The Aftermath of Flash War is so Meta…Review of THE FLASH #51

FLASH WAR is over, and our favorite heroes are picking up the pieces…or at least, they are trying to pick up the pieces.  Barry has to try and figure out these new forces that exist alongside the Speed Force. Young Wally has to figure out his place in the world. And older Wally…is in the race of his life! There are TONS of meta references in this issue as well. Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

FLASH WAR was both won and lost. Sure, Zoom’s plan was foiled, but he got away. The Speed Force has lost its connection to temporal energy, so no speedster can travel through time any more. Commander Cold of the 25th Century Renegades is stuck in our time. And, Wally seems to have lost his chance to find his children, who are lost somewhere in the Speed Force. It’s a difficult way to begin a new chapter for our favorite speedsters.

About the only good thing that’s happening right now is that Barry and Iris are finally taking the next step in their relationship as Barry moves in to Iris’ place. Even that has a down side, though – young Wally is moving out, not wanting to be anywhere near Barry right now. Young Wally has realized what readers have known since his introduction to the DCU…that he is only in existence as a result of FLASHPOINT. He doesn’t want to be a part of the family and literally runs away. Hopefully we will see a lot more of this Kid Flash in Teen Titans (and someday back in the pages of this title).

Just a point of personal privilege – while a lot of fans were not happy to see a “substitute” Wally appear in the New 52, THIS Wally has definitely grown on me.  While his introduction was a bit awkward, he has become an excellent character in his own right. Now, back to the story…

Since Barry is moving in with Iris, he gives his old apartment to Commander Cold while they look for a way to return him to the 25th Century.  Commander Cold takes on the narrative role of many Flash fans as he declares older Wally to be his favorite Flash.  Iris remembers more of Wally’s exploits as well…and from being in the future, she knows that Wally’s story isn’t over yet.

Speaking of Wally…

Wally has been racing at top speed all over the Earth, searching for a way to find his children.  Along the way, he saves countless people…and the people begin to remember Wally’s time as their hero as well. Still, by this issue’s end, he is exhausted both physically and mentally.  Barry arranges for Superman and Wonder Woman to take Wally to a place of healing called Sanctuary. This will tie Wally into the upcoming HEROES IN CRISIS event.

And as wee see the Flash museum going up for the first time in REBIRTH continuity, there are TWO statues…and that is most fitting.

NOTES:

  • FLASH WAR and this aftermath issue have been in a sense a love letter to Flash fans both young and old.  I’m a child of the Silver Age who followed Barry…but who also enjoyed seeing Wally in the original Teen Titans.  Other fans grew up with Wally as THE Flash, and came to love his approach to being a superhero as well. There has been something in this for everyone.
  • Now, it looks like we are sending our speedsters off to spread throughout the DC lineup, from Teen Titans to Heroes in Crisis and Justice League and more. But, it also makes sense from a storyline perspective.  This didn’t seem forced just for the spectacle – but rather the spectacular storyline gave us some consequences that are more than worth following.

SUMMARY:

I’ll give this one a 9/10…or maybe a 9+ for all the meta talk about the characters that reflect fan comments over the last 10-20 years or more. Josh Williamson continues to nail the scripts, and the artwork by Scott Kolins (with colors by Luis Guerrero) was spot-on. I especially loved the splash page that gave us Wally’s history (with a little Barry thrown in). Simply fantastic!

Of course, that’s my opinion – what do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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1 thought on “The Aftermath of Flash War is so Meta…Review of THE FLASH #51

  1. Golddragon71

    I really enjoyed this issue. ( a lot more than i thought I would have.)
    I loved Iris referencing her book the Life story of the Flash. (one of my favorite Flash books of the 90s) Also I was interested to see if Iris remembered Ira West the absent minded professor as her father as opposed to the drunken abusive one she and Daniel were stuck with for so many years.

    Wally’s racing around the world saving people as he went was fantastic. It wasn’t him just trying to find Iris and Jai. he was pushing himself all out to help as much as he could in every way possible.

    i totally agree about NuWally. I really wasn’t happy with a “replacement” I came in during the Return of Barry Allen so classic Wally was always MY guy! Ever since the New52 started and Wally was given the shaft, I really pushed for his return. When we got NuWally instead, I almost quit reading as I felt that was a deliberate middle finger from TPTB to long-time readers. (They pretty much said from the get-go that their only focus was drawing in new readers)
    After a while NuWally did start to grow on me. I was liking the kid, particularly after he got over his anti-Flash attitude. However, I still held out hope that we’d get classic Wally back. Then we had Rebirth! I finally felt as though DC had gotten the message. Although last year’s storyline made me felt we might be getting Wally back just so they could definitively kill him all over again.

    If I had one disappointment with this issue it was that we didn’t see Impulse reuniting with Wally, Iris and Barry. I’m really hoping we don’t have to wait too long to see Bart tearing around and driving the DC Universe crazy.

    Reply

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