The Flash #793 review

Flash Gordon had 14 hours to save the Earth. The Flash Family have maybe a minute…

Earth is under seige as alien conquerors The Fraction enact their plan to steal the planet’s resources, killing the population along the way. Their connection to the Speed Force means the World’s Greatest Superheroes are too slow to have a chance against them.

Well, most of them. The Flash Family also access the Speed Force and the fact their link is organic, unlike the Fraction’s technological connection, means they have a chance of beating back an army of invaders who have already razed world after world.

It’s not often there’s time or place for for a breather issue in the middle of an Earth invasion storyline but here heroes and villains are both locked into super-speed mode. Relatively, speedsters Wally West, Barry Allen, Jay Garrick, Jesse Chambers, Linda Park-West, Max Mercury, Bart Allen, Ace West and Irey West must slow down for a minute to take stock, work out what to do next. And they have someone to help – a rescued Fraction prisoner.

What he tells them helps our heroes come up with a plan; it’s complicated, and requires many moving parts, but one thing we know about the Flash Family is that they can really move.

While the three Flashes, Jesse Quick, Kid Flash, Max Mercury, Linda and Impulse all have roles to play, youngest speedster Irey isn’t factored in. She’s understandably frustrated at being benched.

That’s the second time in the issue that Jesse acts gives Irey the benefit of her experience and I love it – every speedster needs a mentor. This is just one of loads of character moments writer Jeremy Adams packs into this issue, from Barry’s reaction to the death of Iris as the Fraction struck to the improving relationship of teen Flashes Ace and Bart. And as it backs up a theory I’ve had for months, I loved this moment between the freed prisoner and Linda.

Adams never tells us the fella’s name – maybe he’s going to reveal that the dour interplanetary speedster is someone we’ve met elsewhere, or will meet in future. Heck, maybe someone Linda and Wally are going to meet in a few months…

At the centre of everything, as indicated by Taurin Clarke’s sombrely stylish cover, is Wally. Despite the greater experience of the older Flashes, he’s emerged as the leader – he’s lost and regained so much since his beginnings as Kid Flash that he’s the embodiment of not so much the Speed Force, as Hope.

Wally understands.

It’s amazing to think that it’s just a few years since Wally looked to have been made unusable by the events of Heroes in Crisis (I’m not linking to a review because we should all forget the details of that horror), but Adams and other creatives have put Wally back where he belongs, at the forefront of DC’s heroic community. Adams has done such a good job that Wally’s adventures are now published 24 times a year. And this is a darn good one, the first big teaming of the Flash Family in years… the only member not involved is Irey’s twin Jai, aka Surge, whose connection to the Speed Force lets him accelerate his muscle growth in short bursts, but not run fast – perhaps that’s why he’s ‘frozen’. I do hope he’ll come into play before the minute is up.

Adams also gains points for putting so much science into this issue – I couldn’t tell you what’s real and what’s pseudo-science, but I’m sure Silver Age Flash scribes John Broome and Gardner Fox would be proud.

The only thing I don’t love about Adams’ scripts is a bit of Wally dialogue apparently referencing a Bruce Springsteen song; I looked it up, but still can’t work out the relevance.

And I’ve never understood ‘welp’. Oh well.

I do understand Roger Cruz’s pencils, which do their part in carrying the story – this is his strongest issue since he joined the series recently. Highlights include a page whose panels form a lightning bolt, the emotions in the Wally/Barry scene and a classic hero shot.

Completing the visual team are inker Wellington Dias, colourist Luis Guerrero and letterer Rob Leigh, all of whom do excellent work, giving us sharp definition, moody tones and crystal clear words.

The final page offers several cliffhangers and I’m hugely keen to have the next issue in my hands – this is the best Flash run in years and I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am.

13 thoughts on “The Flash #793 review

  1. “…tramps like us, baby we were born to run” seems pretty relevant to me. And yes, this whole run has been absolutely terrific. Thanks for the review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was with this until the bit with Superman took me out of it. I’ve read too many instance of Superman’s speed to believe he’s anything but a peer to the speedsters there. Yes, I know, there are mitigating factors and it’s Flash’s book. . .but much as I tired of Batman being pitted against Superman, I am equally fatigued at being reminded Flash is faster than Superman. Just keep him out of the story for all of that. Otherwise, cool issue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But Flash IS faster than Superman. Flash Rebirth (or whatever it was called) had Barry telling Clark it was never really a race between them before leaving his old friend in the dust. Besides, Clark’s speed has nothing to do with the Speed Force so he stayed at whatever speed he was going when the Fraction arrived. It’s stated he’d get up to their speed eventually but obviously not in the one second they’re fighting in.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh come on. Flash was super-charged by the Speed Force in that issue, “Black Aura” and all. Bottomline, if Flash is faster, do readers need to keep seeing scenes like this with Superman? After 30+ years of it, it’s just petty. . .and untrue.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. To be fair, they DO say that at some point Clark would catch up. But it would take took long. It’s evident based on the dialouge that Clark can at least see something happening..

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I’m with the other chaps, I had no problem with this, it’s explained that Clark will catch up with the Flash Family, and his is obviously more aware of what’s going on. The crisis is connected to the Speed Force and Superman’s speed has another source.


  3. I *loved* that bit with Superman! He’s fast enough to move in this hyperspeed environment, but not at the level the Speed Force has pushed the Flash Family to. It absolutely worked for me.

    Jessie mentoring Irey is great — I definitely want to see more of that.

    And yeah, Mart, Born to Run is super appropriate for Wally at that moment — not just in a general speedster/born to run sense, but because he’s working on a car, and the whole song is full of speeding muscle cars:

    “In the day we sweat it out on the streets
    Of a runaway American dream
    At night we ride through the mansions of glory
    In suicide machines
    Sprung from cages on Highway 9
    Chrome-wheeled, fuel-injected, and steppin’ out over the line
    Oh, baby this town rips the bones from your back
    It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap
    We gotta get out while we’re young
    ‘Cause tramps like us, baby, we were born to run!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s weird, Born to Run is a singalong classic, I’m actually really good at remembering lyrics, and yet I’ve not sense of anything in that song but the one line!


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