Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Flash #71 Review and *SPOILERS*


Written By: Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter
Art By: Howard Porter, Hi-Fi
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 22, 2019

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

The previous issue of Flash started the Year One storyline in one of the most boring ways possible. It started by taking an entire issue to retell the Flash’s origin story. Not only that, it was a rushed version of his origin. So all the really cool parts of Flash’s origin were glossed over really quickly while we took plenty of time to set up the others. Needless to say, I wasn’t too thrilled with it. That being said, there was something that I did love about the previous issue and that was the cliffhanger that we ended with. Barry, after just getting his powers, accidentally runs to the future and sees his future self and that Central City has been taken over by Turtle. I’m super excited to see how this plays out in this new issue so let’s just jump right in and see where this issue takes us.

Our issue begins with Barry getting a better look at his surroundings and his inner monologue tells us that he is understandably freaking out. However, the Flash that he met in the future calms him down a little bit and explains that he is Barry in the future. Being completely new to the superhero experience, Barry begins to panic and have a meltdown but his future self is there to calm him as much as he can before Turtle’s soldiers push their attack. The Barrys are able to get away quickly and the men decide they must inform Turtle that the Flash is back. Barry is still struggling to get his head around everything but as his freakout continues we do see future Barry teach him a couple of things about his powers, the biggest being how to properly stop. Barry’s future self then tells him that the life ahead of him is awesome but he can’t reveal too much of it or it could affect the timeline.

Barry is asked a couple of questions from his future self to make sure that he’s got the right Barry, from the correct Earth and timeline. After which he shows Barry the fortress that Turtle has made in Central City. Inside we see Turtle suck the life from a man using the Still Force (at least, I’m assuming that’s how he does it.) and future Barry tells us about how no one has been able to stop Turtle ever since he came to power because everyone underestimated him. He then stops himself from telling Barry more and instead decides that he must lead Barry back to the past. Along the way, he teaches Barry a couple other things but they are soon stopped by Turtle’s men. Barry’s future self is able to handle them with ease and we even see our Barry step in and use his tornado technique to help his future self. Afterwards, his future self is able to find what remains of the Cosmic Treadmill, set it to a proper location and send Barry on his way just as Turtle’s goons capture his future self.

Barry returns to his proper place in his timeline and we even see him use some of the techniques that his future self taught him. Barry begins to research how to get rid of his powers and return to the way that things were but he is interrupted by an alert on his phone. He has a date with Iris and he doesn’t want to miss it. However, on his way, Barry is almost hit by a police car and he sees that Central City Trust is being robbed. Barry initially decides to ignore it but then he see Turtle, who uses his powers to slow everyone in the area down to a halt. Iris hops into action but is almost hit by a car. Barry uses his powers to save her before speeding toward Turtle to face off with him while the surrounding area comes to a halt. This is where the issue leaves us.

So, I have to admit that I am really tired of hating on this book because I think there are so many things in it that are good and we’ve seen that Joshua Williamson can make really great stories with this character but I have to say that this was a huge disappointment for me. The entire first issue was all leading up to this big cliffhanger and then it turns out to be basically nothing but we spend another issue spending time there just to send Barry back in time. He basically went to the future to talk to his future self and that’s it. Granted, there are also scenes with Turtle but Barry never directly interacts with him in the future. At first I thought that this was going to be a story of Barry working with his future self to learn his powers before taking what he learned back to the past with him but instead it’s a story about the past that has a detour in the future. It’s just so frustrating because my big gripe with the previous issue was that it took a whole issue to tell us something we already know and this issue takes a whole issue to tell us basically nothing. Combine last issue and this one and cut them down significantly and maybe you would have one good issue in this story so far.

Bits and Pieces

Hopefully you weren’t too excited by the cliffhanger in the previous issue because what it sets up doesn’t last very long. I honestly don’t know where this story is going but what I was most excited for in this book has proven to be an afterthought and that is so disappointing. It’s bad that I’m already looking forward to this story ending.


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