Edge of the Universe
Written By: Joshua Williamson
Art By: Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, Arif Prianto
Letters By: Steve Wands
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 9, 2020
Release Date: June 9, 2020
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Our first story arc of the renumbered Flash comic has been kind of a drag. Long fans of the series watched several different story beats dropped in an effort to make things more accessible for new fans and we were all introduced to a new villain whose entire story has been somewhere on the spectrum of Basic to Boring. The only times that life has been breathed into this arc is when Reverse-Flash was inserted into the story immediately adding stakes. Unfortunately, we immediately dropped the ball in the previous issue by making an issue in which we threw away all of the interest that we had for predictable storytelling. However, as this story nears its’ end, hope springs anew that the following story will be one that we can really sink our teeth into. However, let’s jump into this issue first and see where it takes us.
We begin with some testimonies from citizens of Central City talking about how they love The Flash. This mirrors the same scene from earlier in this book but we quickly return to the present where Flash, Reverse-Flash are face to face with Paradox who is destroying the universe as we know it. Flash immediately moves to free Godspeed, but our speedsters begin to notice that they are fading from reality. The stress of the situation immediately leads to infighting between Barry and Eobard but they are broken up by Godspeed who brings them back to reality of the situation. They look to the sky to see various moments in time being flashed in front of them. Eobard points out that Paradox is still inexperienced with manipulating time and that gives them an opening. Eobard can still travel in time to stop Paradox but Barry won’t let him kill Paradox. Paradox interrupts them and we learn about his motivations (which we already knew but it’s fine). He did all of this because he was trapped in the Speed Force by Flash which is why he became Paradox in the first place. After a short exchange of words, Paradox attacks again.
The fight ensues and Barry refuses to accept that they have to kill Paradox but Reverse-Flash can still go back and stop him. Barry and Godspeed focus on the fight while Reverse-Flash races off to save the day. Reverse Flash returns to the day that Barry fought Turtle in the streets of Central City and he finds the man that will eventually become Paradox. He knows that he can kill him or save him and stop him from becoming Paradox either way. It seems he will do what he always does but instead he chooses to save the man instead of killing him. This leads to Paradox in the future finally being drained of his power. Slowly, he begins to disappear from existance as his former self continues his happy life with his family instead of being sucked into the Speed Force. However, with Paradox gone, his realm begins to crumble. Barry and August must escape before they are destroyed as well but they are trapped without a Cosmic Treadmill. Thankfully, Eobard returns to them and by the three of them running together, they are eventually able to return to the present.
They arrive back in front of the Flash Museum where this all started. The three begin talking but Barry is quickly taken away from the conversation when he sees Iris run out of the Museum. The two embrace and exchange a few words before we cut back to the other two speedsters. August tells Eobard that he plans on having a statue of himself up someday but then asks if Eobard knows who killed his brother since he is from the future. Eobard reveals it was him and then proceeds to break Godspeed’s neck. Barry rushes to his friend but it is too late. Eobard lays a beating down on him for a few moments before racing off to continue his evil ways. This time though, he wants a family of his own to fight the Flash’s. He wants a Reverse-Flash Family. This is where the issue leaves us.
Well at the very least, this story was able to end on a high note. The first half of this book is a bit ridiculous as despite reality being torn apart, Eobard is still able to go back in time and stop Paradox from every becoming the monster, which begs to question why they just didn’t do that right at the beginning. However, the second half of this book is really great. They’ve finally succeeded in returning home and things seem to be looking hopeful going forward. Then BOOM! It’s all shattered in a single moment and without warning. It sets up the upcoming story in this book and is not only impactful for new readers but also readers who have been following this book since Godspeed was introduced at the beginning of Rebirth. It just blows my mind that this creative team will give us some of the most boring stories and then in just a moment they can turn it around and give us either a scene or even a whole story that we absolutely love.
Bits and Pieces
This story arc gets wrapped up quickly and conveniently as to be expected and it’s all rather by the numbers. That said, it is the aftermath that brings new intrigue and renewed interest in this book once again. Whether they immediately follow this up or go a different direction, this is something that they can hold over this book that makes us feel as though Flash’s greatest enemy could come back any time, stronger than ever. The ending and art in this book is amazing! I just wish the rest of this book was similar. However, we’ve finally come to the end of this arc, so I’m optimistic for the future.