After weeks of interdimensional time-hopping and speed force wrangling, Wally West’s next mission is all too relatable for those trying to get back into the normal swing of a post-pandemic world: Wally needs to find a job.
While this is certainly no easy feat — as this week’s The Flash #772 humorously depicts — it’s decidedly light work for a character who’s spent so much time in the past few years going through the absolute wringer.
From the beginning of his already impressive run, Jeremy Adams’ iteration of The Flash has been a refreshing change of pace for Wally West, a character who couldn’t seem to catch a break from some extraordinarily bad luck. This seemed to continue when his plans for retiring at the beginning of the run were upended. But the real surprise was how Adams and his team were able to recapture and recreate the fun, happy-go-lucky quality of the character that so many fans had been missing.
Now after an arc packed to the brim with action and a conclusion that deftly dealt with some of the thornier issues of that moment from Heroes in Crisis, the pace has understandably slowed down. Wally is trying to reenter a normal life, and his woes are deliciously quotidian. Early scenes of Linda and Wally trying to have a somewhat serious adult conversation while kids run around destroying everything in sight is a character moment that is relatable as it is plain funny.
The struggle of superheroes trying to find a compatible enough day job is a premise as old as time, and Adams manages to mine some amusing gags from it before settling us in our new status quo. Thanks to his connections from his superpowered side gig, Wally is able to land a sweet position working for Michael Holt, aka Mr. Terrific.
Mr. Terrific played an integral role in the previous arc, and the author’s affection for the character is palpable. Adams imbues Michael Holt with a charm and charisma that’s a far cry from a character who is typically stiff, stodgy, and only pulled out when there’s some universe-threatening calamity to be settled. His rapport with Wally is great fun, and I hope he sticks around to be a central character throughout this run.
While this breezy plotline is the issue’s main focus, Adams also lays some groundwork featuring a vague cosmic threat and a surprise appearance from a classic Flash foe who is ready to make some trouble. Seeing how well Adams seeded the previous story, I have the utmost faith that these small bits of foreshadowing will come together in a satisfying way before too long.
I’ve heaped a lot of praise on Adams, but the success of this run also owes a great debt to the fantastic and versatile art that has accompanied each issue. The art in this installment comes courtesy of Will Conrad and colorist Alex Sinclair, both of whom deliver excellent work.
The early pages of domestic chaos are complemented with nice touches like asymmetrical panel arrangements and slanted non-uniform angles that perfectly illustrate breakfast time mayhem. Panel layouts throughout are varied, dynamic, and keep the pace of the story moving briskly.
The color palette from Sinclair also gives this issue a nice lift, featuring lots of bright pigments that are somewhat extra saturated to give the characters and the jokes a bouncy and lighthearted feel. The aforementioned cosmic moment was also beautifully rendered, and I’m excited to see where it leads in the future.
The Flash #772 is a promising first step in the next chapter of what has already been a stellar series. Its blend of everyday humor with the specter of larger-than-life threats on the horizon strikes a perfect balance that hits the sweet spot that admirers of Wally West and The Flash have come to expect.
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