Tuesday, April 30, 2024

The Flash Annual 2024 #1 Review


Written by: Si Spurrier
Art by: Scott Koblish, Amancay Nahuelpan, George Kambadais, Tom Derenick
Colors by: Marissa Louise, Lee Loughridge, Matt Herms
Letters by: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover art by: Mike Deodato Jr., Jão Canola
Cover price: $5.99
Release date: April 30, 2024

The Flash Annual (2024) #1 sends Wally running through angles of reality to catch the Stillness and find out what's happening to the Speed Force. Along the way, Wally learns more than he expected.
Is The Flash Annual (2024) #1 Good?

The Flash Annual (2024) #1 is a tiresome, tedious, chore of a comic. How do I know this? If you examine the big revelations in this issue, wading through mountains of pseudo-intellectual techno-gibberish, the totality of Spurrier's run boils down to a coordinated attack by the Rogues, led by Reverse Flash, to end Wally West's role as a hero by gaslighting him into believing he's the source of the problem(s). You shouldn't need a basic understanding of Euclidian space to figure that out.

In the previous issue, Amanda Waller took center stage by raiding TerrificTech and a podcaster's studio. The issue ended with Waller announcing to the world that speedsters were causing global disruptions in reality because the use of their problems was killing the Speed Force.

Now, we catch up with Wally and the Resident, as they run through assorted planes and angles of reality to find the Stillness, believing the higher-planned aliens know what's happening. Wally and Resident are also pursued by Wallace and Avery.

Wally meets one bizarre dimensional being after another in his pursuit of the Stillness, and each stop reveals some new tidbit of information. For example, everyone gets thrown out of phase by a secret experiment Irey is conducting with the help of Mirror Master's confiscated mirrors. Irey doesn't realize Mirror Master is "helping her secretly from the space between realities.

Jai runs a test on a cloned brain of the Ultra Humanite, and the brain that cannot lie tells Jai that Wally's use of the Speed Force is what's destroying everything. Jai doesn't realize that Gorilla Grodd is secretly speaking through the brain.

Eventually, Wally catches up to Stillness, but they have no answers that Wally can use. They do, however, force Wally to see Linda as she's questioned by Amanda Waller, and he bears witness to Linda saying some things that would be tough for any loving husband to take. The issue ends with Waly all but giving up.

What's great about The Flash Annual (2024) #1? Well, at least this nonsense arc is starting to take on form and shape. It shouldn't have taken this long to get somewhere, but some progress is better than no progress.

What's not so great about The Flash Annual (2024) #1? Again, the only thing Spurrier has proven with this sad attempt at cosmic horror is that he knows how to make a simple plot and make it nauseatingly complicated beyond any enjoyment. The overblown, overwritten, overcomplicated abuse of techno jargon only serves as a vehicle to demand the readers acknowledge how smart this writing is. Sadly, it does the opposite. Complicated isn't clever.

How's the art? The editors decided to tap multiple artists on this book to cover different legs of the run. It doesn't quite work. The quality and styles of art are jarringly dissimilar, so this issue feels cobbled together rather than planned out.

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 Annual (2024) #1 boils down to a straightforward Flash story buried under mounds of unnecessarily complicated narration, convoluted tangents, and disharmonious art. In fairness, you get a little clarity about the real culprits behind the reality-bending mess, but it's not worth the cover price.


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