Tuesday, May 5, 2020

The Flash #753 Review and *SPOILERS*

A New Challenger Approaches

Release Date: May 5, 2020

Written By: Joshua Williamson
Art By: Howard Porter, Brandon Peterson, Hi-Fi
Letters By: Steve Wands
Cover Price: $3.99

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

The most recent storyline with the Flash has been horribly disappointing. We’ve been introduced to a brand new villain in Paradox but almost everything about him feels unimportant and when a story revolves around the actions of a villain, then it is important to make that villain interesting. That hasn’t been the case thus far. However, while the villain is certainly lacking in development, his strength has been focused on and has now backed The Flash into a corner in which his only option is to track down his most notorious enemy Reverse-Flash and ask him for his help. I’m interested to see where this issue takes us, especially considering how long it has been since we had a new entry due to everything going on right now. Once again, I want to reiterate that I hope our readers are doing well and being safe. With all of that out of the way, let’s jump into the latest issue and see where it takes us.

Our issue begins with a small section devoted to the many deaths of Eobard Thawne. We see moments from the past that include Barry snapping his neck, the Black Lantern ring being taken from him, Thomas Wayne stabbing him, and even being killed by God. However, Eobard has become a time paradox at this point so no matter how many times he has died, he is always reborn and continues his mission. We cut to the present in which Barry is using his newly made Cosmic Treadmill in order to find Eobard. We get a quick refresher on everything that is going on. The renumbering of this book expects a lot of new readers to have joined so we get quite a bit of exposition in only a few panels in order to
catch everyone up. Barry eventually ends up in the 25th century to look for Eobard (which is strange because in the previous issue we already found out that he is going back to the time Eobard killed his mother). In this time, Barry finds the Flash Museum has become completely desolate and he searches the area in hopes of finding a way that Reverse-Flash used to defeat Paradox.

Barry is interrupted though by members of Black Hole who use their superior technology in order to capture Barry. Barry believes that they have mistaken him for Eobard but Black Hole knows him. They reveal that Paradox took out the Reverse-Flash task force and Black Hole was reinstated in order to deal with any speedster threat from that point on. However, a temporal shift occurs which allows Barry to escape to his Treadmill but he is unable to find any useful information. He finally heads to the destination we already know. We cut to the present day in which Iris tells Kid Flash to stay away from the fight because Paradox is too strong. We see Paradox force Godspeed to use the Cosmic Treadmill and the two travel back in time and end up when Flash defeated King Cold. Paradox kills them both and by erasing them from the timeline, he becomes even stronger. He tells Godspeed to keep going before we cut back to Barry.

Barry arrives at his childhood home and he remembers the events of Flashpoint in which he succeeded in stopping Eobard from killing his mother. Unfortunately, he knows that he can’t do anything about it this time and he simply waits outside the home as he hears the commotion inside knowing that it is the moment in which Eobard kills his mother. Eobard runs out of the house and meets up with Barry and a fight breaks out immediately. Eobard, of course, just taunts Barry about the act that he just committed. Barry reveals that he is actually here because he is trying to stop Paradox and this fact stops Eobard for a moment before the two are separated by another temporal shift. The fight continues and Eobard tells Barry that he won’t tell him anything but there is one way that Barry can defeat Paradox. He offers Barry a deal to team up and in exchange, Eobard will help him defeat Paradox. This is where the issue leaves us.

So there are a couple things to unpack here that I want to address. The first being that while I know it has been a while since the previous issue was released, readers still remember where we left off. We all know that Barry was traveling to go to the moment that Eobard killed his mother. For him to suddenly think that he can go to the future instead to find the answer feels like a writer padding his story. It doesn’t help that the events in the 25th century don’t really seem to have a major effect on the plot. It honestly feels like we wasted a few pages in order to fill a book to the proper length. However, the section with Eobard is incredibly well done. The scene of Barry having to wait outside his childhood home as Eobard kills his mother is heartwrenching and extremely powerful. It really deserves a ton of praise. The following fight and cliffhanger also play into this moment and feel directly impacted by it. It also goes to show how much of a difference there is between our villains. Paradox feels so unimportant in this story but Eobard, thanks to years of history, immediately feels impactful. Perhaps Paradox just needs to be around for longer, but it’s hard to take him seriously, especially when we have a much more compelling villain around.

Bits and Pieces:

This issue is basically split into two halves. The first half is incredibly boring and feels like a complete waste of time as the writer has already told us in the previous issue that this is simply a pit stop for our character. This section feels like padding and might be one of the worst offenses in this long storytelling medium. That said, the second half of this book borders upon brilliance as we see one of the most striking and powerful scenes in this book’s recent history. The second half of this book is so incredibly good but it also shows the flaws in this book so clearly. Going forward, this makes me incredibly worried about the book going forward, but as for this issue itself, that second half does some serious legwork.


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