The Flash #787 review

What I know about wrestling you can write on the back of an envelope. A very small envelope. But I know what I like and that’s fun superhero comics. And this is very much a fun superhero comic as Wally West finds himself caught in the middle as an intergalactic wrestling tournament drops in on Central City.

Literally. The gentlemen with the flying fists are members of the Wrestling Across the Multiverse federation. Wally wants them out of his city, fearing lives may be lost as buildings come down around them, but competitor Omega Bam Man explains that things aren’t as bad as they look. Areas that become impromptu arenas are automatically cleared, and droids come in afterwards to repair all damage. As commercials play across the multiverse, ‘OBM’ explains all.

His Green Lantern pal Hal might not be impressed, but soon Wally is part of the newest super-tag team around. He even gets his own fighting’ name.

Well, he was happy enough to be called that back in his Teen Titans days!

There’s an awful lot of action in this issue, but it really is a breather after the last multi-part storyline, a bright and breezy done-in-one. Writer Jeremy Adams gives Wally a way to blow off some steam when he’s feeling a tad emotionally tired, and OBM – the character find of the week, at least – proves surprisingly empathetic. There are cameos by well-known and more obscure types from DC and Wildstorm, outrageous wrestling moves and a cute robot referee.

Adams provides top value in the scripting department – this is one of the wordier books around, but it’s great for world-building, and the dialogue flows nicely. The moments of humour work, and we get to hear about a virtual home assistant thingie that’s even more sinister than Alexa.

I’m with Wally.

The art by penciller Fernando Pasarin and inker Matt Ryan is exemplary, with clear storytelling, strong figurework, and surprising choices that work, such as the way we see an annoyed Commander Powtower confront Wally.

All the wrestlers are well designed, especially Western throwback Powtower, I hope we see him again. I’m also very impressed with a close-up which shows that under the right/wrong circumstances even handsome, heroic Wally can look a bit double chinny. And as usual when Pasarin does an issue, wife Linda and kids Irey and Jay look blooming brilliant. The faces, the body language… it’s stellar.

Jeremy Cox’s bright colours and Rob Leigh’s lettering add to the success of the issue – I especially like Leigh’s wee logo for OBM, which incorporates the Greek Omega letterform, while little things like the gorgeous sky on the final page show how much Cox cares. And Taurin Clarke’s witty cover captures the superbly silly vibe of this story.

Next issue looks set to be more serious fare as shady Iron Heights Governor Wolfe ramps up his mayoral campaign. For now, though, here’s a well-crafted piece of fantastical fluff to make you smile throughout.

12 thoughts on “The Flash #787 review

  1. I’m tempted to pick up this issue, since I am INDEED a wrasslin’ fan! Superheroes plus wrestling should be a win-win combination! (And I’m sure if Randy Savage thought of it, he would’ve named his Diving Elbow Drop the “Cosmic Elbow”. Because that’s what the Macho Man was all about! Oooooh, YEAH!)

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  2. I’m not a wrestling fan, but boy was this a fun issue. And I’d love to see more of Omega Bam Man! He seems like kind of a glam counterpart to Lobo, and as the kids say: I’m here for it.

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  3. Fernando Pasarin is a greatly underrated superhero artist and has been for years. As the occasional back-up artist on Justice Society of America he was better than Dale Eaglesham and drew the heck out of Stargirl, Dream Girl, Superman, and the adorable redheaded Cyclone. I particularly like his faces, not quite up there with Kevin Maguire but still excellent.

    Isn’t it great to see Wally West back where he belongs! The best Flash after a decade and a half of being ignored, violated, and/or mischaracterized. (New52/Rebirth Barry Allen didn’t seem to have a personality or, rather, the writers couldn’t decide whether to try to make him pre-Crisis Wally, pseudo-Impulse, Mr Bland, or “where does a guy go to get a personality around here, anyhoo?”)

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      1. It’s DC, I don’t think you are paranoid to think that. #neverforget Ha! Truth to tell I have the same worry. The fear that the next announcement will be “Good news! Blandrry Allen The Bestest Flash is back as the only Flash who matters! Wally West? Who he? Besides he’s a redhead, if we can get away with it all redhead characters will be written out or made none redheads, women or men, particularly in our movies! It’s the only acceptable bigotry! Wheeeeeee!” Okay, probably not quite like that, they wouldn’t be that honest. *satirical but truthful cymbal splash!*

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      2. Yes. That’s what they appear to be doing, which after years of character-building for Classic Coke Barry and New Coke Barry while Wally was ignored/erased/mischaracterized/an accidental killer (?!), sat on a floating space-traversing/time-travelling commode is a relief.

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      3. If they had written Barry with his old persona through modern tropes he’d have been more successful. At least I like the current take on Kid Flash. I hated Baron’s revamp so much I never warmed up to Wally at all before this current run. I still would prefer Barry if we can only have one Flashs series. Isn’t it funny that DC is supposed to be about legacy yet it’s Marvel who has two Spider-Men in series and two Captain Americas?

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      4. Marvel are copyists and DC are idiots? Ha. (Nah, modern Marvel – of the past five years or so at least – are mostly idiots too!)
        Interesting, I liked that Wally HAD character in the post-Crisis DC universe and that he certainly *developed* as a character/person under William Mesner-Loebs and Mark Said (Geoff Johns’s handling was more variable but still sometimes good. Less good was the Barry Allen obsession that Mesner-Loebs/Waid had already weaned the character off but that’s young Silver Age-crazy Geoffrey for ya) even if the Baron version was an acquired taste – but then Baron offered a character that others could mature.

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