Linda Park West has lost her twins but found she has super-speed. Not that the power does her search any good when Irey and Jai aren’t actually on Earth – they’re in another dimension with Dad Wally.
Not for long, though. Their battle against the dark god Eclipso has been won, so here they are, along with Irey’s super-powered school pal Maxine.
Linda is understandably keen to tell her husband that suddenly, she too has fleet feet. Wally wants to know how her plans to write a book are going.
So who the heck does attack the Flash Museum first thing in the morning?
It’s the Flash of Earth 3, Johnny Quick, from evil Justice League counterparts the Crime Syndicate. And he’s looking for something. Wally engages him in combat, and is doing pretty well, until another player arrives.
One villain wants to steal the Cosmic Treadmill, which allows speedsters to travel in time. The other wants to destroy it. One succeeds in their mission. Both get away. Wally looks a bit of a chump.
That’s Wally, who has just saved the universe.
Oh dear. Whose idea was it to interrupt a terrific run of Flash stories with the neverending Eeeeeeevil Amanda Waller nonsense? I read Suicide Squad, I enjoy it. The start of the spin-off War on Earth 3 has been OK. But there’s no reason for Wally to be dragged into things – if the treadmill really is part of Waller’s ever-so-secret plans, fine, have it stolen in one of the War For Earth 3 books while Wally was battling Eclipso. Don’t interrupt Wally’s ongoing storylines and make him look bad.
Seriously, does anyone want to see this Johnny Quick in The Flash? He’s the worst member of the Crime Syndicate, a druggie who likes to use his speed to kill. Flash Rogues have a bit of nuance. Like Mirror Master here – OK, he’s also part of the Earth 3 business, but at least he sees himself as a good guy, this time.
Mind, it’d be nice had he taken two seconds to explain that to Wally. Maybe suggest a team-up. As is, Wally has no idea what’s going on and ends up, as we say in the UK, looking a bit of a Wally.
Thank goodness writer Jeremy Adams squeezes in some good stuff along the way, mainly the reunion with Linda, and great details like her melting running shoes. There’s also a subplot involving Keystone City’s answer to Waller, Iron Heights warden Gregory Wolfe, who’s up to something dodgy involving one of the inmates (who, of course, happens to wear their villain outfit in the cell). What it is, we don’t learn, but he seems to be taking a lesson from Chicago’s Mama Morton – it’s all about repripocity.
Adams adds extra interest to the issue by having three narrators – Johnny Quick, Mirror Master and, best of all, Linda Park West. Our usual Wally’s eye-view is entirely absent. Granted, some of the narration would’ve been simply thought balloons in the old days, but given only one DC comics today uses the classic technique – Wonder Woman, and then sparingly – it’s something different. There’s a very nice bit with Scudder working out which Flash he’s fighting this time.
Will Conrad contributes the visuals this time and they’re up to his usual high standard. Linda looks particularly good, while Wally is every inch the leading man. The only quibble I have is Mirror Master’s belt buckle, which is suddenly massive, as if it’s gained codpiece ambitions. Still, every page is a pleasure, Conrad is a slick storyteller. That early page of Linda zooming down the street, her story split between a grid, with implied panels at the edges, is just brilliant, very clever storytelling, excellently executed.
For whatever reason, there are three colourists this time – Jeromy Cox does most of the book, with Pete Pantazis and Matt Herms pitching in – but the look is consistently good. Rob Leigh handles all the lettering, and does his usual fine work.
The issue’s cover, by artist Rafa Sandoval and colourist Alex Sinclair, isn’t bad, but belongs on another part of the War For Earth 3 crossover.
While not quite a ‘Red Skies’ issue, Wally’s involvement is pretty tenuous, and the Flash series would be stronger without it being dragged into the Earth 3 business. Roll on next month when, presumably, Wally gets to star in his own book once more.