THE FLASH: FUTURE’S END #1 by Robert Venditti & Van Jensen, art by Brett Booth on pencils, Norm Rapmund on inks and Andrew Dalhouse on color is a time bender. But is it a good one?
Not so much a true flash forward as in other titles, but a continuation of the current time bending narrative of Barry Allen vs Barry “Electric Blue” Future Flash. Future Flash continues his struggle with The Reverse Flash and ends up snapping his neck. By doing so he saves both Iris and Wally, but it also marks a clear change in Barry. “Current” Barry arrives, in horror, and future Barry wails on Barry. In the resulting brawl current Barry ends up maimed and Wally is gifted speed force powers.
I really like the coloring and the art used for the speed force effects here; I really do think deep down somewhere Brett Booth is a competent artist, but he’s just not doing what he needs to in order to really get there. Being said, this isn’t terrible comic book making, but it’s nothing special. It’s really nothing different. And that’s what is frustrating. I need it to really push the boundary in a different way.
Barry vs Barry. Just the whole loading Barry down with angst since Flashpoint, it just completely misunderstands the original character. The Flash was never about this tone. Why bring Barry back if it just meant making him suffer. To have bombastic storytelling doesn’t mean you have to be gritty. Future Barry’s goal to fix things is noble but it’s become tragically twisted along the way so now he’s all dark and gritty. So now he’s pretty much the villain. I’m not into that. It’s been done before. Write something new. Additionally being so tied to the current narrative, this issue doesn’t feel particularly special and unlike a lot of other issues, you will need to read this, at least it feels like you’ll have to.
If you’ve been following the story and have been engrossed; pick it up. Otherwise pass it. The Flash can be a fun hero but this really isn’t working for me. Wally finally gets his powers but his costume isn’t great looking so I’m not too excited.