When Wally West returned in DC Universe: Rebirth, fans rejoiced. As arguably the most popular version of the character, his return symbolized a return to form. Since his escape from the Speed Force, Wally has been going on adventures with the Titans throughout the DC Earth, while his mentor Barry has been sticking to Central City. This April, however, these two Flashes will go to war with one another. This Flash Annual is the prelude to this event, so how does it all start?
**Some Spoilers Below**
Wally West, now about a year and a half out of the Speed Force, has yet to approach his Aunt Iris. He’s worried that like his former wife Linda, Iris won’t remember him. Due to this, he decides to try and talk to an old flame, Frances Kane. When Wally approaches her, it does trigger her memories… But as a supervillain. Meanwhile, in the 25th century, a group of time-traveling agents are investigating the murder of Eobard Thawne. When they learn the suspect is Iris West, they prepare to travel back and arrest her.
I loved this issue, despite the little Flash War set up. This is a character piece, examining Wally West and his adjustment to his return. The last time we had a story like this was during the first arc in Titans with him trying to get his wife back. Most of his stories now are action packed and full of excitement. It’s nice to see this slower issue that has Wally working on the burden he’s carrying.
My one gripe with this comic is a nitpick, but a noticeable one at that. Wally decides to try and talk to Frances Kane, one of his former rogues. It doesn’t matter if she’s a former love interest and former Titan, Wally should have expected a fight. This leads to a nice reconciliation between the two characters either way, so it doesn’t derail the story too bad.
Both art teams did an amazing job illustrating this issue. Christian Duce illustrates the present day story, where he masterfully draws the story of Wally West. The emotion on the characters’ faces feel authentic and pull on the emotional strings. You can feel the sadness of Wally, the anger of Frances, and the frustration between the two Flashes. It fits the story perfectly.
The future part of the issue was drawn by Howard Porter, who also illustrated the Running Scared arc a few months back. He’s always drawn the future of DC well, as seen in the Justice League 3000 series, and this is no exception. While I won’t spoil the team that is sent back, I will say they are the best looking characters I have seen from him in a while. With his style penciling the future, and Duce penciling the present, we have one fantastic looking book.
This was a great annual for not only Flash fanatics, but also any comic fan. It has great action and character arcs that readers will find interesting. The art looks fantastic, from the epic designs in the future to the emotional details of the present. If you’re looking for a book to read this week, give this one a look.