“The Flash Age” Part Three – Review of THE FLASH #752

We’re going to do our review a bit differently this time. With the Coronavirus spreading world-wide and many comic shops being unable to get the latest issues out to you, this review will have two parts. The first part will be spoiler-free, for those who want to wait until they can get their hands on a copy of the issue. Then, we’ll have a jumping-off point where you will have to click to see the regular, somewhat more spoiler-ish look at an excellent issue of THE FLASH. Let us know what you think about the format. So…let’s get to the review!

NON-SPOILER VERSION

When we left Flash last issue, he had been blasted by Paradox into something that looked like it could be heaven. After all, the first person he saw was his late mother, Nora Allen! This issue centers on Barry’s adventures here. Is it heaven, or hell, or something else entirely? And, with Paradox still on the loose, does Barry have any way of making a difference? Without telling more, that’s the emphasis of this story. It’s a great look at what “paradise” could be…if only he could stay. By issue’s end, Barry is seeking help from the last person you would ever expect him to ask.

This story gives us some of the best of Barry Allen himself. How he reacts to things, and what he does about it, bring out the best qualities of the person with a lightning bolt on his chest. His intelligence, his sensibilities, his emotions are all in play here, in another great script by Joshua Williamson. Howard Porter gives us some absolutely amazing artwork this issue. The first splash page should be made into a poster. But more than that, Porter handles some significant emotional twists so smoothly that you would almost think you were dealing with live actors. This was a great issue for me, one that I would rate a 9/10. Of course, that’s just my opinion…what do YOU think?

CLICK BELOW FOR SPOILERS – LEAVE NOW IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE ISSUE YET

SPOILERS AHEAD – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

We briefly see Paradox, Godspeed and Iris before moving to the main part of this story, featuring Barry in “paradise”. His mom lets him know that he can finally rest here. He doesn’t have to keep running. This is a place all about him…Flash City, where all the people he saved are there to cheer him on. It’s where the other speedsters he has mentored are, including Wally, Wallace and Avery. Everything is great here. What could possibly be wrong?

Barry is able to guess what’s wrong. None of this is real. As he realizes this, the “inhabitants” of Flash City turn on him. He sets up vibrations that end this charade, and he finds himself in the same place where Paradox was formed. This place starts to affect Barry, much as it did all the people other than Paradox himself. He realizes that Paradox’s armor might have been for protection in this realm, and he puts together a rather cool looking armor (think upcoming action figure for collectors) that sustains him for now.

Barry did hear what Iris said just before he was blasted into this place. The only person who ever defeated Paradox was Eobard Thawne. That means Barry will have to get help from the last person he would ever want to deal with. There’s only one problem.

Iris killed Thawne in the 25th century. So, not only where, but when can you find Thawne…without creating another Flashpoint? (Nooooo, not another Flashpoint!).

There is only one place and one time where Barry is sure to find Thawne. I’ll leave that last revelation for you to find…but it sets up one unbelievable tale for next issue!

SUMMARY:

As noted above, this was a great script and outstanding artwork throughout. This arc is exceeding my expectations, and given the end of this issue I absolutely cannot wait for next issue. 9/10 for issue #752

Now…let’s add one fly to this ointment. Some printing and distribution operations are going down for a while. We may see next issue in print, or just in digital form, or we may have to wait a while to see any version. Given the need for social distancing and the absolute need to flatten the curve of the Coronavirus, I get it if we have to wait. The lives of thousands, and maybe more, depend on what we do in the next few weeks. But, if there is a digital copy of next issue that comes out soon, we will be back with reviews in this format. One part non-spoiler for those who can’t get a copy, and one in more detail for those who have already read and just want another take on the story. Hang in there, things WILL get better…and THAT’S a Flash Fact!

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