This is one finale/anniversary issues that delivers on everything we had hoped for…and more! The Year One Finale for THE FLASH came in a super-sized 75th issue anniversary spectacular that perfectly wrapped up the story line and set us rocketing forward to what lies ahead in the next year or so. There were Easter Eggs galore…and one panel that warmed my heart more than words can say! Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!
NOTE: First, I owe all of you an apology for the late review. During the last month my family and I have been in the process of moving to a new town. In the middle of that, we had a serious family medical emergency that included multiple hospital trips and some surgery. Everything is okay now, but still my apologies to our followers for how behind this review is posting. Back on schedule now – thanks for understanding!
Given the late nature of this review, let’s hit highlights rather than a step by step analysis.
- Barry is now in the iconic suit, and battling both versions of the Turtle (present and future).
- His continued fight gives hope to the people of Central City, who join in the battle.
- No one was more inspired than Iris, who smashed the equipment King Turtle was using to trap the citizens of Central City.
- Flash uses his connection to the Speed Force to move everyone forward just a few seconds…everyone except the two versions of the Turtle. That traps his powers in the past (comic book physics, okay?). And, Flash saves the day!
- We see Barry and Iris continuing to build their relationship, with all the future implications that long time Flash fans can surmise.
- Barry meets young Wally and (even younger) Wallace. Wally is still the president of the Flash fan club…and we see a lightning bolt on its way to grant the first Kid Flash (and third Flash) his powers.
- We see a splash page of the WHOLE FLASH FAMILY!!! With the exception of John Fox, we get just about everyone else. We see Jay Garrick, Johnny and Jesse Quick, Bart/Impulse, XS, Max Mercury, Wally and Wallace, and the Flash of China…and Barry REMEMBERS THEM!!!
This leads us to the first of two follow-up stories, simply titled, “Today”. Barry speaks with the new avatar of the Still Force, Steadfast. This mysterious character has returned Barry’s memories, and he knows that Barry’s speed has begun to fade. He starts to teach Barry about the forces, and about Barry’s role in the future.
This brings Barry to the repairs of the Flash Museum, where we get Easter Eggs galore! You’ll find the Puppet-Flash (see Abra Kadabra and THE FLASH Vol 1 #133), the Flash-Superman Races, and much more! This is where we point Barry toward the future, knowing that dark times are ahead, but emphasizing the hope that his character brings to the comics page.
The third story, “The Offer”, launches THE FLASH into “The Year of the Villain” as Captain Cold gets his offer from Lex. Snart is willing to take the offer, but only if his fellow Rogues also get in on the game…MUCH more to come from this one.
- Joshua Williamson delivered a spectacular ending to the Year One saga. This went far beyond the usual finale of an arc, and was frankly far more interesting than most anniversary issues ever dreamed of being. Williamson has effectively refreshed this character without losing the important parts of FLASH canon. We see a hero that we can truly cheer for. Barry may have his own doubts and fears, but he symbolizes Hope in a way that no other DC character can match. This arc firmly establishes who he is in a way that is accessible to new fans while warming the hearts of long time Flash fans like this old reviewer.
- Howard Porter again delivered amazingly well in the artwork for the main story. I loved the splash pages, but I loved just as much the little things in facial expression that so effectively carried the story forward. Just a note – we started the issue with pretty much the classic Silver Age Flash costume (except for the belt and the lack of wings on the boots). But, as Barry continues to build up his connection to the Speed Force, we see a change. The more Barry pushes his abilities, the more we start to see those little lightning bolt seams that have become more Flash-like in recent post-Flashpoint books. It’s like we now have a reason for the present look. Well played!
- Scott Kolins and Christian Duce took on the second and third stories, respectively. The artwork was also on point for these stories, bringing recent Flash artists back to be a part of this amazing anniversary/finale issue.
Okay, has this old reviewer fan-boyed out enough on this issue? Of course this is a 10/10 for me. I haven’t seen a better Anniversary book in years! Of course, that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!