Who IS the Fastest Man Alive? Review of THE FLASH #50

Joshua Williamson has delivered an amazing end to FLASH WAR, with all the elements one needs for an epic conclusion. The battle ends with major consequences for all. Not all the outcomes are good…but some are outstanding! We set the stage for HUGE adventures going forward without diminishing the impact of this arc. And, we finally answer the question, “Who IS the Fastest Man Alive?” Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD! If you haven’t read THE FLASH #50, STOP HERE and read it first! You will be glad you did!

Rather than going page by page in this outstanding story, let’s talk just the high points:

  • We see Hypertime during the battle…and we see that it is falling apart due to the break in the Source Wall.
  • The 25th Century gets a reset, first disappearing into nothingness but reappearing with a twist after the battle.
  • Young Wally saves Iris and Commander Cold from that calamity in the 25th Century, but Kid Flash’s relationship with both Barry and older Wally remains strained.
  • In winning the battle for today, we settle just who IS the Fastest Man Alive (see below)…
  • …but we don’t get to save Irey and Jai, at least not yet.
  • Zoom is defeated, but he gets away to an unknown time and place.
  • The Speed Force loses its connection to temporal energy – meaning no speedster can travel through time again, not even with a Cosmic Treadmill!
  • That leaves Commander Cold stuck in our time, which may be for the best for him, because…
  • A threat that has escaped prison in the 25th Century has decimated the remaining Renegades! Are the Flashes next?

In other words, it’s an epic battle – with a victory that feels like a loss.  Still, there are two significant things that have come out of this story…one expected, and the other a VERY pleasant surprise!

The Fastest Man Alive is…

WALLY WEST!

How did we get here? We learn that Barry was so caught up in the science of the Speed Force that he never learned to just enjoy it and cut loose. That was Wally’s advantage, and it makes him able to access and use his speed to a greater degree than Barry. Okay, that explanation may be comic book physics, but it works for me. If you read the pre-Flashpoint Wally West, his mastery of the Speed Force went beyond anything Barry ever dreamed of. And, even though I go back to the Silver Age myself, I can easily accept this outcome.

As for the other, VERY pleasant surprise? We see the return of…

BART ALLEN AS IMPULSE!

Yes, all Bart fans can rejoice! He may not be back as an adult (and the fourth Flash), but he HAS returned to the DCU! That is not only welcome in and of itself, but it raises hope for the return of other speedsters before long. And, it is MUCH better than the New 52 version of Bar Torr, right?

SUMMARY: This anniversary issue checks off all the boxes and then some. We get a very well-done conclusion to a major story arc (something that is not easy to do). We see the launch pad for several potential story arcs without diminishing the ending of this arc. There are consequences to this story that will reverberate not only for the Flashes but for the entire DCU for some time to come. And, we have major surprises and one significant return for a character that should make all fans happy.

Let’s also stop for a moment to talk about the artwork. Having three Flashes in one panel could have been daunting, especially with Zoom and Barry wearing such similar costumes. But, Howard Porter kept it spot-on throughout the issue, with some AMAZING illustrations. Be sure to pay close attention to the Hypertime sequences – there are some great cameos in there!

This is an anniversary issue that lives up to the hype – a consequential story with a great script and amazing artwork. This is an easy 10/10 for me – that’s my opinion, what do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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2 thoughts on “Who IS the Fastest Man Alive? Review of THE FLASH #50

  1. Golddragon71

    I really enjoyed the entire issue. I can’t wait to see the happy reunion when Bart appears to everyone.

    BUT!!!

    I HATE! HATEHATEHATEHATE!!!!!!!! The Doom and gloom they keep casting over Classic Wally!
    This time, last year we were facing Wally dropping dead of a heart attack if he used his speed too much thanks to Damian giving him a heart condition.
    Now? Heroes in Crisis teases Wally as a potential fatality and this issue ends with the tag line that next issue is “The Last Run of Wally West”

    Reply

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