Paradox has been defeated. Godspeed has been murdered. And the Reverse-Flash is gathering the Flash's greatest foes for one final battle...
This is a bit of an odd sentiment when talking about a Flash comic, but after reading Flash #756, I want to sit writer Josh Williamson down and say, “SLOW DOWN!” No sooner has the most recent arc ended – quite dramatically, with the death of Godspeed at the hands of Reverse-Flash – and we’re off to the races for the next big story with nary a moment to catch our breath.
Writing for the trade is one thing – and that’s clearly what’s being done here (and throughout Williamson’s entire run, though he’s hardly the only modern writer with this tendency) – but the major drawback for that is that whenever major events happen, characters aren’t given time or space to breathe or reflect or grow. In effect, to change. The result is that illusory change happens in a bubble, and isn’t given the necessary and significant weight it should have. And that’s exactly what happens here – Paradox, whose very raison d’etre should cause the Flash to question his M.O. if nothing else, and Godspeed’s death – are given zero rumination. Sure, there’s a requisite scene of Barry and Iris standing at Godspeed’s grave, but that’s more or less it. Time to deal with the next crisis! It gives short shrift to major events, because Williamson is too eager to zip to the next major storyarc.
That next crisis, though, is pretty uninspired. Reverse-Flash is zipping around the timestream recruiting the Flash’s greatest villains to form an ersatz “Reverse-Flash family.” Gorilla Grodd, Captain Cold and Golden Glider, and a surprise pair at the end of the issue who may leave younger Flash fans highly confused. Think of it as a Flash-centric Legion of Doom. And if you think we’ve seen that before, elsewhere… countless times… you’re not wrong. Not only is this “teaming up of the hero’s greatest foes” a well-worn trope, but so far, Williamson isn’t doing anything new or unique with it.
Artistically, Christian Duce does a generally capable job, though some of his panels may be a little overly cartoony for some. Overall, though, after reading this issue, I really wish he’d been given a more inspired story to draw. Williamson is nearing the finish line of his run, but it shouldn’t have to feel like he’s suddenly running on fumes.
Flash #756 kicks off the newest arc with more of an uninspired whimper than a bang, signaling that the creative team may be out of new or interesting ideas.
The Flash #756: No Time to Slow Down
Writing - 5/105/10
Storyline - 4/104/10
Art - 6.5/106.5/10
Color - 7/107/10
Cover Art - 7/107/10
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