With “Flash War” behind them, how will the Flash Family cope with the wide-sweeping ramifications of the returned memories and damage to the force barrier?
THE FLASH (2016) #51 “The Life Story of Wally West”
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Scott Kolins
Letters: Steve Wands
Cover Artist: Howard Porter & HI-FI; variant by Francesco Mattina
Colorist: Luis Guerrero
Publisher: DC COMICS
What You Need to Know:
Following the conclusion of “Flash War”, the Flash Family is fractured and Hunter Zolomon is now in possession of the Speed, Strength, and Sage Forces. The 25th century has been reconstructed, but not quite the same as it was before, however, with time travel unavailable through the Speed Force, Commander Cold remains trapped in the 21st century.
What You’ll Find Out:
In this issue, Iris reflects on her newly returned memories of a pre-Flashpoint world, writing out the story of Wally West as she now remembers it. While Iris writes, Wally carries out a relentless search for his still-missing children, Irey and Jai. Meanwhile, Barry tries to pick up the missing pieces, blaming himself for failing Wally and driving Wallace away.
Inevitably, Wally’s search comes to an end as he has pushed himself to his limits and collapses in front of Barry and Iris. Tough discussions and hopeful promises are made before help arrives in the form of Superman and Wonder Woman, who whisk Wally off to Sanctuary, which appears to be a superhero rehabilitation facility and will be featured in the upcoming Heroes in Crisis mini-series. In the closing moments, Barry and Bruce are shown discussing what role the resetting of time post-Flashpoint plays in the current events as they overlook the new construction of a Flash Museum.
What Just Happened?
The epilogue to “Flash War” shows everything that is right with comics today. Despite being an epilogue, “The Life Story of Wally West” is crafted in such a way that it could stand completely alone. Central to the story is post-traumatic stress and the ways it plays a role in the core of almost all superhero narratives, not only for the heroes themselves, but all of the lives they touch in the process. As Wally reacts with desperate action, Iris writes through her recovery, Barry turns inward, and Wallace reacts in anger—all common ways of working through PTS. Williamson manages to capture a wide spectrum look at PTS in a careful, respectful, and well-thought-out manner.
Kolins serves as the perfect compliment to Williamson. The seeming chaos of the returned memories juxtaposed against the starkness of lone Iris writing on a lonely park bench beautifully illustrates Iris’ trauma. Rounding out Kolin’s intimate caricatures is Guerrera’s use of bright and warm colors, permeating each panel with love. And even beyond hope, love is at the center of the Flash universe.
Not to be overlooked, the masterful and consistent work by letterer Steve Wands should be mentioned. The variety of fonts and stylized text boxes in this issue were crucial to moving the narrative forward.
Final Thought: This run of Flash has been remarkable, and not only for the outrageous action moments, but the truly well-crafted and heartfelt issues that have set this series apart from many others. It is clear that the love for these characters that we feel as fans are matched only by the love felt for them by the creative team. To be capable of setting aside the two major reveals at the end of #50 and turn the attention of the readers inward is the mark of a truly great team.
Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!
Join our Age of Social Media Network consisting of X-Men, Marvel, DC, Superhero and Action Movies, Anime, Indie Comics, and numerous fan pages. Interested in becoming a member? Join us by clicking here and pick your favorite group!
User Review( votes)