Well DC fans, we got something… but it indeed wasn’t a war. The story was more of a race than anything else. A race that ended in some heated discussion between our leading speedsters and some brand spanking new forces. But did this summer event do anything to progress Joshua Williamson’s 50 issue FLASH run any further? Was this “war” the blockbuster it was pushed to be? OR was this another story by DC pushed to make us forget about the delays and answers we have all wanted since REBIRTH?
WARNING: FLASH WAR SPOILERS AHEAD
FLASH WAR, written by Joshua Williamson, art by Howard Porter, colors by Hi-Fi, and letters by Steve Wands began in FLASH # 47 and came to its conclusion with issue 50 on July 11th, 2018. So, where do we go from here moving forward?
Well, let’s attack the speedster elephant in the room. Bart Allen is back! Now, that got me pumped. Look above: this was an amazing splash page and cliffhanger for Williamson and Porter to end with to get fans excited. But, I feel this is all readers get any more. A story that leads to a reveal that leads to another reveal… and so on.
I honestly am excited to see Bart Allen back BUT are we going to get anything out of it OR are readers going to be drug along for another year with minimal answers? At first, I thought the Bart Allen reveal was just DC’s way of bribing readers to hang in there for another year without answers. But is DC the architect behind this war?
In a recent interview on the Gotham By Geeks Podcast, Williamson was interviewed stating his part in the creation of this story. He wanted Wally in his book. So, he pitched a war to DC brass (Barry vs. Wally), and they bit on it over a year ago. DC wasn’t trying to push an agenda or answers to questions. This was all Williamson! This was never meant to give readers any answers to any question related to REBIRTH. This was all a ploy for Williamson to play with a new toy.
Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That
Another big reveal from Williamson was that time travel is now off the table for now. So, all this does is show the reader that Wally can’t try again to somehow change the past or future to get his kids back. It also guarantees that Bart is stuck in our time for now.
How can you access the Speed Force but not access time travel? Is Williamson saying our Flash’s have their abilities, but they just can’t go as fast? We see Wally run off at the end of the issue so he at least still has speed Force abilities.
And don’t forget that Commander Cold is also stuck here now as well. One can assume Williamson will have a showdown with the Captain and the Commander at some point. Are these the stories we’re going to get this coming year?
Use the Force Zoom
How does Zoom get these dazzling new forces? I understand that Wally ran so fast that he somehow broke the Speed Force BUT how does that release these two new forces? AND why do we need them?
Was the entire point of this “war” to drag us along to show us two new forces and give us Bart Allen? Heck, I’m still confused about JUSTICE LEAGUE right now. In JUSTICE LEAGUE, our heroes are dealing with something called the Still Force. Are these forces related? AND how many forces do we need? We went for years with only one force, and in a month we’ve got three more.
When it’s all said and done, will we all get our Planeteer Rings? Let’s put all the forces together and form Captain Planet!
Forced Plot Holes
After all of Wally’s memories come back, why would he trust Zoom? I know he wants to save his kids, BUT it’s not like they’re in any more danger than before. They’ll still be stuck in the Speed Force tomorrow after you formulate a better plan. Instead, Wally trusts the villain who has tried to hurt him and his family repeatedly in the past simply because he says he’s changed. I have three kids. I get wanting to jump immediately to their rescue, but I’m not trusting the person who’s tried to kill me in the past. I’m trusting my best friend, Barry.
In the Gotham by Geeks Podcast, listeners can hear Williamson’s love for comics, the Flash, writing, AND the scene when Wally pleads with Barry to help him get his kids out of the Speed Force. In the podcast, you can hear his passion as he explains the scene so thoroughly. My point is: where was that passion in the book? Why didn’t you channel what I heard in the podcast and put it into the dialogue of this war? After listening, I certainly can tell Williamson cares deeply about this book. But maybe he just needs to slow down and articulate the characters and their feelings much better.
Williamson said in the Gotham by Geeks Podcast that he’s working on issue 58! We just got 50! That’s four months ahead. Creative teams need to work ahead, but that puts him at Thanksgiving. Slow down. Give readers good dialogue with better explanations that have the same care and compassion for the character that I heard you have in the podcast.
Let’s get Hyped!
Why are we confusing readers even more by using Hypertime? So, now that Hypertime is reintroduced AGAIN, DC and Williamson can explain everything away now by saying; “…cause Hypertime…”
What happened to the missing ten years?
Why are there 3 Jokers?
How did the Comedian enter the DCU and not die?
How do new 52 Superman and Pre-Flashpoint Superman merge?
Where is the JSA and the Legion of Superheroes?
Williamson just created his ticket out of any situation, and it’s bogus! I will be extremely disappointed if Hypertime is used to answer any of these glaring plot holes in the DCU.
Did anyone else notice this gem during the war? There is one casualty in this war: Batman. In issue FLASH #49, Zoom threw Batman so dang hard and so dang far that there is no conceivable way he survived. In case you forgot, take a look above.
The story wasn’t bad, AND I can tell Williamson loves the Flash BUT this war was misrepresented and gave us ambiguous answers. Howard Porter’s art is always fantastic, but this just felt like THE BUTTON all over again. THE BUTTON gave us no answers, more questions, and no real direction at its conclusion. Readers left this war with more speculation. THE BUTTON was fun to read but looking back on it now; it told us NOTHING! Basically, that’s precisely what FLASH WAR was: this year’s BUTTON.
Readers get no answers about Wally at all; other than his memories are restored. But, we learned that BEFORE the “war.” Why doesn’t everyone else remember Wally, especially when he touches them? Why are his kids trapped in the Speed Force? Is Manhattan related to his disappearance at all? Again, we get no answers but leave with more questions. Readers get no war, or a real fight, or ending to this story. We get Bart Allen (which I’m excited for if it’s done well) and new forces (which I’m not excited for).
In defense of DC and Williamson, they never said FLASH WAR would give us answers to any of the REBIRTH questions we had. However, as a HUGE fan of DC characters, comics, and this universe, when do I pack up and move on? At some point, fans will quit you, babe! I’m getting tired of the same song and dance. Stop giving readers pretty flowers (Bart Allen) as a way to say “sorry.” They aren’t going to cut it anymore. Williamson said in the Gotham by Geeks Podcast that he finally started to hit his stride. What?!?!? It took 50 issues to figure this out? Come on man.
I left this issue saying: FLASH WAR, huh, YEAH, what is it good for?
Say it again!
What did you guys think of FLASH WAR? Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @dispatchdcu