Review: The Flash #45

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist: Christian Duce

 

Summary

“AFTER THE STORM” The Flashes are all picking up the pieces in the aftermath of Grodd’s attack on Central City. Plus, an emotional lead-in to “Flash War” that you won’t want to miss!

 

Positives

As the regular cover says: “FINALLY!”

We finally get to see the original Wally West confront his Aunt Iris. And it seems Wally’s fears that Iris wouldn’t remember him were unfounded. They have a touching reunion, but then Iris asks an unexpected question, “Where is everyone else?”

Hearing this sends Wally into a Speed Force fit, in which he exclaims, “I remember… EVERYTHING!” And it seems he does. We see some of Wally’s visions, and they contain a number of interesting things that aren’t supposed to be in DC canon anymore.

We see Wally and Linda Park’s wedding, which we already knew Wally remembered. We see Wally with the Teen Titans, but as they appeared in Wolfman and Perez’s New Teen Titans, in their pre-Flashpoint costumes – and with Cyborg on the team. We also see Bart Allen as Impulse in another scene.

There are also a couple curious visions. One appears to be Wally wearing a different variation of his Kid Flash uniform running with the Flash – or is it Bart with Wally as the Flash? And Barry’s lightning bolt symbol is backwards in the scene of Wally gaining his powers. Did the artist slip-up, or is this telling us something?

Whatever the case, it appears that the Flash War is going to reveal some more of the unresolved mysteries introduced in the DC Universe: Rebirth special. I will quote the cover again: “FINALLY!”

Other than Wally and Iris’ reunion, the entire issue is a delight. I enjoy the type of story where there is no villain being battled that month, allowing some attention to be given to the personal lives of the cast. Also, for once we get to see Barry and crew dealing with the aftermath of a major battle instead of rushing immediately into a new fight.

Barry is back to his bright, cheery self, after long months of battling with negativity, both metaphorically, and literally in the form of the Negative Speed Force. Seeing Barry regain his optimistic view of the world makes it seem like all is well again in the DCU.

 

Negatives

The only thing that was slightly disappointing about this issue involveswho was missing from Wally’s visions. What about Jay Garrick (and the rest of the Justice Society) or Max Mercury? Or Jai and Irey? Of course, what we only saw was a tease, and not necessarily the totality of what Wally remembers.

 

Verdict

Williamson and Duce should be lauded for their fine work on this long-awaited story. I was originally concerned when I first heard about the Flash War, but this prelude makes me confident that we are in for one hell of a story.

 

 

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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.