Old friends return as Wally finds that he’s on the wrong side of the law and a fugitive from justice! Wally must uncover the truth about the mayor, all while trying to outrun the Rogues who are attempting to track him down.
Flash #789 continues to prove that the family dynamic is really what sets this book apart from everything else coming out at DC. Wally’s personable nature and life as a family man are further explored in this issue with the return of Hartley Rathaway’s Pied Piper. Piper’s inclusion helps create moments of levity between the high octane super heroics and the scenes between Wally and his family.
This issue concludes the short, two-part story involving newly minted mayor, Gregory Wolfe, and his enforcers, the Rogues. While this issue mainly fills in some space between major arcs, it’s obvious that Jeremy Adams is more focused on humanizing Wally than anything else. Many readers may find it tiresome that we are constantly reminded about Wally’s past; however, Adams makes it known that he is here to right the wrongs that editorial had done to this character since the beginning of DC Rebirth.
One of the best parts about any Flash book is the difference in dynamic between the titular hero and his villains, in comparison to other super hero stories. This issue highlights that by making The Rogues formidable but also sympathetic. There is a moment towards the end of the issue where the Rogues stop fighting because they learn what is actually going on. Instead of beating up and taking them to prison, we actually get a moment of levity where Flash apologizes to them. Wally’s human nature and kindness is felt throughout this entire issue but this moment is the highlight. Moments like this really remind readers why they keep picking this book up every month.
Fernando Pasarin’s art here is fantastic but the real show stealer here is colorist Matt Herms. Every panel that shows the Flash in costume could easily be overlooked, but Herms’ coloring is so dynamic that Flash jumps off of the page. I don’t want to discount Pasarin’s art by any means, as this issue features some beautiful splash pages where we see some truly amazing fight scenes. Artists often take double duty as not only storytellers but also as choreographers. There is one excellent splash page here where Flash is fighting The Rogues and it’s drawn so seamlessly that you can almost see it in motion. Hats off to Pasarin and Herms for going the extra mile in what many would consider to be a filler arc.
While all the high flying heroics are great, the best moments here lie in the slow times where Wally gets to spend time with his friends and family. As revealed in the Flash Annual, Wally and Linda are having a baby, and Wally could not be more excited. It’s great to see not only Wally jumping for joy, but also getting to share that with Hartley.
The only thing that bothered me about this issue is that Pied Piper’s appearance wasn’t entirely necessary to the plot. Linda is actually the one that gives Flash the idea for how to solve this conflict, and Piper is kind-of just along for the ride. Outside of saving Flash’s life last issue and assisting a bit here and there, he doesn’t actually do much. My best guess is that he will be important in the next arc. It was just a bit odd to put so much emphasis on him in solicitations and previews only for him to hide in the background for much of the issue.
Overall, Flash #789 is a fun conclusion to a filler arc that helps reinforce the new status quo of Wally and his family. The art is fantastic and helps bring a lot of dynamic fun to the action.
Flash #789: The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 7/107/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 7/107/10
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