Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The Flash #761 Review and *SPOILERS*

Everyone’s Invited

Written By: Joshua Williamson
Art By: Howard Porter, Hi-Fi, Steve Wands
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 8, 2020

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Just as this creative team’s run with this book is nearing its’ end, they are hitting their stride and making a mad dash for the finish line. The book is in a great spot with a ton of characters all colliding together. Almost all of their motivations have been fleshed out and it has led to some good ol’ fashioned comic book fun. But it’s more than that. With all of these characters feeling properly fleshed out, the impact of these scenes is more than just fun, it’s meaningful. Despite this teams’ shortcomings, they’ve really brought this book back from the abysmal previous storyline and made one of the stories that I can most easily recommend to the average comic reader at this point. This book is great right now and while I can’t promise it will be going forward, I have a lot of high expectations for this current story arc, so let’s jump into our most recent issue and see where that story takes us.

Our issue begins with Mercury in the 853rd century where a speedster by the name of John Fox is teaching the new Kid Flash about the history of Flash. Despite his initial annoyance, the new Kid Flash is actually very excited to see the Flash Museum, and Fox brings him over to one specific exhibit which showcases an event in time that he describes as the “most important moment in our history.” The moment they are talking about is the present day where the Flash Family is facing off against the Legion of Zoom and after a small few text boxes of explaining what’s happening we dive right into the action. Barry has Kid Flash run Iris out of the area as the battle rages. During this exchange, Barry notices that of all the villains that Thawne brought back, he didn’t bring any speedsters with him. We cut for a moment to Kid Flash and Iris. Outside of the city, they see a major power fluctuation signaling that things are even more dire than previously believed. Max Mercury also notices something in the midst of battle and decides that he must immediately meditate. He instructs Impulse to defend him during his meditation and Impulse delivers.

Suddenly speedsters from all across time suddenly show up to answer the call the Max has actually been putting out. We see some great interactions during this moment, including some original characters of Williamson’s showing up to join the fight. The fight continues and this time we focus on Flash and Thawne. During the fight, Thawne reveals his own motivations. He speaks about how he used to idolize the Flash but when searching the Flash Museum he sees his own future ahead of him and uses his knowledge to change things in his favor. He affects Hunter Zoloman and August Heart which causes them to change their course of history. He then reveals his greatest weapon. He has been able to use the Negative Speed Force to whisper thoughts into the minds of his enemies without them even noticing. We see several scenes from recent Flash history (The Button, Heroes in Crisis, etc) where Thawne was manipulating things from the shadows in order to further his own agenda. It was all for this moment where Thawne will finally strike Barry down and get his revenge.
Just as he goes for the final blow, suddenly a beam of energy separates the two of them. From the energy comes a voice that Barry recognizes as Wally’s voice. Thawne begins to spiral as what has just happened was never supposed to occur. He races off into the Speed Force in order to find out what is going on, but Barry follows him. Meanwhile, the Flash Family is busy saving the day and deciding what they need to do. The youngest members of the group suddenly begin brainstorming and realize that by creating the proper frequency, they can realign all the enemies with their proper timelines and thus, send them back where they came from. There are few scenes of Iris and Bart that are touching but don’t really develop all that well before they launch their plan. They run around their enemies and cause their frequency to change causing them all to return to their proper timelines. The Family celebrates but they soon realize that Barry is nowhere to be found. We cut to the future for a moment and it is revealed that this moment in time is not a happy memory, but a sad one. The story then picks up with Barry and Thawne running through the Speed Force, with an ominous note of “this will be the last time these two race” to leave us off. The issue ends, until the next issue.

It’s understandable that many would look at the events of this issue and feel as though this is where the big climax takes places, but we realize near the end that there is still plenty left of this story and considering this issue continues to build upon the strengths that were given to the book previously, I’m looking forward to more. Is this issue perfect? No. But it is extremely entertaining. There are epic fight sequences but they don’t seem to overwhelm the readers at the expense of the storyline. Instead, they are more akin to icing atop a cake. That said, some of the more ridiculous aspects of this story kind of fall flat. Thawne secretly being behind so many bad things is effective for a lot of things, but ineffective for others. I like how it ties into Godspeed’s story as well as Hunter Zoloman’s but the Heroes in Crisis tie-in feels forced. In addition, I feel as though the relationship between Iris and Bart is not as well fleshed out as I would like it to be for these big emotional scenes near the end. However, a ton of fun is held within these pages and I can’t recommend it enough. Great job!

Bits and Pieces:

This issue masterfully melds big epic fight scenes with proper story development. The fights are a backdrop for what is actually going on in the story so we get to enjoy them and be in awe of the artistry while still not being distracted from the story at hand. Now, some of the more ludicrous story points fall a bit flat, but for the most part, this issue is expertly handled and gives us more of this amazing story that this team has been making while showing us some artists really flexing their abilities with page after page of exquisite art. Can’t wait for more of this one.


No comments:

Post a Comment