This was meant to be a very momentous issue of THE FLASH – after all, present numbering aside it’s the 700th issue! So, we get a classic Flash bad guy (ape) and the start to a very wild ride for Barry and company. So…did it live up to the hype? Will Barry and Iris ever get together? Will the voice in Barry’s head ever make sense? Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!
When you set up a milestone issue like this, there are several purposes to the tale, and those purposes can conflict just a bit. For example, this is a get-together for all the fans of The Flash over the years, so we will see a lot of familiar things (though in a new light). But, having it be the 700th issue means you may also get some new fans stopping by out of curiosity, who need a fuller introduction to the character (or at least an intro to how the character is portrayed in the REBIRTH era). And, of course, this starts a huge story arc with implications for everything moving forward in the lives of our favorite Central City citizens. There were some really great moments here, although with some uneven spots. If you were looking for an all-time great issue, this may not be it – but it was still a very good story, and the start of something that may yet turn out to be a great story arc.
Barry and Iris are talking while visiting the grave of Nora Allen. It’s a great emotional beat, and writer Joshua Williamson plays it well for the most part. We don’t get the tearful reunion, and that’s okay here. Where it gets a bit uneven is the need to go back and restate Barry’s timeline…and the means to get there. Iris won’t talk about her relationship with Barry just yet…but she does want to have fun with the Flash and rehash his life. There is sort of a point here, but the transition of “I don’t know how I feel about you” to “Hey, let’s go running with the Flash” is a bit jarring. That said, after we get into it, there does seem to be some good moments that happen…it evens out after a few pages.
We also get some time with young Wally and with Avery, the speedster who joined the Justice League counterpart in China. Finally, we see one more speedster…but it isn’t good news.
Barry is hearing voices in his head just as he’s about to potentially tell Iris about the other Wally West…the one she has forgotten since the New 52 erased him from continuity. What about those voices?
On his way to finding that out he meets Meena again…and of course Black Hole. Finally, he meets the being behind Black Hole, behind the Speed Storm, behind everything…
…and he’s here to reclaim the Speed Force for his own…because his life depends on it!
- This is a very good regular issue of THE FLASH, and the arc should be absolutely fantastic. Here’s my only complaint, other than that slightly odd bit mentioned earlier about Iris suddenly wanting to run with Flash instead of talking with Barry:
- A 700th issue should have been a gigantic issue, full of stories and pics from creators across the history of THE FLASH, a true commemorative event. Instead, we get a really good story from Williamson, with excellent art from Carmine Di Giandomenico and great colors from Ivan Plascencia – no complaints at all there. But, what’s up with DC? One of your iconic characters, featuring THE character who keyed the start of the Silver Age and who has been a key player in just about EVERY major event since, and a 700th issue is just another issue except for a few lines on a couple of pages that tell how proud your are to present it? That left me a bit disappointed.
SUMMARY: Getting past that, though, and judging the issue on the story itself, I’m pretty pumped up for what should lie ahead. Grodd has always been a top-shelf adversary, and the New 52 backstory that ties him to the Speed Force itself has only made him more intimidating. I’m anxious to see what happens next.
For scoring, I’ll take out my complaint about how issue #700 should have been treated and look at the story as it is. In that case, I’ll give it a 8/10…but that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!