Review: THE FLASH #767
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Colours: Marcelo Maiolo
Letters: Steve Wands
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
The Flash #767: “Endless Winter” chapter two! As the world’s heroes rush to stop the freezing conditions running rampant across the globe, the Fastest Man Alive speeds directly into Black Adam. With the planet losing hope, the Flash and Kahndaq’s ruler must find a way to work together, while a story from Black Adam’s past reveals his connection to the threat that now returns to end the world with freezing ice and fearsome frost.
Only a few issues in, Kevin Shinick’s run on The Flash is interrupted for at least 3 months. Andy Lanning and Ron Marz take over The Flash #767 to present the second chapter of their Endless Winter crossover event. Then the title goes on hiatus for two months during the Future State event. Presumably, Shinick’s #768 will return in March ’21, but this is yet to be announced.
The Flash #767 is more than a tie-in to the Endless Winter event. it’s actually the second chapter of the Endless Winter storyline. So you are going to want to read the first part in last week’s Justice League: Endless Winter #1 to know what’s going on here.
However, it being a chapter in a crossover event, that doesn’t mean that the titular character gets sidelined in his own book. I like that Lanning and Marz recognize that when their story is taking place in a character’s book, that character should be at the forefront of that chapter.
The “villain” of the story is Black Adam. We see him addressing the United Nations as the ruler of Kahndaq. He is berating the UN for not dealing with the Frost King’s worldwide winter, and opens his country to refugees. He also warns, “Tell your Justice League to deal with this threat… before I have to”.
Even though Black Adam was a Captain Marvel villain for decades, in recent years, DC has been portraying him as an antihero. He was even a member of the Justice Society at one point. This take on Black Adam adds a lot of nuance to the character. Antiheroes tend to be too complex to be easily classified as a good or evil, which makes them less predictable. It also makes them more relatable, as most people aren’t wholly good or bad and the world is often black and white.
I find it interesting that Black Adam’s lightning is able to give Barry’s powers a boost. It’s understandable that the Frost King’s winter affects his powers negatively. It’s been established that Captain Cold’s powers affect Barry’s speed. But Black Adam’s lighting is magic, while Barry’s powers come from a scientific force – the Speed Force. And I doubt that simple electricity would do much to jumpstart Barry’s powers. There has to be a deeper connection than that. Could it be that their power sources are more akin than they realize?
And while Black Adam seems to be quite helpful and friendly when dealing with the Flash, I can’t be suspicious of his actual motives. What he says to Barry about willing to help with the current crisis strikes a rather different tone than his warnings to the UN earlier. And the expression on his face as he tells Barry, “Thank you for a most useful conversation” makes it seem like Adam has his own agenda that may or may not be opposed to the Justice League’s goals.
Unfortunately, The Flash #767 being a full chapter of the Endless Winter crossover event, means that it’s the worst kind of tie-in. It’s the kind that requires you to buy the other titles in the event to completely appreciate the story. This isn’t much of a problem for me, as I’d be buying Endless Winter anyway. However, this would be an annoyance to regular collectors of the The Flash who aren’t interested in that event.
Also, I can’t say that I’m happy to see a three month interruption in Kevin Shinick’s run for Endless Winter and Future State. Shinick has gotten his run off to a great start and I don’t enjoy having to wait for his run to continue.
The Flash #767 was an enjoyable and interesting chapter in the Endless Winter story. I highly recommend checking the rest of the crossover event’s chapters. However, I do not appreciate having a 3 month wait until Barry’s story continues in #768.