Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Flash #754 Review and *SPOILERS*

Speed of Talk

Written By: Joshua Williamson
Art By: Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, Arif Prianto, Hi-Fi
Letters By: Steve Wands
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 26, 2020

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

If I had to sum up the latest story arc in a simple word it would be: bland. It’s perfectly serviceable and middle-of-the-road. However, there really isn’t anything about it that makes me really want to read more. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. At the end of the previous issue, we saw a heart-wrenching scene that eventually led to a team-up between Flash and his greatest villain, Reverse-Flash. Since Reverse Flash is the only one that can defeat the new villain Paradox, Flash was left with no choice. This has immediately introduced some much-needed intrigue into this book and perhaps it will lead to a much more entertaining story. However, we will not know until we are able to read what comes next so let’s jump into the latest issue and see where this story takes us.

We begin our issue in the 25th century, where the city lays in ruins and the heroes have been defeated. Paradox had destroyed all that had stood up to him until he came face to face with Reverse-Flash. He then uses his speed to repair the city and the Flash Museum. We catch back up with the present where Reverse Flash tells Barry that all of his hard work has been undone by Barry’s actions. However, despite everything, he is still able to defeat Paradox. After a quick recap of the story up to this point for new readers, Barry and Eobard arrive in the destroyed 25th century. The two rush into the Flash Museum and Barry reveals to us that this Eobard is from early in his timeline so he is unaware of most of Flash’s history with him and he wants to keep it that way.

Inside the Flash Museum, Eobard finds what he was looking for, his own Lightning Rod. He used to sap Paradox’s energy until he was weak enough to be captured. While the two make their way back into the time stream, we see that Paradox has been making his way through Flash’s history, killing him over and over again. However, no matter how many times he does so, Paradox still finds that Flash is loved. Godspeed tells him that no matter how many times he does this, he will still lose the Flash, and Paradox takes this to heart and believes that he has been going about this whole thing the wrong way. Just then, he feels Flash moving through the time stream and is intrigued by his location. We catch up with Barry and Eobard as they exit the time stream and it is revealed that they have arrived at the moment when Flash saved Paradox before he became a villain. Eobard reveals that his plan is to kill him before he can become Paradox and therefore reverse everything that has happened.

Needless to say, Barry isn’t on board with this plan and a fight ensues. Eobard tries to get past him to finish the job but Barry keeps the pressure on but they are suddenly interrupted by Paradox himself who arrives at the same time and grabs his former self and removes him from reality making Paradox a true paradox himself. Eobard tries to use his Lightning Rod to defeat Paradox but he has become far too powerful and easily stops Eobard before snapping the Lightning Rod in half. Paradox then reveals that he couldn’t stop people from loving Barry by removing the Flash from the timeline so instead he will remove the people that love him themselves. In a sudden burst of light, Paradox begins to wipe out the universe as he begins to wipe out the time stream itself. If Barry and Eobard aren’t able to stop him, the end of everything will come to pass. This is where the issue leaves us.

Perhaps my expectations for this issue were far too high. I was looking forward to seeing Barry and Eobard work together despite their strained relationship and seeing how that would play out before the eventual betrayal. However, instead of letting this plot point marinate for a while and allowing readers to know these two speedsters as a duo, we almost immediately dissolve their partnership without a moment’s notice. It also happened in the most predictable way possible. They literally pull a “go back in time and kill Hitler” move which really is the first thing people think of the second any time travel story is created. Most writers realize that they should avoid that for being too obvious of a plot point or find a way to change it enough that it becomes interesting but neither of those things happens in this issue. Ultimately not a lot happens in this issue at all. It’s mostly a lot of talking that doesn’t even lead anywhere. Barry and Eobard team up, then they stop teaming up, then at the end, they have to team up to beat Paradox. Paradox wants to kill Barry, but can’t kill Barry. So he decides to kill everyone else so that he can kill Barry. That’s pretty much the gist of the entire issue and you didn’t even have to pay 4 dollars for it.

Bits and Pieces

All of the goodwill that this book earned in the previous issue has been immediately lost as the most interesting plot points are almost immediately thrown away in favor of some more of the most predictable and boring storytelling you can think of. I’ve officially thrown in the towel when it comes to hoping that this story will rise in quality. At this point, I’m hoping that we quickly are able to defeat this newest villain and we can move into the next story arc where hopefully we will have some great storytelling, because clearly, it isn’t going to happen in this one.


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