Review: FLASH FORWARD #4
[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 #4: On Wally West’s journey into the depths of the Multiverse, he’s run across vampires and hellhounds and his own ghosts from the past…but nothing has prepared him for this next stop on his journey. In this issue, the mysterious world that is causing the Dark Multiverse to bleed into our own will be revealed, and you will not believe what connection it has to the Fastest Man Alive…
In Flash Forward #4, Wally West gets a surprise when he meets a speedster heroine on Earth-32 named Lightspeed. Her costume and name seem to derive from the DCU’s Godspeed, but Wally recognizes her immediately. She’s that Earth’s Linda Park.
It seems odd that although Wally has been unsuccessful at rebuilding a relationship with his Earth’s Linda, he and this Linda seem to have instant chemistry. Perhaps if Wally is unable to put his old life back together, he may have a chance at building a new life with this or another of the Multiverse’s Lindas.
More importantly, Wally is finally reunited with his children Jai and Irey. Unfortunately, that comes right at the tail end of the issue, so we don’t learn any more about why they are at the incursion point of the Dark Multiverse’s invasion of the Multiverse.
But we do witness Wally’s understandable shock and horror at finding the bizarre monument to the heroes he accidentally killed in Heroes In Crisis. Is this display meant to provoke a reaction from him? Clearly it marks some sort of connection between Wally and whatever has caused the Dark Multiverse’s incursion. And how does Wally’s children figure into this?
While this series didn’t introduce the parallel worlds that Wally interacts with this issue, it does give him some interesting characters to interact with. Earth-13’s League of Shadows boasts some interesting mystical heroes. I especially like that we got to see the character of Fate make an appearance.
Earth-32 is, as Wally puts it, is an ‘amalgaverse’. The heroes and villains of that universe appear to be based on combinations of two separate DCU characters. The prime example is Superdemon, a mashup of Superman and Etrigan the Demon. This Earth provides a lot of interesting potential, and it would be nice to see DC exploring this world a little deeper – perhaps in a miniseries or crossover.
It also brings to mind the Amalgam Universe, and makes me wonder if we’ll ever see more of the universe that is populated by DC/Marvel character mashups. It seems unlikely, but maybe someday.
It was great to see Wally finally reunited with Jai and Irey. But, I am very worried about what I have read in the advance solicitations for the rest of this miniseries. It is strongly implied that Wally will have to choose between saving his family and saving the Multiverse. I will be very displeased with DC if they have finally given Wally back a measure of his former life, just to dash it away again. Hopefully, that choice will be a false dilemma and Wally will find a way to save both.
While I hate that there is a need for it in the first place, Lobdell is successfully redeeming Wally. I still retain hope that Wally can regain his standing as one of DC’s foremost characters. And if this series accomplishes that, then this will be one of the classic stories of the Rebirth era.