“Freefall” Review of FLASH FORWARD #3

Wally West is on a mission to rid the Multiverse of the dark matter that threatens to destroy…everything! The Fastest Man Alive, now the Fastest Man in the Multiverse, is moving from one reality to another at the behest of a cosmic being called Tempus Fuginaut. In this issue, Wally finds himself on a world where the heroes have now become villains – but not in the way you might find on Earth 3. Wally does find one bit of hope, in the form of a doppelganger long time Titans fans will instantly recognize. Can Wally save this world? If he can, at what price? Wanna know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Wally shows up on an alternate Earth to find a cruise ship in the air. Nope, it isn’t floating. It’s been pulled into the air and turned upside down to send all the passengers to their doom! Wally can save the people, but who would do such a thing?

Superman, that’s who. What? Justice League of Vampires?

Yes, we are visiting Earth-43, the world noted in BATMAN AND DRACULA: RED RAIN from 1991. On this world, Batman willingly became a vampire to take down Dracula. But, after becoming one of the undead, Bats infected all the rest of the heroes.  Now Wally has to fight not only Superman, but even the Barry Allen of Earth-43. Wally stops “Barry”, who as he dies (again) thanks Wally for setting him free from the vampire curse. But, it isn’t Wally who turned the tide in this battle. It was a flurry of arrows from somewhere…or rather, someone.

Who arrived to help Wally? Earth-43’s Roy Harper! Yes, Wally gets to team up with a  doppelganger of his friend Arsenal. The two work together to find what has gotten the JLDead so excited lately. Of course, it directly ties to the dark matter Wally is here to eliminate.

Dark matter central happens to be the Earth-43 Batcave. Roy and Wally have to fight Bats himself. They win…but not before this evil version of Batman deals a fatal blow to Arsenal. Yes, Wally has to see his friend die once again.  Wally has succeeded in eliminating the dark matter…but at great cost.

NOTES:

  • FLASH FORWARD is giving us a very interesting tour through the DC Multiverse. I had forgotten about Earth-43 until reading this story…and it’s great to revisit, if only for one issue.
  • Still, we are watching more than just a tour through the multiverse. One thing to keep in mind is what Wally was thinking while fighting the vampire version of Superman. Let’s get to the quote – “With every instant I can feel myself…changing?” Make of that what you will, but that’s the kind of quote that will likely show up again soon.
  • If you were hoping that Wally would take this version of Roy Harper back to the main DC Earth…so was I. That made this death all the more tragic.
  • I’m nervous still for what may happen to Wally West, but this series is giving him a chance to shine in the REBIRTH era, and that’s a very good thing. And, I’m getting more into the story with each issue. Scott Lobdell is killing it with a great script (pun not intended for an Earth-43 story). And, the art continues to be nothing short of amazing, with Brett Booth on pencils, Norm Rapmund on inks, Luis Guerrero on colors, and ALW’s Troy Peteri on letters. I’ve already fanboy’d out several times on the work of this art team…let’s just say they are holding up the already high standards of this series well.

SUMMARY:

While this series is in many ways about redemption for Wally West, it is also a terrific adventure for Wally in its own right. Setting our Fastest Man Alive up to be the savior of the Multiverse gives him a tremendous weight to bear, but that’s what makes this series so good. I’ll give this issue a 9/10 – but of course, that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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