The Return of Wally West – Review of THE FLASH 768

In INFINTE FRONTIER #0, we saw the mantle being passed from Barry Allen to Wally West. This is the first issue of THE FLASH in a long time that sets Wally as the main speedster, and for many fans this is the best news possible. How smooth will the transition be? How happy can Wally be now? Wanna know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

We get Wally’s answer to Barry’s invitation to be the one true Flash of Central City…he doesn’t want it. Wally has had enough of the speedster life, and he can think of nothing better than to spend his time with his wife and children. So, there is only one solution.

Wally needs to give up his connection to the Speed Force!

Barry can do this. He’s done that to Thawne already, but he’s hesitant to do this to Wally. At Wally’s insistence they decide to go for it. That means…a race! Barry says he’s “the Fastest Man Alive”, but Wally is more than ready to challenge that one last time.

The race is on, and we get a retrospective of how both Barry and Wally feel about their time together. Just as the right speed is gained, something strange happens to the Speed Force. Barry is pulled back into the present, but Wally goes somewhere (and somewhen) far different.

Only one of them still has speed – and it’s not Barry. In fact, the Speed Force isn’t connected to Jay, Max (notice that MAX MERCURY IS IN CONTINUITY AGAIN), or Wallace. All of them have lost their powers. Why?

The theory is that the Speed Force has a special connection to Wally West. That would make sense as Wally has done things with the Speed Force that no speedster had done before. This time, though, the Speed Force may be hurting. The Speed Force may be using Wally to heal whatever is wrong with it. It’s all theory, but it’s the best comic book science we have from Barry, Green Arrow, and Mr. Terrific. Okay, Oliver is there to be the everyman who can’t keep up with the scientists, but still…

When the Speed Force took Wally, it left behind his uniform. Why? Well in true QUANTUM LEAP fashion, Wally is now jumping into the bodies of speedsters of every era. This issue, he’s in the body of a cave man who has a particular lightning bolt either painted or tattooed over his eye. And, just like in QUANTUM LEAP, when Wally looks into a pool of water for his reflection, he (and we) see the caveman’s face. Other than that, we just see Wally – but with that lightning bolt over his face.

Caveman Wally is up against a dinosaur that ALSO has superspeed. During the battle, Barry and Mr Terrific find a way to communicate with him through the Speed Force. That’s all well and good, but what’s about to happen? Well, at least it isn’t totally Wally’s fault this time.

The super-speed dinosaur starts shaking, then lets out the same burst of Speed Force energy as Wally back in HEROES IN CRISIS. Wally barely outruns it, as that burst may well be the DCU explanation for the end of the dinosaur era (instead of a meteor).  The last burst of speed Wally uses to escape sends him through time once again, into another body.

This time, Wally is in the body of…Bart Allen, Impulse! As we end this issue, Wally/Bart and Gold Beetle are up against one of the Dominators. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

NOTES:

  • We are seeing what may well be the final stages of redemption for Wally as a character, as he comes back prominently into the DC Omniverse.  That’s good news for just about any FLASH fan.
  • Oliver has a great relationship with Barry. But, Oliver has a real problem with Wally, based on HEROES IN CRISIS and what he believes happened to Roy. (SPOILER – Roy Harper is alive, but no one knows it just yet). It is in spite of that issue that Oliver is still willing to help Barry reach Wally.
  • We get cameos from the Justice League here, though only Barry, Oliver, Clark and Bruce speak. Oliver thinks Wally still presents a danger. Clark wants to give Wally support (of course). Bruce doesn’t have an opinion on the past but he believes that someone “half in, half out, distraction leads to disaster”. The bottom line is that the League supports Wally’s decision.
  • I am SO happy to see all the people that are back in continuity here. Just in this issue we have Linda Park, Jai and Irey, and Max Mercury. I’m not alone in saying that I’ve missed these guys, and it’s great to see them in a regular FLASH story once again.
  • The race scene had some great laughs along the way. They took care of some bad guy situations along the way, and it’s handled wonderfully.
  • The artwork was penciled/inked by three artists and three colorists. Given the dramatically different locations and scenes in this issue, it can be pulled off. Some of the figures are almost photo-realistic, though that’s not the case over the full story. Overall it works, though.

SUMMARY:

Jeremy Adams takes over writing for THE FLASH with this issue, and if this story is any indication we are in for some great stories. I’ll give this one a 9/10. Of course, that’s just my opinion – what do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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6 thoughts on “The Return of Wally West – Review of THE FLASH 768

  1. Craig MacDonald

    Loved it. So glad Wally has a writer who treats him with love and respect rather than as “the replacement Flash”. I’m in for the long run.

    Reply
  2. AD

    I loved this issue so so much. It was pure fun while still dealing with a serious plot and issue. The second artist was my favorite, I loved the way he drew Wally running it looked like it flowed so well. I’m really surprised how good the issue was since the writer is still so new to writing comics, and combining this issue with his interview that came out the day before, I’m extremely excited to see the rest of the run and I hope we get 50 issues at least

    Reply
  3. golddragon71

    Finally!
    The Flashes are all on the board!
    This is where we should have been Ten Years ago after Flash Rebirth!
    I loved this first new issue
    (And I really like the new Logo!)

    I’ve notice a new trend that I’m starting to really like!
    Just when Wally’s about to give up and just take his lumps or quit the business, he gets thrown into an adventure and he immediately starts having so much fun that he forgets all about the idea of quitting!

    It’s not that I want Wally to constantly be trying to quit/retire etc… But I love that as soon as his next adventure starts, he’s all smiles and having a grand old time of it!

    Wally once said
    “Being the Flash isn’t a harsh responsibility…it’s the dream of a lifetime!”

    I like that the writers approaching him are remembering that!
    It’s great to have a comic book that’s actually FUN to read again!
    Can’t wait for the next issue!

    Reply
  4. Jesse

    I agree with the other comments – this issue was a blast that treated everyone with respect and spanned the whole Flash family. I’ve been waiting for Wally to be back in the lead since Barry was revived 13 years ago. Having said that, I thought it was also nice to have Barry here and the two of them working together, with clearly distinct, well-written personalities. Loved it!

    Reply

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