“Who Remembers Wally West?” Review of THE FLASH ANNUAL 2018

So many Easter Eggs! SO much Flash history! This is a book that you can’t read just once…or twice…or…you get it. We get a FLASH title that centers on the original Wally West, and at the same time foreshadows both the upcoming FLASH WAR and even larger events for the DC universe as a whole! Just as Barry Allen signaled the beginning of the Silver Age, Wally West signaled the REBIRTH of the DCU…and all this mashup of history is coming to a boil with some surprise details and more than one surprise return! Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

We start out in the 25th Century in what is left of the Flash museum, possibly in the aftermath of the recent story line where Iris killed Eobard Thawne. Look through the museum and you’ll find artifacts from just about every speedster ever featured in a DC comic…even those you haven’t seen since the onset of the New 52.  If you get this book in print, grab a magnifying glass. If you read this in digital format be ready to zoom in (no pun intended).  You’ll see everything from Impulse to Max Mercury to the Tornado Twins and so much more! And, that’s just in the first double-page layout!

We juxtapose that with both Wallys going up against a returned Top, in the familiar costume and powered up to the max! No, he disappeared after FLASHPOINT…but then again so did Wally.

After that battle, Wally talks with Barry and young Wally…but he isn’t ready to talk to Iris, not just yet. He is angered when he finds out that Thawne had captured Iris…and more upset that she had to kill Thawne with a Black Hole gun. He goes off in search of someone with whom he can reconnect to his old life. Linda Park isn’t ready for him yet…so he goes to find…

Frances Kane!

At first she doesn’t remember him…but when she does, her Magenta persona appears for the first time since FLASHPOINT (sounds like we’re getting into an interesting pattern here, with Wally being the key to everything Pre-New 52). They battle but eventually work things out, but not to become a couple again…just friends.

Wally is about to get his life back on track, getting an apartment with his buddy Dick Grayson’s help…and we go back to the 25th century…

Where they find evidence of Thawne’s ashes near the Flash Museum. They find evidence that Iris pulled the trigger and are told by the judge of the Temporal Courts that they need to go back in time and bring Iris to “justice”.  Really? Why? Don’t worry…you’ll get that answer.

But first we see who is going back…it’s the Renegades! We’ve seen them in a past Flash arc – Commander Cold, Mirror Monarch, Heatstroke, Weather Warlock, and Golden Guardian! These aren’t Rogues, but rather future cops…and they are sent back by the judge who turns out to be…

Hunter Zolomon! Yes, one Reverse Flash may be dead, but he’s not the only one in DC history…and this time,  “Zoom will make the Flashes go to war!”

NOTES:

  • This story hits all the marks. For fans of the original Wally West, we see him get a full focus in a FLASH title, and we finally see him starting to enjoy life again (if only for the brief moment in time before we get to FLASH WAR). We see the return of the Renegades, and more importantly Hunter Zolomon…which gives us the source of the upcoming war in a way that makes sense.
  • I loved the Easter Eggs! But more important here is that all those Easter Eggs are not merely fun images dropped in for the fans…but actual elements of the greater story here.  DC has done big images before that foretold upcoming arcs…but I don’t know if they have ever dropped quite so many into a regular story before. Well done!

This is the level of story one would expect from an annual…actually, it’s even more than that. This annual has substance, and gives us the kickoff to the big event starting in May (wow…can’t wait for that!).  A great script by Joshua Williamson matched with fantastic art by Howard Porter and Christian Duce (with color by Hi-Fi), and you have a book that knocks it out of the park! I’ll give this annual a 10/10 – but that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

 

 

3 thoughts on ““Who Remembers Wally West?” Review of THE FLASH ANNUAL 2018

  1. golddragon71

    I was astounded by the overall issue but suddenly, i found myself facing larger implications.
    Barry’s pre-Rebirth history was idyllic until Iris’s Death
    Hunter Zolomon always believed Tragedy made a hero better.
    Hunter Zolomon teamed with Eobard Thawne to make Wally’s worst moment in life recur again and again.
    Thawne is Killed by Barry way back in Flash #323-324
    Reverse Flash is later resurrected in the Blackest Night/Brightest Day event.
    Flash: Rebirth sees Barry’s origin Batman-ized when Barry is now the orphan son of a Mother who was brutally murdered, and a father who died in prison for the crime.
    Flash: Rebirth reveals Thawne killed Barry’s mother and framed his father.
    Hunter states in the annual that he will do anything to make THE ONE TRUE FLASH the hero they need.
    Hunter’s Flash was Wally West.
    Could Hunter, believing Wally to be the Better (and thereby the only, true) Flash, have influenced Thawne into killing Barry’s mother after his return in Blackest NMight/Brightest Day?
    In essence….
    Could Hunter really be the mastermind behind everything the Flash Family have endured to date?

    Reply
  2. JohnnyWellens

    I teared up when Hunter was revealed. Wally’s life is coming together, even the bad parts of it. But seeing Hunter, hearing that classic “tragedy makes you stronger” bit was amazing. Loved the issue, love that Wally is getting more love. Loved Frankie coming back! So much love

    Reply

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