Barry Allen and his family’s multiversal adventure in The Flash wraps up this week. This is one of the main Dark Crisis tie-in stories, and Jeremy Adams has talked at length with AIPT about it because the events of this story seriously affect how the Justice League may be rescued. The story is also having a bit of fun as three different Flash characters in the multiverse are explored – but can Barry get Wally to see the truth, or will Wally kill him first? That’s where the story starts in The Flash #785.
The real hero in this issue is Linda West, which is no surprise since Jeremy Adams has big plans for her. She’s recently become super-powered but was asked to stay back as jumping through the multiverse is too dangerous. As if she can sense what is going on, though – Barry thinks Wally is Thawne, and he needs help!
Meanwhile, Linda and Wally’s kids are on their adventure, which takes up the meat of this issue. They’re in a multiverse where there’s a Flash/Batman character. Adams uses this alternate dimension to explore the origins of a Flash who lost his parents and decides to become a vigilante hero. The hopefulness of the Flash kids is infectious, and it’s a nice reminder even when fast with a dark and twisted threat, they step up to do the right thing and help out. There’s a twist in the narrative, though, which leads to a nice and positive reminder Flash is a hopeful character no matter the universe.
Meanwhile, a Mad Max style universe has Flash attempting to save the last bits of magic in a dystopian world. The message continues to be loud and clear – to never give up – and it’s nice to see this angle in modern superhero comics. I’m not quite clear on what the heroes achieve by the end of this subplot, but it’s a nice message nonetheless.
Amancay Nauhuelpan continues to show he’s got the chops for event-caliber storytelling. There’s a double page layout in particular that features Barry being certain Wally is Thrawn juxtaposed with Wallace West struggling to defeat the dream come true reality. When electricity effects are used, Jeromy Cox gives these characters a godly epic look and feel. Compared to previous chapters in this story arc the art does have a rougher look, likely because time was running out to complete, but it always delivers a detailed style we’ve come to expect from superhero comics.
This issue doesn’t quite have the zip and excitement of previous chapters, though. There are panels in this issue that get a bit too exposition heavy and verbose, slowing things way down. Likely the creative team is trying to do too much in a single issue, like flesh out an entire universe’s Flash, so it has portions that read too slow. Compare that to the scenes with Barry however, which are quick, well written, and hopeful, and you have an overall enjoyable issue.
The Flash #785 satisfyingly wraps up the search for Barry while setting up a new hope for the heroes in the Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths event. Throw in an Elseworlds Batman/Flash that’ll make you want more and it’s a good conclusion all around.
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