Review: FLASH FORWARD #1
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Colours: Luis Guerrero
Letters: ALW’s Troy Peteri
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Flash Forward #1: His name is Wally West-and he was the Fastest Man Alive. That is, until the Multiverse was rewritten without him or his family in it. Wally returned and tried to make it work, but the damage was done. Spinning out of the events of HEROES IN CRISIS, follow the man who called himself Flash on an adventure to find redemption in a cosmos that has fought so hard to destroy him.
In 2016, DC kicked off the Rebirth era in the DC Universe: Rebirth Special which brought Wally West back into DC’s continuity. Rebirth was a return of hope and optimism to the DCU and Wally was the symbol of this.
Wally rejoined the Titans and tried to resume his old life, but the Flashpoint had erased his marriage to Linda Park and their children. He tried to reconnect with Linda, but it became clear that he wasn’t going to be able to re-establish his relationship with her and regain his family.
This made him susceptible to the manipulation of Hunter Zolomon, a.k.a. Zoom, who promised to restore his family. When he found that Zoom had lied, Wally was driven to despair, prompting Barry Allen to give him into the care of Sanctuary, a recovery facility for superheroes.
In Tom King’s Heroes in Crisis, several characters were killed, with Wally apparently among them. It turns out that Wally survived, the revelation that Wally was responsible for the deaths was nearly as bad.
Flash Forward #1 finds Wally temporarily housed in Blackgate Prison, on trial for his actions, and with the other inmates trying to kill him. Wally, the DC’s symbol of hope is at his lowest, with no friends or family to support him.
Well, except one. In a heartbreaking scene, Linda tries to reach out to him, to remind him that he’s still done a lot of good, and is still a hero at heart. But Wally refuses to hear any of it.
Now DC has tasked Lobdell with the redemption of redeeming Wally and bringing him back to his former glory. Hopefully he will live up to the challenge.
Lobdell has started Wally off by giving him a new cosmic task that sends him off into other universe. The Dark Multiverse is bleeding into the Multiverse, spreading despair and toxicity into multiple worlds.
The cosmic entity Tempus Fuginaut drafts Wally, as the “fastest being in all the Multiverse” to combat this disaster. Even though Wally protests, Fuginaut doesn’t give him a choice, declaring this task to be his destiny.
This quest for Wally seems to me to be a workable starting point for Lobdell to launch Wally’s redemption arc. The setup is rich enough with possible story ideas to give Lobdell the tools to redeem Wally.
I am also intrigued by Tempus Fuginaut’s declaration to Wally, “Human… you have only glimpsed… the power you wield… since you’ve become… unmoored.” If Wally has untapped potential abilities, this might serve to distinguish him from Barry, and making DC’s multiple Flashes less redundant.
While I hate the state which Heroes in Crisis has left Wally in, this isn’t Lobdell’s fault. So, I won’t hold him responsible for that. But it does present him with a monumental task, and it remains to be seen if he’s up to the task. However, he has made a decent first step towards doing so.
While I have some trepidation about this title, Flash Forward #1 gives me hope that Lobdell can succeed in re-establishing Wally as a bastion of hope and heroism for the DCU. I look forward to seeing how this endeavour progresses.