After a seemingly endless parade of doom and despair for the plucky Wally West in recent times, it’s a breath of fresh air to see the fan-favorite speedster embark on an adventure that’s heavy on the fun.
SPOILERS AHEAD for The Flash #770!
Spinning out of the scenario set up in the previous two issues, the setup for this arc titled ‘Blink of an Eye’ seemed to indicate a much more laid-back change of pace (pun intended) for Wally. Seeking to step away from the obligations of superheroism, Wally attempts to detach himself from his connection to the speed force with the help of old friend Barry Allen.
Instead, Wally manages to send himself all the way back in time to prehistory, setting in motion a deliciously ludicrous premise: Thanks to some unspecified defect in the speed force, Wally West’s consciousness is being transferred into different speedsters throughout history and causing huge surges of energy. In each instance, Wally must find and shut down the surge of energy before it threatens to explode and destroy everything along with it.
If that sounds confusing, that’s because it is — but thankfully only in theory. In practice, Jeremy Adam’s clever and eccentric storyline reads like the fun, action-packed, and slightly brain-twisting (read: paradox-filled) ride that the best Flash books often deliver.
Issue #768 saw Wally inhabiting the form of a prehistoric speedster, and last month’s #769 jumped all the way into the future with Wally piloting the body of his onetime partner, Impulse. This time, Adams takes us back to the golden age where Wally ends up in the costume of Jay Garrick alongside Happy Terrill, aka The Ray.
The plot is pure in its adherence to its influences, centering around our two heroes working on behalf of the U.S. government to stop none other than Adolf Hitler from wielding the mind-altering power of the Spear of Destiny. The initial exposition for this plot was a bit slow, taking ten full pages for the premise to fully kick in. But once it did, the issue’s expert balance of humor and blockbuster-style adventure worked to provide a solid middle chapter to this arc.
In perhaps the most inspired bit of the story, Wally is constantly communicating through the speed force with Barry Allen, Oliver Queen, and Mr. Terrific — all of whom are in a lab back in the present trying to get Wally out. Wally’s banter with this team in another dimension is deeply confusing to The Ray, who often thinks the Flash is speaking to him, making for great one-liners and jokes throughout.
This book is attributed to three different artists, as has been every issue in this arc thus far. Jack Herbert, Brandon Peterson, and Kevin MaGuire share penciling and inking duties here, but the book looks remarkably consistent despite having so many different hands involved. The style here is very muscular with a focus on detailed anatomy and well-rendered, three-dimensional facial expressions that work marvelously with the visual comedy.
The colors from Michael Atiyeh also show a good amount of range and variety here. Despite their vibrant and bright golden age costumes, an opening scene with The Ray and Jay Garrick on a nighttime reconnaissance mission looks compelling and believable thanks to the expert use of shadows and smoky backgrounds. Hitler and company are rendered appropriately in dreary grays, but when speed force magic begins to happen the palette explodes into eye-catching blues, reds, and purples.
Jeremy Adams’ new run on The Flash has kicked off to a promising start in recent months, and issue #770 keeps the quality and the good times coming. It’s clear from these early issues that Adams is interested in throwing us back to a time where the Flash’s adventures were zany and his attitude unflappable. Despite being in some big interdimensional trouble, it’s nice to see Wally with a smile on his face again.
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