“Finish Line” Part 1 – Review of THE FLASH #759

Buckle up, folks, we are in for the ride of our lives! As for Barry Allen, he is in a battle for his life, as Eobard Thawne has taken over…everything. This arc looks to take everything writer Joshua Williamson has given us during his run on the THE FLASH and dials it up to eleven. This is the Flash mythos on overdrive. And, if you think I am geeking out too much…nope, haven’t even gotten started on telling you about this issue yet! Wanna know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Eobard Thawne has taken over Barry’s body, and he is performing an overblown notion of what he thinks a hero should be. I can almost hear the Crimson Chin’s voice coming out of his mouth instead of the Scarlet Speedster. He is following every superhero trope, grinning ominously as he does so. This is his dream, and he is enjoying every millisecond of it.

Thawne pays a visit to Bart, who is hanging out with Young Justice, and convinces him to tag along on a crime fighting spree. Thawne is now living out his fantasy of not only being Flash, but the Flash, mentor to the next generation. There are only two problems with that. One is that the Legion of Zoom was not content to stay put, and they are the ones creating havoc in Central City. The other is that Barry is still fighting for control.

Barry is lost in the Speed Force, or some version of it. Turns out, those mummified versions of Jesse Quick and Max Mercury were not monsters after all. Barry’s guilt had blinded him to the fact that this is the real Jesse and the real Max, also lost in the Speed Force. I loved Jesse’s line, “You’ve paid for the Flashpoint enough.” And yes, we all have. Max and Jesse help Barry fight for control of his body.

This all comes to a head during that battle with the Legion of Zoom. Thawne maintains control for now, but he injures James Jesse in the process. And, Thawne shows his cruel side to Bart, which comes into play very soon. Back with the Legion of Zoom, Thawne sends them to locate items that will help him lock into Barry’s body for good…

…and Thawne heads out to find the rest of Barry’s Flash Family. Iris, Wallace and Avery are in hiding, but Thawne finds them easily enough. He is starting to fool them, but Bart arrives to knock him back. We get a reunion between Bart and Iris…and an explanation of why he stayed away.

Bart was understandably afraid that Iris would not remember him. But, as we’ve seen through recent arcs, Iris has regained enough memories of pre-FLASHPOINT days to recognize her grandson. One more note – I absolutely loved the meeting between Wallace and Bart, who come from different time threads pre- and post-FLASHPOINT. Be sure to check it out!

Thawne comes back to attack, but is stopped by one more WONDERFUL cameo…

Jay Garrick, the Golden Age Flash!

NOTES:

  • There are nods to many eras of The Flash in this issue. There is a nod to “The Return of Barry Allen” from Wally West’s time as the title character. We get mentions of every superhero name Bart has used, including Impulse, Kid Flash and Flash. Of course, with Bart we get Grandmother Iris. The Tornado Twins gives us a twisted version of the twins from that Silver Age Legion of Superheroes story. We had a nod to the Speed Mind from Buccellato and Manapul’s run in the New 52. We get Golden Age and Infinity, Inc. nods here as well with our returning speedsters. If you have ever been a fan of any version of THE FLASH, you’ll find something you like here.
  • Ok, I may have had an emotional reaction to the return of Jesse and Max…and an even greater reaction to Jay. It’s rare that I feel unbridled joy when reading a superhero story…but that’s exactly how I felt reading this issue.
  • Thawne as Barry was handled perfectly in the artwork. That grin…ooh, that evil grin…it’s enough to keep you from sleeping at night. And, the sequence within the Speed Force was outstanding as well.  Such a great job by not one, but two art teams! Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona and Arif Prianto handled the majority of the issue, while Scott Kolins and Hi-Fi gave us the sequence with Barry, Jesse and Max. Steve Wands lettered the full issue. Wonderful job all!

SUMMARY:

If Williamson has to leave this title, he is at least giving us everything he’s got with this last arc. I have been a huge fan of his work since before he took over the title, and he is looking to leave some big boots to fill. I’m particularly geeked out over this first issue in the arc, and I’ll give it a very enthusiastic 10/10. Of course, that’s just my opinion…what do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

 

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