Review: The Flash #50

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

Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist: Howard Porter

 

Summary

The lightning-fueled finale of “Flash War”! Zoom adapts two new Speed Force powers into his arsenal against both Barry Allen and Wally West. What are these strange new powers? What can they do? And how will this haunt the Scarlet Speedster long after “Flash War” is over? It’s the power of two Flashes pitted against the seemingly unstoppable Hunter Zolomon!

 

Positives

It’s a good thing that this was an extra-sized issue, as there is a lot going on here. Picking up from last issue, Zoom has gained access to the Speed Force and declared himself the one true Flash. On top of that, he has taken control of the Strength and Sage Forces, and aims to add the last force – the Still Force.

And as they try to stop Zoom, we finally get the definitive answer to the burning question: Who is faster: Barry or Wally? Last issue, Wally referenced the first time that Barry and Wally raced, and in this issue Barry fills us in on what happened. Wally not only is faster, but he always was.

Barry further explains that this is because he is hung up on the science of the Speed Force, while Wally let himself get lost in the sheer enjoyment of super-speed.

I think this fits well with Mark Waid’s telling of Wally’s coming-of-age story. Waid showed us that Wally had to overcome his fear of surpassing Barry. It adds a deeper dimension to this, when we realize that Wally already knew he could be faster.

It is interesting that Hypertime makes an appearance. Longtime readers may recall that Hypertime was invented after the Crisis On Infinite Earths, allowing DC to have alternate realities without having a multiverse.

Also, Kid Flash, Iris, and Commander Cold return to the 21st Century. This is done by Wallace focusing on his anchor. Like Wally found in DC Universe: Rebirth, his cousin also finds that his anchor is Barry. However, Wallace focuses on the anger he has for Barry. It seems that there is much left to work out between Barry and his youngest protégé.

In the aftermath of their battle with Zoom, it also seems that the Speed Force has been drained of temporal energy, putting an end to Speed Force based time travel. This not only makes it impossible for Wally to continue his search for his children, but traps Commander Cold in the present.

We are shown the triumphant return Impulse, Barry and Iris’ future grandson Bart Allen. There is also a quick glimpse of Jay Garrick, Max Mercury, Jessie Quick, and others. If Bart made it back into the DCU, could that mean the others did – or will soon?

Finally, we are shown that a villain has escaped from his prison in the 25th Century. His name’s crisis and he tells us, “Worlds will live. Worlds will die. And the Multiverse will never be the same.” It sounds like he may be an extremely serious threat to the entirety of the DC Universe.

 

Negatives

Given that Bart returns in his Impulse costume rather than his Kid Flash outfit, plus the fact that the role of Kid Flash is currently occupied by Wallace West, I am guessing that Bart will remain as Impulse. While this is great, I was hoping that Irey might be returning as Impulse. She had just barely taken on that role before Flashpoint wiped her from the DCU. It’s a shame that she never got a chance to shine in it.

 

Verdict

The Flash War has lived up to the hype. Williamson has delivered an amazing story, answered a long-standing debate, and returned a long-missed member of the Flash family. I will be eagerly awaiting the next issue to see the fallout from this one.

 

 

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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.