Future Barry’s Long Road Back Continues in FLASH #31 (review)

Flash #31The Future Flash is coming…but he has a few stops to make along the way.  He’s already killed the Future Grodd…what more does he have planned before meeting himself in the present?   That’s where we pick up in THE FLASH #31!


In the present someone who looks a lot like the villain Black Mold kills another crook…but is it really Black Mold?  It doesn’t seem so…but the answer lies in part in the ransacked evidence room of the CCPD!  Present Barry continues to lose time, a few minutes here and there, as he struggles to keep his meeting with Wally.  Sixteen years from now (instead of twenty as in last issue), we find that Future Barry has a plan to stop a tragedy involving another member of the Rogues…but just how far will he go to change his past?

In Robert Venditti and Van Jensen’s script, we get a little more of the picture concerning this New 52 Wally West.  Wally doesn’t know that his uncle is the Reverse Flash – he just knows that the Flash put his Uncle Daniel in jail, and that the Flash was not around to help his mother when the Crime Syndicate hit town.  That would obviously influence Wally’s opinion of the Flash, but we’ll see more of that story in future issues…along with wherever Barry’s friendship with Iris may lead.  More chilling is their depiction of the Future Flash.  This version of Barry is a broken man, one with a very different view of what needs to be done than the Barry we know.  It is shocking to see what Future Barry is capable of doing, but that’s the point here (as an aside, it may remind you of an accusation leveled against the Flash in an earlier New 52 arc, but the two tales are not truly connected).  And, by hopping backward a few years at a time we are getting an even bigger buildup to the eventual Barry v. Barry fight.   As for the artwork? I’m enjoying what Brett Booth (pencils), Norm Rapmund (inks) and Andrew Dalhouse (colors) are doing here.  I’m getting into the Barry-with-a-vest look, and I loved seeing Barry in that Blue Lantern T-shirt.  In the end, Venditti, Jensen and company are bringing us the ultimate Flash foe…the Flash himself…and I really want to see what happens next.


12 thoughts on “Future Barry’s Long Road Back Continues in FLASH #31 (review)

  1. Ben

    Who is black mould? Ive read everything from Mark Waid’s first run till now and I can’t recall the character at all. Zippo on google either

    1. Kelson

      He’s a new character, but supposed to have been around for a while. The New 52 started about 5 years into Barry’s career as the Flash, after all. Geoff Johns did the same thing with several of the villains he introduced in Iron Heights, like Murmur, Girder and Double Down.

  2. married guy

    I would still love to read a Rogue Profile issue on Double Down.
    Such a cool looking character….

  3. Scott Timms

    Rogue profile issue?! That’s a fantastic idea! I’m a Mirror Master fan (top three flash villian). But the treatment of Mirror Master so far in the nu52 is one of the few gripes I have with it. Brett Booth has done a great job drawing him now though. LOVE the new look and feel confident about the future of the rogues! P.s. Did I see CAPTIN boomerang on a solicitation? Hope so…bring back TOP!

  4. Javi Trujillo

    I loved the Blue Lantern shirt, too, but not the fact that Iris doesn’t know Wally so well. I’m sure everyone will get close at some point, I just don’t know if I have the patience to stick it out.

    1. Kelson

      I’m starting to think that serialized comics should either start with the status quo they’re going to run with and then show flashbacks of how it got there, or if they really need to ramp up, do it with a graphic novel. A slow burn always has people judging everything by (essentially) the first commercial break.

    2. Kyer

      Well, they did say at the start of DC52 that things would be different, and different they are. Look at me. Before DC52 I was head over heels in love with DC comics and never even thought to look at any other form of entertainment. Now, with their successful ‘different!’ campaign, my attitude has changed 180. Congratulations, DC, I’m indeed seeing you -differently-.

      Have heard that nu-Wally has freckles.
      Wonderful. One of the aspects of Young Justice Wally West that I could have done without and that’s the one Warner Bros okayed to keep in the comic books. No ginger, no green eyes, but some faint freckles. whoopee.
      Also heard that Iris is gradually developing a tan. *facepalm*

      Here I used to grouse at Disney/Marvel for messing with their Earth’s Mightiest Heroes cartoon under the premise of: We have a very good show already that has die-hard fans, but let’s scrape it in favor of a generic one based more on our movie.

      Wally and now Iris, victims of editorial decisions from..Warner Bros? (Please someone give me the true culprit so I can accurately place blame where it belongs.)

      Anyway, before I was ambiguous on the new show purely due to Gustin’s age and was planning to catch the pilot or at least the rerun of it at some point. Now I’m downright hating it and planning on avoiding it as if it was a version of Countdown by Didio. Not for what it is, mind, but for what it has wrecked in it’s path (and it’s not even been aired yet.)
      I suppose I can take dark comfort in that the new books are so much more violent and gross that even if Wally was still recognizably Wally I’d have had a hard time reading the books anyway without the aid of a barf bag and ptsd flashes of Superboy Prime tearing off body parts left and right.

  5. Martin Gray

    I wasn’t keen on this one, the time shenanigans is getting on my nerves – I need a break from stories centring on time travel and the Speed Force. And Black Mold? Good grief, that’s a terrible name … the costume had me thinking Mr Element. The art looked a tad rushed, with some proportions looking rather off, over-elongated.

  6. David Vickery

    This new version of Wally West is so horrible for so many reasons. I really have tried giving it a chance but the angry asshole kid is just so grating. The fact that Iris’ words were that he’s a terrible kid who needs a good male role model sickens me. Even before people were socially conscious, Wally never needed a male role model. His dad was a horrible role model — Iris was his role model. She was a great adult who he looked up to and now the only thing we’ve seen him do is literally mouth off to her at every opportunity and be a terrible brat. Meanwhile she’s so disappointed in him that she’s literally begging her male friend to mentor him because apparently she’s incapable due to her genitals.

    Everything is so warped and horrible and Venditti clearly has no idea about anything that defined any of these characters besides the fact that he knows Wally ends up as Barry’s sidekick. It’s so awful and the dialogue is so cringe inducing that I’m not sure I can stomach this anymore. I’m not saying these things out of spite, just sickening disappointment at the loss of any character that Iris or Wally had.


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