The Flash #780 review

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.

8 thoughts on “The Flash #780 review

  1. Do you see why I called this a Red Sky crossover? If it didn’t exist, they’d just need one panel elsewhere to explain where they got the treadmill. I’m also holding out hope that someday someone will decide to reveal Amanda Waller has been replaced by an evil counterpart for the pst decade. Doesn’t even have to be Earth 3.

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  2. It’s dishonest, and is what at least Marvel still honestly calls a “tie-in” – a side adventure that is not essential to the main event. A panel, or an editor’s note, in the main story may mention that you could follow the non-essential story in some other book.

    This is not a bona fide Part 2 of anything. It’s greedy and taxes reader good will.

    Mirror Master’s giant belt reminds me a bit of John Romita Jr.’s hideous conversion of Supergirl’s belt into a corset. One hopes it doesn’t also become the new reference.

    I don’t normally read Flash, though I hear it’s quite good and I can see that it is. So you can count me as an event reader that got duped.

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    1. I like that more often than not that Marvel gives a property a tie in mini that I can easily not buy without missing the subplots that might have been happening in their main book. Adding a suffix (like amazing’s BEY of late) is a great indicator to avoid a book if you’re not interested.

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    2. Aha, well, if you’ve been grabbed to try some current Flash, that’s good. Do you have access to that DC app? Jeremy Adams joined the book with #768 and it’s been a great read ever since… excellent art, too.

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  3. I probably have access to the DC app but don’t use it. Yeah, I kind of arbitrarily don’t read Flash or a few other books. Most weeks I seem to buy 9 to 11 books and it’s more than a little overwhelming.

    To be honest, I lost interest in Flash when it became about the Speed Force, in which anything and everything is possible. Give me Barry Allen doused in chemicals super-charged with lightning – that works. I hate the Speed Force. Is it God? It’s whatever. It makes no sense to me, and is responsible for the worst elements of the Berlanti TV show. Also, once Iris started gaining powers or being from the 30th century or something – no.

    Science: chemicals plus lightning.
    Science: you can stuff a costume in a ring, and it expands like a Navy life raft.
    Science: a treadmill can send you through time or dimensions.

    These are established scientific facts :).

    Speed Force, though? This isn’t science, it’s religion.

    Now with Linda, it’s nice, but the problem is wiping them from existence, sending Wally into the Speed Force, the absurdity of Wally’s reappearance in Rebirth thanks to the Geoff Johns’s DC Rebirth story, and the restoration of Linda and the kids thanks to whatever weird stuff happened with Wally and Tempus Fuginaut during Wally’s rehabilitation from being the Heroes in Crisis murderer.

    Wally csme back in DC Rebirth kind of like Tinker Bell. Paraphrasing from memory:

    Wall: Barry, believe in me or I’ll disappear!
    Barry: Who are you?!
    Wally: It’s me, Barry, it’s me, but don’t worry, I’ll be okay. I’m faaaaaading away goodbye forever.
    Barry: Wally! OMG, how could I ever forget you?

    My question is, how could he ever remember him,, and why does he now? Because it’s Geoff Johns Logic.

    I was already anti-Geoff Johns from Flash Rebirth – the weird story that returned Barry Allen. Then DC Rebirth solidified my feelings about his work. It’s really hard for me to look at anything Johns wrote, though I guess Waid is the one to hold responsible for Speed Force?

    Of course, Johns only wrote what he had to, to make DC’s editorial directions possible. They wanted Barry back, Johns had to make it happen somehow. They wanted Wally back, ditto. They wanted Linda to remember and the kids back? Ditto. Johns is always the one DC drafts to write the events that make the editorial corrections.

    So I guess Flash isn’t going to be a regular part of my reading :).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, the Speed Force was never needed, and it was silly and overused. It’s not been around much lately, though, and while the way Wally has come and gone has been daft, he’s back now, and having proper Flash adventures. And hopefully Barry will follow. Honestly, if you don’t even try Jeremy Adams’ run, you’re missing out.

      Iris, by the way, has been from the 30th century since 1971’s Flash #203, and the delightfully titled ‘The Flash’s wife is a two-timer’, so give her a pass!

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      1. Barry seems to have been taken off the board even before the Justice League upcoming deaths. So will he be back? Will Wally die? The next Flash is going to be the one from Future State.

        The whole post death storytelling sounds to me like more of Future State, just like Future State: Gotham is an ongoing. The death is supposed to happen in some future, so the current books can continue in the present. So we may be reading books set in 2 different time periods. (Three, since World’s Finest takes place in the past. Infinite, since holiday anthology tales exist in no determinate time or place.) We’ll see, I guess.

        Sounds like I should give Flash more of a shot.

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