it really shows how far future Barry has fallen.  I liked how Venditti and Jensen respect what the former team put into the book and are weaving into their run including Grodd and the Speed Force and Reverse Flash.

The book ends with Flash declaring what he must do to make things right and like I said last week, I'm cautiously optimistic. Anytime The Flash is involved in time traveling and event changing, I get a little nervous. However, Venditti and Jensen have gained enough trust for me to remain open minded.

The art is split between Ron Frenz (present) and Brett Booth (future).  Frenz's art is bright and cartoony and fits the optimistic part of the story.  Brett Booth then blows everything out of the water.  His art is so good and shows how desperate and dangerous the future Flash is.  This is one of those great examples of art matching story perfectly.  How it can be this good already is beyond me.

Bits and Pieces:

The Flash Annual #3 does a good job of showing readers where and how Venditti and Jensen want to take the book.  The reader gets to see a little more of Wally West and his brief interaction with Barry.  The art is good overall, but it's Brett Booth's future scenes that impress and show how bad it gets for Barry.  The Future of the book is in good hands.



  1. This issue was amazing!!! Holy crap that art and Future Flash was awesome!!!!! Cant get enough!!

    1. I always love Brett Booth's art, but this was so good. Grodd looked awesome...until the end! I hope Booth stays on the book for a long time