The Flash Teams Up with his Greatest Foe!
The Flash Age has been more destructive than ever expected. While Paradox has begun his journey through the timestream, Barry has done some trekking as well. He realizes the only person who had a chance of beating Paradox was the Reverse Flash. With that information, Barry runs to the future, hoping to find him. When Barry finds the future damaged, he realizes there is only one other place he can be: The past. He returns to his home the night of his mother’s murder and waits for Thawne. The evil speedster soon finds him and asks what has happened.
When he realizes how bad the damage is, Eobard proposes a team-up. Can they win, or will they kill each other first?
**Some Spoilers Below**
We open with Thawne explaining to Barry how difficult the battle against Paradox was. The villain arrived in the 25th century, and it took the united might of the Reverse Flash and the Renegades to defeat him. Thanks to Flash War, this is undone, and the two speedsters head back to the future for a weapon to fight him. Eobard reveals that his lightning rod, which could redirect the speed force into destructive energy, is perfect to face Paradox. Meanwhile, the time-manipulating villain continues to traverse the timeline. Each new place he comes to, he kills that version of the Flash.
While we don’t get as much action as I hoped from the last issue, we get something better: Tension. You can tell from the first page; Barry already hates every moment he spends with Thawne. The man who killed his mom belittling him for causing so much trouble would make anyone tense. It doesn’t stop there either. From the belittling to seeing the plan of Paradox unfold, this reviewer became more and more nervous as to what was coming. When readers see what exactly Thawne has in mind, they’re going to feel that tension too.
The problem I have with this issue is the reveal of Paradox’s plan. The villain is able to successfully kill Flash at legendary moments from across history, but it changes very little. This is implied that it’s because his actions still have revered as a hero. Paradox’s new plan is to make an even bigger paradox so he can use it to wipe out everyone. How he goes about it, however, doesn’t make a lot of sense. Maybe it’ll be cleared up in the finale, but as it stands, it doesn’t work for me.
I’ve made it clear that Rafa Sandoval is one of the best artists for this series in the past. He’s able to design characters exceptionally well, along with their powers. The Flash and his villains have been prime examples of that. There is a two-page spread near the beginning that shows the speedsters, and it looks incredible. From their determined expressions to the lightning flying around them, it’s just a great image. The colorists also played a part in allowing scenes like this to come alive. This team gave this book their best, and It shows.
Overall this is a decent penultimate issue of The Flash Age arc. Joshua Williamson knows how to build-up tension as we approach the finale. As we enter into it, the stakes have never been higher for both the world and the character’s soul. When it comes to art, the team continues to knock it out of the park. The Flash series probably has the best art teams at the moment, continually rotating out. We have one more issue to go, and I’m on the edge of my seat.