Comic Book Review: Flash #26
That was one hell of a way to end the last issue. Some of us might be skeptical of this story because it is dealing with another speedster, but this is exactly where we were going to inevitably end up for Flash in Rebirth. It goes without saying that a big part of Rebirth deals with addressing what came before the New 52. As the epicenter of all that madness, it only makes sense that Barry is the one to end up facing most of the backlash like he is now at the hands of Reverse-Flash.
Flash #26 caught me off guard a bit because we pick up at a different point in time. Yes, we know that Barry Allen and Iris West would witness a chilling vision of the future courtesy of the Reverse-Flash, who reveals the couple’s legendary romance will yield only darkness for the world of tomorrow. However, that doesn’t quite prepare you for what kind of vision that would be. I mean first of all, you weren’t expecting us to start with this straight off the bat. Secondly, if like me then you were definitely bracing for the reaction to follow Iris finding out that Barry is The Flash.
The vision itself was cool nonetheless. We’ve seen all kinds of futures for Barry and Iris, and none were like this where they made it this far in their relationship to have a family. This darkness for the world of tomorrow does fall into that cliche for the Flash not being able to find happiness, but it is still creative compared to other situations created for him.
When we get back to Thawne, Barry and Iris, that is when things become more interesting. Since the return of Thawne he has had more appeal to him because of what he has been through and how he approaches ruining Barry this time around. It really was more than just trying to kill The Flash again. What kills me is that whether what we saw was true or not, you can’t argue with the possibility considering the kind of person Barry is and how prone he is to screw things up for him. The best way to write Reverse-Flash is when he’s using his head rather than simply beating the snot out of Barry like we know he can. I did feel myself hurting for Barry since you can’t argue for the things he does. Common mistakes he tries to hide thinking that the truth doesn’t eventually come with a sting from prolonging. Now with that said, this isn’t taking into account the variable that is Iris. Everything comes down to her reaction and that is what made this heartwarming. Some of what she had to say did hit home, but her actions spoke louder.
This art team did amazing. I try not to get too attached to any art team, but this combination of Howard Porter and Hi-Fi knocked it out of the park. Howard Porter has a similar style to Carmine, but he takes things up a notch with more detail and form to his pencils. Now before I get into that, there is the admiration of creativity that goes into this future Flash and Iris. They looked wonderfully aged, I mean I don’t think I’ve ever seen Barry look so good in costume just because of the beard and color of his hair that goes from yellow to white. Removing the mask felt just right for a point in his life where identity isn’t that important. It was the deign of this family of his that also grabs your attention. You ask yourself what his family might look like and I would be cool if this were a possibility down the road under different circumstances. Thawne stole the show through the way he carries himself throughout his villainous monologue. So full of himself and dramatic in every way that he was manipulating Barry’s feelings. Hi-Fi was the perfect colorist to bring onboard having such strong colors to lend to a story involving speedsters. Porter’s pencils were detailed, but Hi-Fi’s colors brought it all together through depth and color variations. He really tries to avoid just using solid colors and you get the best effect from them being able to breathe some life into the pencils.
Flash #26 created the most challenging question for Barry that he has had to make up to this point. To spend forever alone or doom the future, that is one heck of a choice to give a broken man. Luckily ‘Running Scared’ revealed another kind of hero that you should never overlook. One who Barry and The Flash should never overlook. Especially with the sacrifice Barry makes to understand this as it seems Reverse-Flash will figure this out the hard way.