Review: THE FLASH #776

The Flash #776 - DC Comics News

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

Writer: Jeremy Adams

Artists: Fernando Pasarin, Matt Ryan

Colors: Jeromy Cox

Letters: Rob Leigh

Reviewed By: Derek McNeil


The Flash #776: Doctor Fate arrives to whisk the Flash away to the IN-BETWEEN, a two-dimensional causeway filled with demonic forces. Now it’s up to YOU, the reader, to help the Scarlet Speedster make his way through the dangerous dimension toward his final destination and the beginning of a brand-new adventure!


The Flash #776 is a very trippy issue. This is somewhat to be expected, considering the guest stars. Wally shares an adventure with Doctor Fate as they make their way to Gemworld to meet up with the Justice League Dark and Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld. But the most unique guest star is you, the reader. And you play an active role in the story. That’s right, Jeremy Adams has presented us with something unique: an interactive comic book.

But how can this make any sense and still be considered a canonical story? Well, this plays on a facet of the DCU that is not a new idea in the DCU. Ambush Bug was the first character that realized he existed in a comic book – but that was mostly played as a joke. However, Grant Morrison picked up on the idea and introduced it in his amazing Animal Man run. He later expanded on the idea in Multiversity.

So the DC Omniverse existing within the pages of a comic book is not a new concept. And thanks to Doctor Fate’s magic, Wally gets a look through the fourth wall at the readers of The Flash in a scene that echoes the Animal Man’s famous “I can see you” splash panel.

The Flash #776 - DC Comics News

Positives Cont.

This allows the heroes to call on the reader for assistance – mainly by rotating the comic to change the direction of gravity or looking earlier in the issue for needed info and even casting a spell using that info. It’s a novel, but strangely fun way of reading a comic.

Upon their arrival in Gemworld, Wally learns that Eclipso has conquered Gemworld. So, it seems that this adventure is a direct result of Eclipso possessing Starbreaker last issue. This implies that a major battle is in the offing, as this villain is on the same power level as the Spectre.

A story like this calls for some tricky page layouts and changing perspectives, which poses a difficult task for the artists. But Fernando Pasarin and Matt Ryan pull it off beautifully. Their skill goes a long way towards selling this story’s unique conceit.


Unfortunately, this story relies on the reader to willingly accept the conceit that their actions are influencing the story. But there will be more cynical readers who will roll their eyes and refuse to play along. For these readers, the story will fall flat. However, it’s a tremendous lot of fun if you can just go along with the story.

Another problem I had with the issue is the part where the reader is asked to look in the previous pages of the book for three symbols. Try as I might, I couldn’t find a trace of them. Perhaps it was an issue with the digital preview copy I was reading, or perhaps I am just going blind. But if those symbols are actually missing in the print edition, then that’s a big problem that breaks the immersion. I will definitely be checking the print edition for this issue.

The Flash #776 - DC Comics News

Negatives Cont.

Updated: All three symbols are indeed present, even in the review copy. I eventually managed to locate two of the symbols on my own. The third had to be pointed out to me (hint: it’s in the picture above). Thanks to Jeremy Adams for revealing the locations on Twitter. I formally retract this as a negative.

I will also offer a quick word of advice for those who will be reading the issue digitally. You will need to turn the auto-rotation feature off on your phone or tablet. The story will require you to change the orientation of the page, which defeats the purpose if your device automatically changes it right back.


The Flash #776 is a tremendous lot of fun, as long as you’re willing to play along and put yourself into the story. This kind of experimentation with the format is brilliant if done properly. And Adams, Pasarin, and Ryan have pulled it off remarkably well.


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