‘Raise your hand if you’re through with multiple universes’ says Wally West. Well, the collective DC being certainly doesn’t raise a hand, cosmic or otherwise, because the parallel world tales keep on coming, no matter how often we’re told that we’ve just read the final last ultimate Crisis, honestly.
This summer it’s the Dark Crisis, which has Crisis on Infinite Earths survivor Pariah taking his turn to go mad and attempt to bring back the original multiverse. To this end he’s trapped various Justice League members in alternate realities, including Silver and Bronze Age Flash Barry Allen. Having become aware Barry has been taken, Wally’s new boss, the modest Mr Terrific, has a plan.
And said Family is bigger than it’s been for many years. Bart Allen, Barry’s grandson and the hero Impulse, is MIA in the Young Justice tie-in, but Wally has quite the search and rescue crew.
Max Mercury, Jesse Quick, Kid Flash and original Flash Jay Garrick. The Fastest Family Alive. The plan would be to split into three teams, but a spanner in the works arrives in the small shapes of two other family members – Wally’s kids, Irey and Jai.
Ever keen to prove herself a big girl, Irey drags her more cautious brother into trouble again.
Excellent! Superhero kids should be constantly getting into trouble when parents who should know to keep an eye on them are distracted. Mom Linda has a very good question for Mr Terrific, aka Michael Holt.
Wally assures Linda all will be well, he’ll get everyone home – having ‘Poppy’, adopted grandpa Jay, zoom in after the twins will surely help. As Irey and Jai land in the dark world of one version of Barry…
… Jesse and Max wind up somewhere hotter…
… meaning Wally and Ace are off to the Benday-dotted world which previous issues have shown to be Barry’s current home. And the Scarlet Speedster, happily settled with wife Iris and their Tornado Twins, is having quite the day, attempting to round up old enemy Captain Cold.
Oh, I do love those old school puns, so well done writer Jeremy Adams. Would I be disappointed were Barry to remain The Flash Who Has Everything? Maybe not, but it’s a moot point as he’ll almost certainly be home soon.
This is a wonderful comic – it’s great to see Max and Jesse back after their cameos in Flash #771 (Jesse’s was pretty weird, mind). And any time we get the Golden Age Flash, I’m happy. Even if Jay has had some kind of odd costume redesign when I wasn’t paying attention – those boots, that collar… I think there’s some WB TV influence there. Oh well, it won’t last, the point is that we have classic speedsters on hand for parallel world shenanigans.
I haven’t mentioned the first page of the issue, which is a preview of what’s to come, before we go back 24 hours to see the start of the rescue mission (there’s another perspective on it in Dark Crisis: Young Justice #1). I’m not a fan of the ‘XX hours earlier’ bit in fiction, but thinking on, is it really so different from the splash pages I grew up with that showed a scene later in the story?
I know I read too many comics, but did anyone else see Jay and Irey here and think, ‘there’s a genie coming’?
Amancay Nahuelpan produces stunning art, with character expressions especially excellent – just look at those kids, for instance. The panel-to-panel storytelling works well, and the heroism and determination of the speedsters is something to behold.
With the aid of colourist Jeromy Cox, the adaptable Nahuelpan is able to give us a Bronze Age Barry and friends that makes me grin like a loon. Cox puts in a powerful argument for the importance of a skilled colourist as he adds atmosphere to the different settings.
As for Rob Leigh, as ever, his lettering is just superb, from the title design to the Ira Schnapp-style change of scene font via lots of super-sharp narration and dialogue.
Throw in another striking cover by illustrator Brandon Peterson and colourist Michael Atiyeh and it’s fair to say the best Flash run in years continues apace – not even a crossover can derail the fun!