The Flash #788 review

Meet the latest lawmen of Central City.

Newly crowned mayor Gregory Wolfe has freed members of the Flash’s Rogues Gallery – he was previously governor of super-prison Iron Heights – to crack down on crime.

Meanwhile, super-scientists Dr Mid-Nite and Mr Terrific have news for Flash Wally West and love of his life Linda.

And the upcoming happy event just might solve a mystery.

Ha, the Spandexed brainboxes may not be sure, but I am, and you read it here first. Unless, of course, writer Jeremy Adams has a twist in store. Linda and Wally will no doubt learn. For now, Linda has to rest, while Wally looks into the new cops on the block.

Uh-oh. It looks as if being on the same side isn’t going to put an end to the long-standing enmity between Wally and the Rogues.

But you know what? I would love it if this storyline ended with Wally, Captain Cold, Heatwave, Mirror Master, Trickster and Weather Wizard as allies. After Barry Allen died in the Crisis on Infinite Earths mutual affection brought Wally and several Rogues together as the colourfully clad criminals tried to embrace the straight and narrow. It didn’t last, but heck, it would be tops if peace broke out this time… new villains could always pick up the slack, either as legacies or all-new menaces.

As usual, Adams gifts us a meaty script full of incident, personality and surprises – Wally’s reaction when Captain Cold tells him he’s now a good guy is priceless, while a wonderful page shows us that TerrificTech is a very interesting place to work. There’s a nice callback to an old Barry storyline, a revelation about Wolfe and a most intriguing bit of business spinning out of the recent Flashpoint Beyond series.

Penciller Fernando Pasarin and inker Matt Ryan contribute my favourite brand of superhero art – clear, clean and clever. Just look at the opening splash of the dogged deputies up top, they look formidable and full of character. The joy Wally and Linda share at the baby news is there in every line. The action sequences showcase the ex-villains’ gimmicks. And I’m strangely impressed by Wolfe’s swanky new office.

The colours are laid down by Matt Herms and complement the line art, picking out the characters, making them pop. The colour choices are especially effective on the final page, when an old pal of Wally’s turns up. I won’t spoil it, but if I say ‘the one who isn’t Nightwing’, you’ll likely guess! They get a nice new logo courtesy of letterer extraordinare Rob Leigh.

The cover by Taurin Clarke is, as you can seem, bloomin’ marvellous, from the imposing Rogues to the city-specific news microphones.

The only thing missing from this excellent issue is the announcement of a Name the Baby contest. Come on Jeremy Adams! How about Ollie West? Or if it’s a girl, Molly!

12 thoughts on “The Flash #788 review

  1. I don’t like super criminal politicians and loathe the Rogues as a team so I enjoyed the craft rather than the story. Your idea about some Rogues really turning good would solve that last issue. Once upon a time each Rogue was a solo threat. Thanks to either Johns or Waid (this is my first Wally series I’ve stuck with), instead of it taking one, two, or even three issues to take one down, they’re all taken out in less than an issue when the time comes. These rogues are jokes compared to when Barry fought them.

    And is that the the one hundred ten year old Doctor Mid-Nite or the one who Black Canary dumped because she has a jackass kink?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right about the lessening of the Rogues by treating them as a team. Them getting together should be something that happens every five years or something. I’m not big on criminal politicians (not tautology, I hope!) but Wolfe has always been a stinker, this move doesn’t seem uncharacteristic.


  2. Yes, is this McNider or Pieter? Count me TeamPieter (or TeamJackass as Monsieur McBeezlebub would have it!).
    I like the rogues gallery as (mostly) jerks rather than full-on psychos (a la Geoffrey Johns).
    I have a non sequitur recommendation, The Flash (Vol. 2) #19 by William Mesner-Loebs. I got that issue on its original publication, and recently bought it again on a whim. It remains hilarious.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I always liked Golden Glider, rather hated it when she was killed off during Waid’s run (as part of what was otherwise a great story – even if I’m missing the last issue if it; I get the gist, Wally returned and John Fox was properly ashamed!). Later iterations of the character haven’t quite made it for me.


      2. Oh, and as for originally mentioning the Flash rogues’ party in your review: obviously, you have good taste, sir. *winks*


    1. No, no, no, no! The jackass kink meant she threw over perfectly wonderful Pieter and wound up with the jackass again. I have hated the character of Ollie for decades. Grell’s OGN and series were probably the first series completist younger me skipped completely though I also can’t stand Grell’s art so that helped. If I could change the timeline they never would have lowered Dinah to pairing with Ollie. BTW, isn’t it interesting the token liberal character from back when is such a loser when it come sto how he treats women?


      1. I should have reread your comment before writing the aside in mine. Mea culpa. I twisted it in my mind so that Black Canary was attracted to Pieter – when she thought Oliver was dead – because he was a jackass too!
        Ach, I like Ollie. I like his flaws. The really interesting thing is that he is a good man, a liberal with flaws but many writers like to play up the bad aspects while virtually fellating much worse jerks (or at least these characters who I *like* when written well, tend now to be written as complete @$$holes but treated as if they are super-duper marvellous)… Helloooo, modern-day Bruce and Hal.
        Hah. Ollie has sometimes been written badly but I wouldn’t say he was a complete loser to women and your great pal Mike Grell wrote him quite interestingly at times (altho’ there were plenty of things he did with him of which I wasn’t a fan). Apart from that he designed a great new look that is as definitive as Neal Adams’s. Of course, when Kevin Smith brought him back he was again prancing around in Errol Flynn’s castoffs.
        P.S. Yep, Grell’s art could be stiff, luckily the regular series had a few artists who were arguably better (and some stinkers on stray issues). But… I enjoyed the look his collaborators gave The Longbow Hunters. You might like to check out the Year Oneish miniseries Grell did toward the end of his run, The Wonder Year. Nice art from Gray Morrow. You might like it, but then again…!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Fun issue! The Rogues as cops plotline has been handled a few different ways in the past, but Wolfe’s involvement should give it a new twist. And Wally’s reaction to it is perfect.

    That said, I’m not as enamored of Pasarin’s art as you are — I like his character work, but his backgrounds are so full of completely straight lines that it feels like all the action’s taking place in a computer simulation. (Then again, these days I guess I should be happy someone actually draws backgrounds at all!)

    One thing you mentioned — a callback to an earlier Barry storyline? I’m guessing it’s the one in the early 300s where Heat Wave reformed, and Barry was waiting for him in his apartment. Otherwise, I’m at a loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t remember the specifics either, it’s just that Linda mentioned something and it rang a bell!

      I certainly disagree on the backgrounds. Yes, there’s that one page where Linda and Wally are at home in front of the panelled wall, all verticals, but otherwise we have the detailed lab, the street scenes with individuals having their own stories, the glorious Mayor’s office…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, right, the secret task force to take Barry down. That sounds like it might have been from the Johns/Manapul series after Rebirth. Or it could have been from the New 52 after I stopped reading the book. (Which, I mean… how bad does a Flash title have to be to get me to stop buying it? It’s happened twice in 45 years.)

        As for the backgrounds, some of them I like — I liked the work in the bank, for instance. But Wally & Linda’s place doesn’t look lived-in to me, and the Mayor’s office seems to change wildly in size. Look at how high of a vantage point we have at the top of page 16…and then look at Wolfe throttling Blaquesmith on the next page, holding her fairly close to the ceiling. It just doesn’t feel real to me. I think it might be because Pasarin uses such fine lines, and such exact ones. I’m very glad he’s putting in the work. Too many comics just seem to take place in a void. But that said, I always have an uncanny-valley feeling to his backgrounds, like I somehow can’t trust what I’m seeing. I wonder if he’s using 3-D modeling to create them.

        Ah, well — there’s so much I love about this book, and about Pasarin’s art, that is seems like a minor quibble.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for going into more detail, Rob. In my defence, I was at the opticians this morning, and as suspected, my prescription has changed.

        I did try for a deep dive into memory-jogging covers at the Grand Comic Book Database but it seems to be having hiccups.


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