Tuesday, June 6, 2023

The Flash #800 Review


Written by: Jeremy Adams, Mark Waid, Joshua Williamson,. Geoff Johns, Si Spurrier
Art by: Fernando Pasarin, Oclair Albert, Todd Nauck, Carmine Di Giandomenico, Scott Kolins, Mike Deodato Jr.
Colors by: Matt Herms, Ivan Plascencia, Luis Guerrero, Trish Mulvihill
Letters by: Rob Leigh, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover art by: Taurin Clarke
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: June 6, 2023

The Flash #800 celebrates the milestone number with five short stories revved up to speed you on your way to fun and excitement. We find a gang of criminals playing the Flash-version of Almost Got 'Im, Impulse acts impulsive (duh!), Barry and Iris go out on a heartwarming date night, Zoom's origins and mission are explored, and Wally and Linda have a very troublesome date night of their own.
Is It Good?

Anthologies, by and large, are a mixed bag, but I'm happy to report this collection is (almost) all winners. Bringing the best-known Flash writers together for a milestone anthology was a smart play by DC, and it paid off.

Don't Come to Central City

A band of low-level supervillains talks about the best and worst cities to pull off criminal capers. Suddenly, the newcomer to the group chimes in to say Central City seems like easy pickings. What follows is a series of anecdotes about why Central City is the very last place any villain should call home.

There are two shorts you should pay attention to in this anthology, and this is the first. Written by Jeremy Adams, who is the current and now-former writer on The Flash, Don't Come to Central City is Adams saying goodbye with a Flash-styled version of the classic Batman: TAS episode, Almost Got 'Im. The anecdotes are amusing, showcasing all the Flash family members in their prime, and the ending is perfect.

If Jeremy Adams ever happens to read this - Well done, Sir. Well done!

Watch our Flash #800 Video Review

The Max in the Mirror

Impulse wakes up one morning to learn Flash and Max Mercury are trapped in a mirror dimension and need Impulse's help to get out. Unfortunately, Impulse's patience in taking direction leaves a lot to be desired.

This is a fun short highlighting why Impulse's name fits his personality. There are few things more frustrating to a parent or parent figure than a youngster who can't sit still long enough to take direction, especially when the outcomes are dire. In a clever twist, Wally learns Impulse may not be the only one who needs to learn patience. Waid is proving to be the best writer in DC at the moment, and this short demonstrates why. Fun!

Flash Family

Barry and Iris go out for their monthly date night to a secret location only they know about. What Wally and Linda don't realize is that Barry and Iris have family in other places and times they miss just as much as their immediate family. Hooray for love!

Joshua Williamson's short about Barry and Iris visiting their future family as a date night may be more wholesome than grandma's home-baked apple pie on a warm Spring day. This short is all about tugging on your heartstrings and showing you why the Flash family may be the greatest family in DC history.

Blitz Back

Hunter Zolomon, aka Zoom, recalls his troubled youth and how the intervention of Eobard Thawne, aka Reverse Flash, led Zolomon down his path. In his pain and delusion, Zoom realizes the only way for Wally West to become the perfect hero is for the Flash to be faced with a perfect villain.

Oddly, this short by Geoff Johns is all about Zoom with nary a Flash in sight. If you're interested in learning how Zoom came to be, how his powers work, and what motivates him, this short is an excellent primer. However, the ending feels like a setup for something else, so this short isn't as satisfying as it could be.

Between Love and You

Wally and Linda head out for a dinner date, but Linda is concerned Wally can't keep his promise to not rush off to use his powers for any reason. Sadly, a tremor in the Speed Force forces Wally to break his promise and rush off to face a multidimensional threat that spells trouble for the future.

This is the second short you should pay attention to because Si Spurrier is taking over The Flash from Jeremy Adams, and this short gives you a taste of what you're in for. Red flags go off almost immediately.

Contrary to everything in Adams's run and every other short in this anthology, Wally and Linda's relationship is presented here as strained, Wally's inner monologue/narration is needlessly infused with made-up technojargon trying to explain how everything about his powers work, and Scott Kolins' grim dark art looks better suited for a Justice League Dark story.

In fairness, this short is just a prologue, so the main series could be significantly different. However, this is Spurrier's opportunity to make a good first impression and demonstrate The Flash is in good hands. Spurrier accomplishes neither.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

The Flash #800 delivers five short stories to warm your heart and excite your senses, reminding readers why the Flash has the best family around. Collectively, all the shorts have fun and interesting moments, but Jeremy Adams's short scores the top spot for pure entertainment. On the other hand, Si Spurrier's short, portending his assumption of the main title, projects a dark, gloomy, and unfun future for the Scarlet Speedster.


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