Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The Flash #9 Comic Review

  • Written by: Si Spurrier

  • Art by: Ramon Perez, Vasco Georgiev

  • Colors by: Matt Herms

  • Letters by: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

  • Cover art by: Ramon Perez

  • Cover price: $3.99

  • Release date: May 28, 2024

The Flash #9 unveils one mystery after another to explain to Barry who's behind the reality distortions, what's going on with Linda, who's underneath Pilgrim's funny hat, and the trouble waiting for Wally.

Is The Flash #9 Good?

When last we left Wallace West and Avery in The Flash #8, they sped through layers of speed and angles of reality to catch up with Barry as he sought to stop and repair dimensional tears across the globe. Along the chase, Barry witnessed how various members of his family were duped into believing that something was wrong with the Speed Force and speedsters through manipulations by members of the Rogues.

In The Flash #9, Barry continues speeding through the world, but the mastermind behind all his troubles makes his presence known - Reverse Flash. The villainous speedster assails Barry's mind from sideways reality, pushing Barry to give in, give up, kill Iris, Kill Linda, and do anything and everything to accept that Reverse Flash will make Barry's reality end.

During the mental struggle, Barry learns that the Arc Angles stitched the Reverse Flashes from across the Multiverse to create a "Crown of Thawnes," making his ability to hide and traverse sideways realities possible.

Eventually, Reverse Flash pushes Barry to pick up a knife and kill Linda and Iris. At that moment, Pilgrim arrives with Hartley to take Wade from Linda as an offer of refuge to keep the baby safe. Iris agrees when Pilgrim removes his mask and shows Iris who he is. Hartley's arrival gives Barry the help he needs when he asks Hartley to use his tune to disrupt Abra's hypno-magic. Hartley complies, and the Pied Piper's tones break the spell, releasing Linda from her "depression."

With backup on hand, Reverse Flash's hold on Barry's mind begins to weaken, especially when Iris screams at Reverse Flash to get out of Barry's head. The gamble worked.

Meanwhile, Jai uses the resources in Pilgrim's lab (without permission) to find his father using "conceptual math." Pilgrim is surprised by Jai's prodigy-like ability to manipulate reality, especially when the experiment works, and they see Wally in a garden with statues all facing away from them... except one - Nightwing.

Now, Wade is safe with Pilgrim, Linda is out of her Rogue-induced depression, Jai may have found his calling, and Barry is free from Reverse Flash's influence. Suddenly, Waller's cronies show up to arrest Barry since speedsters are destroying reality, which we and Pilgrim now know isn't true. Barry speeds off when Waller's forces fire a sticky missile at him, and at the last moment, Barry turns to face his attacker - someone wearing an updated version of the Batman bunny-eared robot suit.

"Wait! You said Pilgrim's identity is revealed. Who is it?" you might stubbornly wonder. Okay, okay. Fine.


Pilgrim is Wade from the future.


What's great about The Flash #9? Let's file this under thin praise by saying this issue is the most coherent and (sorta) easy-to-follow issue written by Si Spurrier. In a series plagued by faux-intellectual gobbledygook technobabble, to create cosmic horror that winds up being neither cosmic nor horror, we'll take whatever coherence we can get.

What's not so great about The Flash #9? When you peel back the layers, Si Spurrier went a long, meandering way around to plant big ideas with mind-bending concepts that turned out to be nothing more than Reverse Flash messing with Barry's mind. In the final analysis, the big, complex ideas turned out to be all noise and no substance.

What did the Stillness have to do with anything? Nothing.

What was the point of Grodd and his followers setting up the weird construct that turned into a mask in the middle of Central City Park? Nothing.

What was the point of trying to convince Mr. Terrific that Speedsters were destroying reality? There was none. Mr. Terrific hasn't been seen for several issues.

The list goes on, but what you ultimately have is an effort to get complicated for complication's sake, wrapped around a basic Flash story. When creators get complicated to appear smart, this is what you get, decimating the sales of this series in the process. 

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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Final Thoughts

The Flash #9 peels back all the faux-intellectual layers of complication to reveal Si Spurrier's arc is nothing more than a basic Reverse-Flash-messing-with-Barry-Allen story. Nearly all the pressing questions get answered with little satisfaction, the bizarre ideas introduced appear to be nothing burgers and new plot points are introduced out of nowhere to start working in Absolute Power. History will not be kind to whoever approved this creative team and concept.


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