It’s the final moments of the One-Minute War! Cornered by the evil Admiral Vel, the Flash family is on the edge of defeat, but some surprising allies give the speedsters one last chance to change the outcome of the war once and for all!
Flash #796 follows up its art pattern from the previous issue using three artists throughout this finale. This worked in the last issue since the artists depicted three periods throughout the narrative, but the art becomes too messy here. Each artist does an excellent job in their sections; however, the dramatic shifts between the art styles are jarring enough to take the reader out of the story. Roger Cruz was the base artist for most of this arc, but this issue sees his only work on small sections. His stylistic ’90s motif has worked very well for the hook, so it would have been nice to see him finish this arc up solo.
The most jarring art change is when George Kambadais takes over. His art is a fantastic blend of a golden age aesthetic with a modem Venture Brothers style, which looks gorgeous alone. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit well when combined with the other two styles. Pasarin and Cruz’s art feel more driven and severe, while Kambadais’s approach feels more cartoony. All three artists have great classes, but combining them makes the issue feel disjointed.
Fernando Pasarin does something super interesting in his depiction of Wally at the start of this issue. Wally previously had gone through time after a failed assault against The Fraction, which had torn up his costume a bit. Pasarin uses this to reference Wally’s previous costumes, namely the Rebirth suit, which was red like his Kid Flash suit. This design had his signature red hair open at the top, further differentiating him from Barry. This fun callback builds on the character’s nostalgia, even though this costume was only from a few years ago.
This issue features three artists and several inkers and colorists: Wellington Dias, George Kambadais, Oclair Albert, Luis Guerrero, Matt Herms, and Pete Pantazis. Much like the issue with three different foremost artists, the overwhelming amount of creatives here muddles up the issue in unnecessary art confusion. Each of these creators does a great job, but their styles are too different from being shoved into one point together.
The real hero of this creative team has to be Rob Leigh, who has to be and flow between all of the different art styles and colors to create a cohesively lettered narrative. Even though the art changes can be jarring, Leigh maintains consistency with the letters, moving the story forward calmly and understandably.
Unfortunately, the solution to this arc devolves into a deus ex machina and infighting inside The Fraction’s ranks. Wally’s accidental transportation to the future allows him to return to the fight with an army of his own. Some of the characters in this arc were featured throughout Jeremy Adam’s run, and considering that Adams will be off of the book in just a few issues, it makes sense for them to appear in this gigantic event finale. That being said, this deus ex machina diminishes the actions of the other characters thus far, providing a solution that hinders some of the personal journeys of characters like Irie and Jesse Quick.
Wally has endured some crucial hardships in this arc, but this action seems a little out of character. The leader of The Fraction is revealed to be an “organic,” which makes all his underlings despise him, seeing him unfit to lead. He retaliates, thus causing an internal conflict that helps the heroes in the long run. This also proves to be the Admiral’s undoing since Wally can now fight him individually without any interference. Wally then does something unexpected; he puts the Admiral in one of the status pods, sending him through time, a fate worse than death. This conclusion also felt a bit forced, making The Fraction seem like less of a threat than they have been this entire series.
As a finale, this issue does a great job of answering all lingering questions. Adams shoves a lot of content in here, but that is in keeping with the fast pacing that has been here throughout the entire arc. The only downside here is the reliance on plot contrivances to solve all the problems, but the amount of action and fun outweighs any problems with the issue.
Overall, this arc has been a ton of fun. It not only builds upon everything else featured throughout this run, but it also displays each member of the Flash team in a fun and unique way. Although the ending seemed a bit forced, the emotional moments land when they should, leading to an overall satisfying coup de gras to Adams’s fantastic run.
The Flash #796 concludes The One-Minute-War in a mostly satisfying way, although the several pencilers, inkers, and colorists makes for an uneven read. Some of the plotlines end in a contrived manner, but overall everything concludes in a neat fashion.
Flash #796: Flash to the Left, Flash to the Right, Flash All Around!
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 6.5/106.5/10
- Art - 6/106/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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