Review: FLASH FORWARD #3
[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 #3: The rift between the Multiverse and Dark Multiverse is growing wider, and evil dark energy is threatening all the planets in its path! It’s up to Wally West to journey to these worlds and purge them of this darkness, but the greater darkness is that from within. The destruction has now found its way to Earth-43, where Roy Harper is the world’s premier vampire hunter, and Wally’s only hope of surviving…
Flash Forward #3 brings Wally West to Earth 43, the earth of Batman & Dracula: Red Rain. On this Earth, Batman, and several of the world’s superheroes are vampires. This setting pits Wally against undead versions of Superman and the Flash.
It was fascinating to see Wally pitted against his mentor, Barry Allen. We got a taste of this in the recent Flash War storyline in The Flash, but this takes the idea to its extreme. WIth Barry as an undead monster, we see how Wally measures up to Barry with neither holding back for fear of harming the other.
We also see that Wally is more than a match for Barry and for this world’s Superman.
But the big shocker this issue is not the foes Wally has to face, but the ally he finds here. Oddly enough, a hero who is dead on the main DC Earth is one of the few heroes still alive on this world: Roy Harper a.k.a. Arsenal.
Roy’s presence is somewhat uncomfortable for Wally, with Wally being accidentally responsible for Roy’s death in Heroes in Crisis. Wally finds himself having to work with this Roy while struggling with intense guilt for the guilt of his own Earth’s Roy.
But although the situation causes Wally distress, it also allows him some closure. When this Roy meets his own death, Wally feels that he’s failed Roy again, but Roy tells him, “No. You don’t get to… take away… my choice. Live… die… Did it all… with eyes wide open.”
Wally realizes that he’s been so consumed with his own guilt, that he “only saw Roy as a victim… instead of the hero he always was. Right until the end.” This realization allows Wally to better deal with his guilt and grief over Roy, and furthers his recovery from the events of Heroes In Crisis. As Tempus Fuginaut informs us, this encounter is serving to “reignite the flame within a hero”
Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund have done an amazing job of bringing the world of Red Rain to life. I also have to admit that although I preferred Wally’s classic Flash uniform, their artwork is makes the new outfit look pretty good.
I am somewhat disappointed that there is no follow-up of the huge revelation at the end of last issue. After finding out that Jai and Irey are alive, I am dying to learn more about their situation. What is this world they are trapped on? And when will Wally be reunited with them?
Also, a potential dilemma was introduced in this issue, but wasn’t really dealt with. The vampiric Batman reveals that he can use the Dark Multiverse matter to sustain the vampires without the need for vampires to feed on the living anymore. By destroying the Dark Matter, Wally is condemning the people of this world to remain the perpetual victims of the vampires? It might have been nice for Wally to acknowledge that moral quandary before destroying the Dark Matter.
While I would rather that Wally had never been brought to the low point he was at, Lobdell is doing a decent job so far of redeeming the character. It looks like Wally might actually emerge from this series once again the bright beacon of hope we saw in the DC Universe: Rebirth special.