Review: The Flash #5

[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Penciller: Felipe Watanabe
Inkers: Andrew Currie & Oclair Albert

The issue starts with a look at Meena Dhawan’s new costume. Dr. Dhawan has joined Barry and August Heart in fighting crime, using the superhero name, Fast Track.

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Barry and Meena enjoy a sunrise together, which is something Barry rarely has time for, but with two partners in crime fighting, he can now take time to relax.

Having this extra time allows him to be on time to meet Iris for breakfast, and for once it’s Iris that’s late. Barry tells Iris about his developing relationship with Meena.

Meanwhile, at S.T.A.R. Labs, Meena and Detective Heart have a disagreement about how to train Central City’s speedsters. August believes they should be trained for superheroics, while Meena maintains that some of them don’t want to be heroes, but rather to be able to resume their normal lives. However, August believes this would be a waste of their powers.

Their argument is interrupted when Meena senses a new speedster outside the lab. This turns out to be Wally West – the younger New 52 Wally (not his cousin, the original Wally).

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Wally is looking for guidance in learning to use his powers, but doesn’t want his Aunt Iris to discover he has them. Meena offers to at least show Wally a few things that she has learnt from the Flash.

Meena teaches Wally a few of the basic principles of using the Speed Force and end up performing a rescue along the way. Meena ends up offering to train Wally personally so that no one else needs to learn about his powers.

Barry and Iris arrive at the Police Crime Lab in time to get lectured by his boss, Director Singh. Singh orders Barry to help August with a case. August and Barry discuss the problems Barry has had balancing his professional life with his superhero life.

Meena arrives back at S.T.A.R. Labs to find that Godspeed is attacking a group of the students there. Meena sends one of the students to find the Flash, while she tries to defend the others. Eventually Barry arrives to find the students have been killed and Meena is missing. All that remains is her empty uniform.

The Positives

I like the idea that is put forward that Barry rarely has time to slow down and relax once in a while. You would assume that someone who can move at the speed Barry does would have all the time in the world. But this idea does keep in line with how Barry has been portrayed as always being late.

It is also amusing that this common trope always being late is turned on its head by having Barry be the one stuck waiting while Iris is running late for their breakfast.

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And finally, it seems that Wally is making some headway towards becoming Kid Flash. Also, I find that I’m starting to warm up to Wally now that I know he’s not a replacement for the original Wally, but a worthy successor to the Kid Flash role that Wally has grown out of. This fits in well with the DC Rebirth ethos. The elder Wally’s story continues (mainly in Titans), while the younger Wally continues the legacy of Kid Flash forward. I now find myself looking forward to seeing younger Wally take on the role of Kid Flash, rather than seeing him as a usurper of the “real” Wally.

The Negatives

I find it a bit frustrating that we aren’t getting any hints or even a mention of the central mysteries of the Rebirth mystery. Both Flashes seem to be at the center of the Rebirth event, but it isn’t even mentioned this issue. However, this is a minor quibble – with two issues a month, there will be plenty of time to delve into this later. But please don’t make us wait too long, DC.

The Verdict

This issue continues the good work that has been done in this title so far. The Flash is definitely one of the standout titles in DC’s Rebirth line.

3.5outof5

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Derek McNeil

I have been an avid reader of DC Comics since the early 70s. My earliest exposure was to Batman and Superman comics, Batman (Adam West) reruns, and watching the Super-Friends every Saturday morning.