“Blink of An Eye” Finale – Review of The FLASH 2021 ANNUAL

We’ve been following Wally West throughout time, as he leaps into the bodies of speedster after speedster. Wally is trying to prevent a catastrophic explosion of Speed Force energy in every era, as the Speed Force attempts to heal itself. Just what, or who, is responsible for all these near-calamities? And, in all of this will Wally finally find redemption? Wanna know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

We are finally taken back to where we expected this would end – at the worst moment of Wally’s life. He is back at Sanctuary, just as the Speed Force power surge is about to take the lives of so many other heroes and villains – including his friend Roy Harper. But first, we flash forward (pardon the pun) to Wally after the events of this issue. The page is laid out in a way similar to so many scenes in HEROES IN CRISIS, but this time Wally is in his old Flash costume (or a close approximation) and not the newer version we’ve seen of late. He’s talking about redemption, so let’s see what happens here.

As Wally appears at Sanctuary, there is a time bubble that freezes everyone in place. Everyone, that is, except Roy Harper. Their discussions are critical to the resolution of this story, but first…

We’re looking at this through two additional threads. In the present, Ollie (alongside Barry and Mr. Terrific) is seeing the oncoming death of his long-time sidekick and partner Roy. There’s nothing Ollie wants more than to save Roy, but that isn’t in the cards here. In the other thread, we get the reason the Speed Force has been acting so wonky all along.

It’s Savitar.

Savitar is absorbing more and more of the Speed Force, in a bid to become one with it. Wally and Roy fight him together, but in the end there is only one way to stop him.

Pop the time bubble. Let fate take it’s course.

Wally does not want to take that step. He won’t be responsible for letting everyone die this time. But, Roy knows that this is sadly necessary. He uses Wally’s connection to the present to say goodbye to Ollie (get out the tissues for this one, folks). And then, Roy uses an arrow to pop that time bubble.

And the fight with Savitar is truly on now. Superman and Batman join Ollie, Barry, and Michael – but even together they are no match for Savitar. Things are looking very bleak until…

…Wally gets a turbo boost, courtesy of the Speed Force itself! In the end, Savitar is defeated and torn away from their presence, and Wally is back as THE Flash. There is even a handoff of the iconic ring from Barry to Wally, making this redemption story a little more complete.

In the end, here’s what we know:

  • The explosion that killed so many at Sanctuary was NOT Wally losing his grip on the Speed Force. It was one of the many surges that Wally has been attempting to stop throughout time.
  • This time, it wasn’t even Wally who ended that “frozen in time” moment. It was Roy, willingly sacrificing himself to keep Savitar from scooping up all of the Speed Force.
  • Wally’s story of redemption has come full circle here.
  • Wally returns to his role as THE Flash, with a pre-New52 Flash uniform (no seams!).
  • Wally also returns to Linda and the kids, finally reversing one of the worst aspects of the New52 reality.
  • Wally now has a very raw connection to the Speed Force – he’s charged up beyond anything known before, and it’s unknown as to whether his body can handle it. That’s something to be explored in future issues.

NOTE:

  • Writer Jeremy Adams has handled this story perfectly. This doesn’t retcon HEROES IN CRISIS out of canon – that story still happened. But, Wally is no longer the cause, no longer deserving of the blame and guilt he has been carrying around ever since. This arc redeems Wally without retconning HEROES IN CRISIS out of whatever passes for canon in the DC Omniverse these days, and that took some exceptional writing. Kudos to Jeremy Adams for that.
  • The artwork was AMAZING! Fernando Pasarin & Brandon Peterson on pencils/inks; Hi-Fi & Michael Atiyeh on colors; and Steve Wands with lettering all deserve a standing ovation for this one.
  • I’ve left out a LOT of details in this review – you really need to go read this one for yourself. It’s MORE than worth the price of admission!

SUMMARY:

The redemption story is complete, and Wally (and his family) are returned to where they should have been all along in the DCU. This is a 10/10 for me – of course, that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

 

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